The At-Home French Mani (+ Community’s baaack!)

End Result

I’m not sure French manicures are even still “in”, but I like them so who cares. I remember the first time I went to the salon in elementary school and got my nails done. I also remember that it was expensive – most salons charge $5-10 extra because this technique requires extra time and patience. Today, I’m going to show you how to skip the salon and still get gorgeous results.

What You Need for DIY French Manicure

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 100% pure acetone: Nail polish remover won’t work. It isn’t strong enough to give you the crisp, clean line you need. Go with acetone – it’s pretty cheap, too!
  • Sheer, iridescent polish: This is optional – you can choose to leave nails bare if you like. I’m using Essie’s Kisses et Bises, but I’ve also used Essie’s Ballet Slippers for a pink, milky look.
  • Top coat: I’m using the top coat from the CND Vinylux range (full review for the Vinylux system coming soon!).
  • White polish: I prefer OPI Alpine Snow, but mine got all lumpy (after like 5 years of use) so I’m using Essie’s Blanc, which is what I have on hand (…literally.).
  • Concealer brush with a curved edge: This is the most important tool, I’d say. Make sure it’s a brush that you no longer intend to use for concealer. This one is the Sonia Kashuk concealer brush, which I like because it’s got densely-packed bristles cut into a soft U shape.

    Steps 1-3

    Here’s what you’ll need to do:

    1. Start with clean nails on a flat, clear surface.
    2. With your white polish, paint the tips of your nails white. Precision does not matter at all! It can be as messy as you like, because we’re going to clean it up later.
    3. You can choose to go in with a second coat of white for a bolder look. If you like it super soft and natural, stick with one coat (or, better yet, a sheerer white polish).

    Steps 4-6

    4. After the white has mostly dried, pour some acetone into the lid of your acetone container.
    5. Grab your concealer brush and dip it in the acetone. Make a fist-type shape with your hand and use the brush to clean up the line. While you’re doing this, you can ensure that the white line has a soft curve to it (the way nail tips naturally do). (Tip: You can also use your acetone-dipped brush to tidy up any polish that got on your skin or cuticles. This is a great tip for regular manis, too!)
    6. Let your white polish dry completely. If you chose to use a sheer iridescent colour or milky pink, apply that to your whole nail.

    Step 7-Fin

    7. Top coat those babies. Now you can go in with some drying drops or cuticle oil. As you can see from my nails, I should have heeded my own advice because the acetone can be drying!

    And that’s it!

    In other news, I got caught up on the first two episodes of Community last night. I have to say, I was worried about this season. Although Dan Harmon’s return was exciting news, Chevy Chase’s departure saddened me, and the news that Donald Glover would only be in a handful of episodes was virtually painful to hear.

    Still, I tuned in. Because I identify with Annie. Because I love Abed. Because Britta makes me shake my head and because Jeff is Jeff.

    And I was pleasantly surprised, actually. I expected it to be a disaster, a desperate attempt to salvage what the show once was. But I liked these episodes better than I liked all of last season. Jeff’s return made perfect sense. Pierce’s absence was somewhat explained. The Dean’s love of Jeff and attempt to learn Excel was delightful, and Abed rescued any potentially-wonky plot points with his delightful meta-ness.

    I cannot wait for the next one.

    (And if you made it through this mammoth post, congratulations and thank you!)

  • Comments

    1. Oh this sounds easy enough and I can do! Thank you for your helpful tips! 😀

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