How to Paint a French Manicure With Guide Strips

Written by cyndee kromminga
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Painting your nails with French tip guides is an easy way to achieve a French manicure. This classic manicure is popular for its versatility, perfect for both everyday occasions and elegant events. Even people with very short nails can adjust the guides to give the shorter length they desire, which is useful for typing or working with young children.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • French tip nail guides
  • White French tip polish
  • Nail base polish
  • Clear top coat
  • Nail polish remover
  • Orange stick
  • Polish remover pads or cotton balls
  • Emery board

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  1. 1

    Remove any existing polish from your nails. This will also help rid your nails of any oils that may prevent the nail guides or polish from sticking. Make sure there is no residue left on your nails from the polish remover pads or cotton balls.

  2. 2

    File your nails and shape them using an emery board. Wash your hands to eliminate dust residue from the emery board. Dry your hands thoroughly.

  3. 3

    Position the nail guides across the nails, with the nail edge extended beyond the nail guide. Press the nail guide firmly into place across the nail and into the side creases.

  4. 4

    Paint the tip of the nail beyond the top edge of the nail guide with the white French tip polish. Apply the polish evenly. Allow the polish to dry thoroughly. Carefully remove the nail guides.

  5. 5

    Dip the end of the orange stick in the nail polish remover and clean any excess polish from the skin.

  6. 6

    Paint the entire nail with a thin coat of the nail base polish. Allow the polish to dry completely. Repeat the nail base polish and again allow to dry completely.

  7. 7

    Apply a clear top coat to seal the French manicure. Allow the clear top coat to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • It is tempting to forgo the top coat, but not recommended. Applying a top coat will allow your manicure to last days longer.
  • A broken nail can appear the same length as the other nails simply by painting its tip the same length as the others.

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