Saturday, September 10, 2011

Three Ways for French Tipped Nails

Personally I have always thought a french manicure is the most elegant of all painted nails. The white tip is classy and simple looking; very chic. Doing your own french tips, however, is usually not so simple. You could go to a salon and pay $30-$60, but why do that when you could do it yourself! Everything in the picture (below) was between $2-$4 each so the cost is in your favor. I have done some research and found three different ways to make french tips. Pick your favorite!

  • White Nail Polish
  • Clear Top Coat
  • 100% Acetone
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Medium Brush - non-dyed
  • Nail File
  • Fluffy Pad or Tissue
  • Regular Scotch Tape
  • Oh and a hand...with nails

This method is the hardest and takes more skill. You can get really good with this method with practice and then it takes less time than the other methods. But most people, including me, want great results right now without months of practice. How very American :)

All you really need is the white nail polish (and the clear top coat for after) which you will sweep across the tip of the nail.

I like to do one side, and then the other. Then I kinda fill it in.

And voila! If you have a steady hand it will turn out perfect...unlike mine.
Pros: Can be fast if you have experience and requires less equipment.
Cons: It goes on thicker so it takes a lot longer to dry. It is also hard to make it look professional and smooth. But, I bet this would change with practice.


I laughed when I read about this method because it seems very strange and amateur. But when I tried it I was amazed. All you need is some clear tape and nail polish.

First you put the tape on your nail. Curve it around so it is the shape you want.

It may look a little funny. The tape should not be flat on your nail because it is curved. Make sure to press it down firmly around the edges. Then Paint over the tip!

It looks really messy, but just wait....

Looks good! I really liked this method.
Pros: Easy, even for a beginner. It also creates a perfect line, as long as you do not smudge it while taking off the tape.
Cons: You need tape. Curving the tape can also be crappy if you don't know what your doing, but it's really not that hard.

Acetone & Brush

I saw this done once at a salon and I was fascinated. You can be as messy as you want with the nail polish yet you end up with an amazing manicure! Here's how:

First you put a layer of nail polish on the tip. It does not have to look even, but keep it at the top half of the nail and make it flat and smooth.

Let it dry (!) and then grab your acetone (in a small cup or use the cap) and your brush. First dip...

... then pad the extra acetone on the puff ...

... and then use slow, tiny strokes to correct the edge of the polish.

Go slowly and you will be amazed at how easily the polish comes off. It really shocked me! Keep going until you like the shape you made.

Looks good! For meticulous people this is a great option because you have a lot of control over the polish.
Pros: You can get exactly what you want.
Cons: Time consuming and uses smelly chemicals. Also if you want to have a color under the white you have to put it on after. I really like the look of a pink french manicure but it would be hard to do with this method.

Here are the three fingers I did. Left is freehand, middle is acetone, and the right is tape. Also, don't forget to put on the shiny top coat.

So, out of all three I think my favorite is a mixture of Tape and Acetone/Brush. I prefer using the tape because it is really easy, but I like to have the option of the acetone for mistakes. Plus I feel so pro when I use the brush!

I hope this was helpful. Tell me what you think!


  1. I think all three types are great! If you cut the tape down the middle a bit, would that help getting the shape you want?
    With the tape method, does it help to let the polish dry first before peeling it off?
    Thank you for a clear, easy to understand tutorial on doing your own french tips! Fun to read!

  2. I've used the small round bandaids, cut them in half, wa-la! =)