Top of the Tips – French Manicure hacks.

‘Ello my loves!

Yes, another nail polish post for you all. I love painting my nails, I find it relaxing and I always feel like I have got my s**t together when my nails are freshly painted. My favourite look right now is a classic french manicure, or french tip, whatever you know it by.

However, you may or may not have realised that whilst I love being all girly from time to time and doing typically girly things, I SUCK at it from time to time too. I am a total fidget bum, impatient and get bored easily, so general nail care common sense goes completely out of the window when it comes to me.

Let me know if you’re the same. Is it just me? I just hate sitting still and waiting for my nails to dry, or I’ll think they’re dry and the sneaky polish will trick me and just wrinkle straight on up! I guess it’s all a learning curve.


Here are 3 of my most frequently used tips and tricks that I have found over the years. These often help me to achieve french tips when I’m being lazy, impatient or do not have the time, funds or effort levels needed to go out and buy all the bits and bobs.


1. You don’t need that pink base.

Most french manicure kits come with a pink or “natural” base colour. Eh. Who needs a base colour? I’ve got perfectly good actual nails sitting on the end of my phalanges. I find just giving my real nail a good buffing, taking care of my cuticles (and giving them a gentle shove downwards) and then applying a good, clear base coat, actually looks more natural and the colour matches my skin too!

In some cases putting on a coloured base coat in order to hide the natural line between your nail and nail tip is needed and if that’s the case, feel free to use a coloured base coat. It’s up to you, but don’t let those little kits fool you into thinking you HAVE to use it. Use it if you want to, they’re your nails and you know what you want and what looks best (and what you can bothered with!)

2. You don’t need those little stickers either!

All you need is a steady hand and a good sideways swipe. If you run out or don’t fancy using the nail stickers/templates, that’s ok! I have found that (with a bit of practice) if you get a good amount of polish on the brush, take your time to line up your starting point properly and then swipe horizontally across the tip of your nail, you achieve a perfectly acceptable straight line. Once you feel comfortable going free hand, you can introduce the slight curve that the stickers give too.

If you do still want to use the stickers, which is more than ok, but don’t have any to hand, it’s no secret that using half a ring reinforcement sticker does a similar job and for a fraction of the price! See, stationary doesn’t just make your desk look pretty!

3. Cheat it a little!

I cheat the edges on my french tips. As I rarely use a bottom colour and just a whack on a thin base coat, once the tip colour is tacky and very nearly dry, I nudge any obviously wobbly edges into place using another clean/dry nail. That way you can neaten up that line. Also, a thick, heavy duty top coat also helps to blur the sharper edges that doing that might bring about… I did it in the picture above!

4. Don’t be afraid to get a little jazzy!

You don’t have to stick to white! You don’t even need to stick to a clear base coat. You could have red nails with gold tips for a bit of Gryffindor sparkle (yes, I went there) or go for natural nails but with a bright blue tip and glitter! It’s entirely up to you. Just don’t feel that you have to stick to the traditional design to get a cool or pretty looking french tip!

If I’m feeling particularly fancy I attempt a falling glitter look. Originally I followed a super easy Youtube tutorial by szuchnic, which I will link/put below for you, but after I watched it I just did my own interpretation of it with the polish I had to hand. It looks rather snazzy if I do say so myself!

Here’s her super simple glitter, gradient nail tutorial:


Have fun guys and I hope this helped!


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