How to Get the Perfect French Manicure

How to Get the Perfect French Manicure

French manicures are elegant, chic and much easier to paint than they look. Check out these tips on how to get the perfect French manicure.


Before starting to paint your nails, trim your nails to your desired length (longer is usually better for a French manicure). If you’d like to recreate a spa experience at home, you can soak your hands in warm water and then use a cuticle pusher to push cuticles back. After that, buff the top of your nails and massage cuticle oil onto your fingernails.

Base Coat

Base coats are important to use whenever painting your nails, but are especially important when doing a French manicure. Typically, the base coat of a French manicure is clear, pale pink or cream. However, feel free to choose whatever color you’d like for a unique style.


The most difficult aspect of a French mani is creating the iconic crescent shape at the tip. There are a few different strategies to obtain the classic shape. You can cut a piece of Scotch or painter’s tape into a semi-circle and cover your entire nail besides the tip. Another option is to stick a clean bandage on your fingernails and align the curved end with a small open space at the end of your nail. 


Use white polish for a classic French mani or use different colors to spice up your tips! Lightly brush the polish on the edge of your nail in a vertical direction starting midway over your shape guide. The nail shield that you created will catch any paint that gets on the lower part of your nail. When dry, just peel off the tape or bandage and voila!  Any smudges can be cleaned up with a Q-tip soaked in nail polish remover.


As always, finish your manicure off with a top coat to seal in the look. Since the main color is at the end of the nail, be sure to swipe some top coat horizontally across the edge to prevent chipping.

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