French tip nails


Happy Friday everybody!  Last night I got an email asking about how to do french tips, and I realized it’s one of the more common questions on the site, so wanted to do a quick breakdown on one of the tricks for making french tips a little easier.  If you’re not ready to freehand the tips, and aren’t really happy with the flatline you get with using tape, here’s your fix: rubber bands.

Because they’re so pliable they’re going to be able to really bend to the shape of your nail without puckering like tape and can help create a more natural tip outline.  I’ll usually start with a smaller rubber band and then knot it in half, like so:

rubber band french tips

Then (and forgive the angle on this, it’s really hard taking a picture in this position for some reason) I’ll use that to slip one loop over the top of my nail and the other over my thumb to help anchor the rubber band/pull it taut enough that it won’t wiggle out of place.  I like to use the mounds of my fingertips to sort of determine where the line starts and stops: if you’re wrapping the rubber band over a lot of skin you’re probably going to get a pretty deep tip in the end (insert “that’s what she said” joke here).

french tip tutorial

french tip nails

You can use any polish or paint you want to go in and drop some color (or just white) onto that tip of nail that’s left exposed.  If you’ve got acrylic paint on hand I’d really suggest using that since it won’t slide and slip as much as nail polish (once you put it on there, it’s on… and if you screw up monumentally it just takes a little water to fix)… but polish is fine.  Just don’t glob a lot on there, work in thin layers if you need to build up the color — this will help keep the polish from bleeding out on the sides of your nails.

Finish it off with a topcoat and voila, you’ve got yourself some easy french tips!

French Tip Trick Nails

how to do a french manicure


This mani, for the record, is on a FOUR coat base of Essie Bags to Riches, which even then wasn’t a great cover with some odd bare spots, so I used some gold embossing powder to fill in the more naked bits… frustrating, because I like the color a lot, but can’t be bothered with that sort of application.  And yep, the tip color is in cream and not white.  🙂

Essie Bags to Riches

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