How to Give Yourself a French Manicure
How to Give Yourself a French Manicure

It's expensive to go to a nail salon to get a French manicure that rubs off in 5 days. It's much easier to get a cute manicure by yourself.


  1. Soak your hands in a warm bowl of water or whole milk to soften your cuticles.
  2. Clip any hangnails or bits of dead skin and use a tool to push back the cuticles (the clearish skin that starts growing over the bottom of the nail). Clip your nails so they're not too long.
  3. Use a nail file to shape your nails and make sure you rub it on the tip of the nail in one direction. Don't rub back in forth in a sawing motion or you'll break your nails! Wipe or blow off nail dust, then go over them quickly with nail polish remover to make sure your nails are clean.
  4. Go over nails with a clear or sheer color nail polish, such as a sheer pink.
  5. Use white nail polish to paint a tip on the nails, then use a nail polish remover pen to carefully touch up or shape the area. If you don't have a pen you could also use a Q-tip. Let nails dry.
  6. Add a clear top coat to protect the look of your freshly-painted nails.

Alternate Method

  1. Soak your hands, take care of hangnails, and file as directed above.
  2. Use white nail polish and make short vertical strokes to create the white tip. Don't worry if it is messy.
  3. Allow the white polish to dry.
  4. Add a second coat of white polish if necessary and allow it to dry.
  5. Dip an eyeshadow brush (or any other type of brush of similar size) in acetone nail polish remover. Use the brush to refine the white tip to the way you would like it.
  6. Paint over the entire nail with one or two coats of a sheer, pale pink color (like Maybelline's Wet Shine Ballet on Ice) if desired.
  7. Finish with a coat or two of clear coat.


  • Try use a sticker and put it low on your nail and paint the part above the sticker paint white. Then take off the sticker and paint the whole thing a clear color or a sheer pink (after the white is dry).
  • Re-do the manicure each week. You may swap colors to match your outfits.
  • Reapply top coat every day for longer-lasting results.
  • If you don't have a nail polish remover pen, you can use Scotch tape to mask the area before painting with white polish.


  • Use nail polish remover or plain polish in a well ventilated area and try not to inhale the fumes.
  • Avoid using your nails as tools because they can chip easily.
French Manicure

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