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How to Do a French Manicure using Regular Tape

Learn how to do a French manicure using regular tape from Spa Taxi owner Danielle Corbin Jaime in this Howcast nail tutorial.


Now I'm going to show you how to create the same French manicure that you would receive at a salon. Pretty simple, we're going to use regular invisible tape. To start, I recommend cutting all the strips first and taping them to your fingers.

So we're going to use the tape and place it on the nail bed slightly past the free edge so that you can determine where you want your French line to appear. So we're going to put it right here. Okay, you do that to all 10 fingers. You apply pressure. Now you can go in with either a white paint with the stripping brush which is nice and thin and it'll give you more control, or you can use regular white nail polish. We'll use an opaque white so that the color is consistent and opaque at the free edge. Always remember do not apply a thick layer of white because you don't want it to smudge because you're going to go right over it after it dries with a softer color to just soften up the white and make your nail look more natural. I recommend a soft translucent pink or something with a hint of brown, makes the nail look really natural. You can use your judgment when you pick up your polish or what you can do is use clear polish on top or a quick drying topcoat if you're in a rush.

Let's do the line. So the tape is on. I'm going to use a bigger finger so that you can see the line perfectly. Come in and you polish wherever there's no tape. If you get it onto the tape, it's okay because you're going to let it dry completely. Once you get to the tenth nail, these fingers should be dry. You peel off the tape and you should see a perfect line. That'll give you the opportunity to go over it with any one of the softer colors to soften out the white. Now that the nail polish has dried on the free edge of the nail, it's safe to remove your tape. Don't rush when you pull the tape off though because you don't want it to snag or create a chip before you're finished. Lift the tape up on both sides and just slowly peel it off. If you look, you'll see you have the perfect French line just as good as the pros. Use a nice, soft pink. Not too much polish because you want it to be translucent and just soften the white on the free edge. Remember 3 to 5 strokes and try not to go back and forth on the nail because if the white is still a little wet, you may smudge it.

There you go. As an additional option to create a perfect French, you can add glitter to the polish just to give it a little bit of shimmer or to add a little bit of bling to your French manicure that you've created at home with tape.

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