14 January 2011

French Manicure Tips & Tricks

I love painting my nails but I find French Manicures so frustrating! It's so easy to make mistakes and sorting them out often means starting the whole thing again. I thought i'd share some of my tips and tricks with you as I got lots of practise doing them over Christmas and the New Year.

french manicure tips

The perfect white tip (in my opinion) is all about the polish. I'm not saying go out and buy a £10 white polish but using a relatively new one works best for me. If you use an old white polish that is too thick it will look awful! I used to use one by Natural Collection but it went thick really quickly and I got about 3 or 4 uses out of it so it just wasn't worth the money. I now use French White by Collection 2000 which is £2.99 a bottle. It's a thin consistency and has a brush that is designed for manicures and I love the way it applies.

french manicure polishes

I use fairly inexpensive polishes as I get through them quite quickly and if they do go thick it won't break the bank to buy a new bottle. For the main nude colour I use Natural Collection Peach Manicure. This does have a thick consistency but I find this works well if you have the patience to wait for it to dry as you only need to use a couple of coats to get a nice colour on your nails. I then use Collection 2000 Manicure French White for the white tips. I only recently discovered this but I love the consistency of it and the shape of the brush makes it easy to apply. Finally, I use Collection 2000 Ice Cube for the top coat which helps to make it last longer and give an overall shiny appearance. I sometimes use this as a base coat too as it helps to even out any ridges in my nails.

French manicure

Before I start my manicure I remove any other nail polish and rub some Lush Lemony Flutter onto my cuticles. I then file down the tips of nails so they're square and are all a similar length. I like them to be a reasonable length so I don't file them down too much otherwise i'd have no space for the white tips. I then use a nail buffer to soften and smooth down the edges.

I then apply a base coat and the rest of the other polishes, allowing plenty of time for each coat to dry. I always make mistakes no matter what polish i'm using so I always have some cotton buds and a bit of nail polish remover on hand to clean them up. The cotton buds above are from ASDA and have two different ends so they're really useful for manicures. I got the nail buffer quite a few years ago and it works really well but I don't think you can get these particular ones anymore although there quite a few similar ones available from the 'Ms Manicure' brand in Boots.

I hope this post was helpful, i'd love to know which polishes you use for your French Manicures as i'm always on the look out for new ones to try :)


  1. I love the look of french manicured nails but my nails drive me mad as soon as they grow that long! I doubt I would have the patience to do such a nice paint job either lol.. Yours do look brill :) x

  2. Your nails look so nice and neat! I don't have the patience for lovely nails as working in an art gallery always ends up in a broken nail or three! xx

  3. Your nails look so perfect, haha! You're really good at nail art :) x

  4. The French manicure looks wonderful, very neat and like healthy nails should look. Great post and very helpful.

  5. ^ yeah, your nails look perfect! I wish I could do that, mum has to do it for me. she's a nail techinician, which makes me look really bad in comparison ;) little tip though, if Lemony Flutter contains oils (whether natural or not) it will cause the nail varnish to chip quicker or even peel, because it doesn't allow the nail polish to catch onto anything. I learnt that from mum, she told me to always wipe the nail remover over my nails before painting to get rid of oils :P xoxo

  6. Loves this post! I always try to do french manicures but I have such an unsteady hand I always mess up the white! Might need to have a look at that collection 2000 one :) xo

  7. Great tips (both on the post and your nails, ha)
    I've never attempted a French manicure on myself, I really like the way that French manicured nails look but I don't think I have steady enough hands! x

  8. Your manicure looks perfect! :-) Gonna' get a "thinner" white polish and give this a go, love your NOTD posts x x

  9. great tips! your manicure looks lovely! i have to get other people to do my nails as my hand aren't steady enough!

  10. love how chic french manicures look, unfortunately I can never create them :(



  11. Wow you do amazing french manicures - envious! I do terrible ones unfortunately, I have the shakey hands of a very old and doddery lady, but I may have to give your tips a try as I do love a frenchie... xxxx