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How to DIY your French manicure so it looks better than the real thing

For all of us who learned our best nail painting tips way back in the grade school slumber party days, this is a tutorial worth reading. While there’s definitely a time and a place to treat yo’ self at the salon, paying for a professional French manicure month after month can get pretty pricey.

If you need nice nails and still need to keep your cash, we’re here to help you out of that rock and a hard place. With a little practice, you’ll be doing this eight-step at-home French mani in your sleep:

The perfect French manicure

A pale pink base and bright white tips have come to characterize the ever-so-popular French manicure, which, believe it or not, is a common request at nail salons everywhere. Even in France, where it’s considered an American invention, this kind of mani is called “la French.” Too funny, huh?

Now (luckily) with all the new nail advances, it’s easy to score a salon-worthy mani right in the comfort of your own home. Pick up a French manicure kit at your local beauty supply store (for longer lasting color, try a gel nail one), or invest in some sheer pink and white polish to easily do it yourself. We’ve provided simple steps for everyone to follow.

Step 1: Trim your nails

Start by trimming your nails to the desired length. Make sure all of them are even. And remember: When it comes to the French manicure, the longer they are, the better.

Yes, you can totally DIY a fancy-looking French manicure in 8 steps
Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows


Step 2: Shape your nails

Figure out the type of shape you’d like (either rounded or square). Then grab a nail file and get to work.

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Yes, you can totally DIY a fancy-looking French manicure in 8 steps
Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

Step 3: Soak your cuticles

If you really want to recreate the spa experience at home, dip your hands in a bowl of warm water and let them soak for a minute or two. Then take a cuticle pusher (or orangewood stick) and gently push your cuticles back. Use the opposite end of the cuticle pusher to remove any dirt and grime from underneath your nails.

Yes, you can totally DIY a fancy-looking French manicure in 8 steps
Image: Kara Endres/SheKnows

Step 4: Buff and prep for polish

Now, before you apply your first coat of polish, buff the top of your nails to prepare them for your nail polish. Then, simply massage cuticle oil onto your nails at this time.


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