French Tip Nails: A How To Tutorial for Beginners - (2024)

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French Tip Nails: A How To Tutorial for Beginners - (1)

French Tip Nails aka a French manicure, is a sophisticated and timeless nail design. Invented to mimic the look of healthy, natural nails, this style uses a nude nail and a white tip to create its clean and natural appearance. From everyday wear to special events, the French manicure is the perfect and classy look. In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll walk you through the process of creating French Tip Nails at home.

Materials Needed:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Nail File
  • Nail Clippers
  • Buffer
  • Base coat
  • Sheer pink or nude nail polish
  • White nail polish or French tip polish
  • Nail guides, precision brush or striping tape (optional)
  • Top coat
  • Cotton swabs or precision brush
  • Nail polish corrector pen (optional)
French Tip Nails: A How To Tutorial for Beginners - (2)

Step 1: Prep Your Nails

Start by removing any existing nail polish using a gentle nail polish remover, like Cutex.
Next, trim and shape your nails to your desired length and shape. Gently buff the surface of your nails to create a smooth canvas for the manicure.

Step 2: Apply Base Coat

Apply a thin layer of base coat – we recommend the OPI Natural Nail Base Coat & Top Coat set for the cost savings over buying them separately. The base coat’s job is to protect your natural nails and ensure a smooth application of the nail polish. Allow the base coat to dry completely before moving on to the next step. Read 25 Reasons Why A Basecoat is Important for Nail Health, for more.

Step 3: Sheer Pink or Nude Polish

Choose a sheer pink or nude nail polish like OPI’s Bubble Bath as the base color for your French manicure. Apply one or two coats, depending on the opacity of the polish, ensuring that you do even and smooth application. Allow the base color to dry thoroughly.

Step 4: Create the White Tips

Now it’s time to create the iconic white tips of the French manicure. You have a few options for this, but we will cover the two most common beginner options here:

  • Freehand: Use a steady hand to carefully apply white nail polish to the tips of your nails. Start at the center and work your way to the sides.
  • Guides or Tape: Place nail guides or striping tape just below the tip of your nails, leaving the tip exposed. Apply white nail polish to the exposed tip and remove the guides or tape while the polish is still wet for crisp lines.

Step 5: Perfect the Lines

If needed, use cotton swabs or a precision brush dipped in nail polish remover to clean up any uneven lines or excess polish around the edges of your nails. This step helps achieve a polished and professional finish.

Step 6: Apply Top Coat

Once the white tips are dry and you are satisfied with the overall look, apply a clear top coat to seal the manicure. Top coat will also add shine, and enhance the longevity of your French nails. Allow the top coat to dry completely.

Step 7: Final Touches

For a flawless finish, use a nail polish corrector pen or a precision brush dipped in nail polish remover to clean up any small imperfections or polish that may have gotten on your cuticles.

French Tip Nails: A How To Tutorial for Beginners - (3)

Final Thoughts:

Congratulations! You’ve successfully created a classic French manicure at home. With practice it will be easy for you to re-create this look more quickly.

If you want to switch things up, try the latest craze in French Tips; Black French Tip Nails. You can also experiment with different shades and enjoy the versatility of the French manicure for a sophisticated and chic nail style.

Why Are They Called French Tips?

The French manicure was invented by American entrepreneur, Jeff Pink in the early 1980’s. Pink was a cosmetic supplier working on a film set, when the director got frustrated. He was frustrated by the amount of filming time being lost due to stops for hair and makeup.

In particular, the director felt too much time was wasted waiting for actresses nails to be repainted and dried for every wardrobe change. Pink came up with what he called the “natural nail look” as a fast solution to the director’s problem.
His idea was a success. But it didn’t go viral until Pink, looking for a trendier name for his nail design, re-named it, calling it a “French Manicure.”
Nowadays, we focus on the main feature of Pink’s design – the white tips. So, the French manicure, became French Tips for short!

French Tip Nails: A How To Tutorial for Beginners - (2024)


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