DIY Nails for the Frugalista – Tips & Tricks for French Manicures
Beauty really can be expensive. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a salon and gotten my nails done, only to have them chip the next day. Not to mention the cost!
Recently, I discovered how easy it is to do french manicures at home using just a few simple tools. I learned how to apply ombre manicures and save money on my nails.
There’s no special equipment needed; all you need is nail polish remover, cotton balls, clear polish (if you want), white polish, and a light pink polish (I use Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in “Blushed Petal”). You also need an emery board or nail file.
This is what your supplies will look like:
First, remove any old polish with the remover and cotton balls. If you don’t have any old polish on your nails, skip this step.
File your nails into a nice shape; it’s best if you file from the edges toward the middle of your nail in one direction so that you don’t weaken your nails. Don’t file too aggressively though because this can also weaken them!
This blog post will give you tips and tricks on how to apply ombre manicures. Ombre is a nail color technique that gives your nails a faded look. Ombre is the French word for shadow or shade. The tutorials below show examples of ombre in both traditional and unexpected colors, for example pink to green or red to white.
I do not like the ombre techniques that require the use of tape to protect the area around your fingernail. I find it easier to apply polish to my fingernails and then clean up with a brush dipped in nail polish remover after the polish has dried. If you are uncomfortable painting your nails freehand, stick with using tape!
I have had success using both regular and professional grade nail polishes for this technique. Professional grade nail polishes from brands such as OPI, Essie and Opulance usually cost $8 – $10 per bottle and are available at salons and beauty supply stores like Ulta and Sally Beauty Supply.
Ombre nails are really trendy right now, so I thought it would be fun to show how easy and cheap it is to do an ombre French manicure at home. If you’ve ever done a French manicure before, this is literally the same thing, just with more polish! The steps are simple and there’s not too much room for error. If you mess up a little bit, just touch it up with your regular color and go over it with the ombre color again.
– Nail Polish Clips
– Small Nail Polish Brush
– Your Favorite Nail Polishes (I used Essie “Chinchilly” for the base coat, OPI “Samoan Sand” for the tips, OPI “Cosmo with a Twist” for the ombre color)
1) Start off by clipping your nails and filing them into shape. Next, take your base coat polish and paint each nail individually. Allow 20 minutes for each coat to dry.
2) After your nails have dried, take your nail polish that you want to use for the tips of your nails and paint from the bottom of each nail to about halfway up each nail.**
What is an ombre manicure?
In a traditional French manicure, the tip of the nail is painted white to create a clean, elegant look. The ombre look varies this concept. It goes from white at the tip of the nail to a different color at the base of the nail. It gives an interesting and artsy effect that still has that polished, clean look.
Here’s how you can do it at home!
I’m a frugal person. I try to keep myself up on the latest trends. For example, right now ombre manicures are all the rage. I know not everyone can afford to drop $20-$30 every time they want their nails done. So I decided that I would become my own nail technician and blog about it!
Some of you may be wondering, what is an ombre manicure? An ombre manicure is a 2-tone manicure which gradually changes from one color to another.
Typically, the lightest shade is used for the tips of the nails, and the darker shade for the base of the nail.
In this post I’m going to show you exactly how to do a french ombre manicure using only two colors. You can apply this same technique with any colors that you choose.
The first thing that we need to do is apply a base coat. After applying your base coat, paint your nails with white nail polish. This is going to act as our base color.
When I say “white” I mean that in general terms. You can use any color that complements your other colors, but typically you would use a white or nude colored nail polish as your base color.
Paint your nails at home and save money from expensive nail salons. Learn how to apply a French manicure using the following steps:
1. Use a base coat, preferably one that will protect your nails from yellowing and chipping. This step is crucial, because it acts as a protective barrier for your nails. Without it, the polish will stain your nails permanently.
2. Paint your nails with two coats of white polish. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next layer.
3. Using a makeup sponge, dab on a light shade of polish on the tip of your nail and blend it into the white polish. Make sure that you don’t use too much polish, or else you will have to remove it and start all over again.
4. For darker colors, use a deeper shade of polish and apply it at the bottom portion of the nail. Blend this color towards the middle part of your nail where the lighter color ends and repeat if necessary until you are satisfied with the result.
5. Let dry completely then apply a clear topcoat to prevent chipping and yellowing.