How to Get the Perfect Gel French Manicure At Home: Step-By-Step
Time to read 8 min
Is there a more classic or timeless look than a French mani? We don't think so! If you want to recreate this OG nail design, we've got a simple step-by-step guide that'll make it easy to get the perfect gel French nails at home.
A French mani adds a healthy glow to your nails, and it's the perfect nail set for either your casual everyday mani or a more special event.
With multiple looks achievable, from a classic pink and white French mani to bright and bold-coloured French tips, this look suits everyone and is always on trend.
What is a French Manicure?
A French manicure is one where the tip of your nail is painted a different colour to the rest of your nail bed.
Traditionally your nail bed will be painted a sheer nude or pink shade, and then the tip of your nail will be painted with a pure solid white polish.
Depending on the shape and length of your nail, the tip can be just a thin straight line along the top of the free edge or a more curved line starting from the nail walls and mimicking the naturally rounded shape of the top of your finger.
And you don't have to be a pro nail tech to do these nails! One of the reasons they're so popular is because they're really easy to do yourself. You just need a few basic Mylee gel polishes and nail tools and our step-by-step guide on how to do French tips at home.
What You Need to Do Gel French Nails At Home
Before you get started, you should make sure you've got everything you need.
- Mylee Wooden Cuticle Pusher Stick
- Mylee Cuticle Nipper
- Mylee Nail Buffer Sanding Block
- Mylee Half Moon Nail File
- Mylee Nail Prep Dehydrator
- Mylee Base Coat Gel Polish
- Mylee Pro LED Lamp
- Mylee French Manicure Gel Polish Duo
- Mylee 7mm Ultra Fine Brush
- Mylee No Wipe Top Coat Gel Polish
- Mylee Sweet Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil
Make sure you have everything on this checklist, and then you're good to get started on creating your French tip gels.
How To Do the Perfect Gel French Tips At Home
French tips aren’t hard to do, and everyone can create a French mani right at home.
Depending on the length and shape of your nails and what products you have available, there are multiple methods for achieving this look, but we'll take you through the easiest way to get the perfect French manicure with our handy French nail polish kit.
Step 1: Start by Prepping Your Nails for Gel Polish Application
Start out doing all your regular nail prep getting your nail beds ready for the gel polish.
Use a wooden cuticle pusher to gently push your cuticles back, and trim the dead white skin with the Cuticle Nippers.
Shape your nails using a Half Moon Nail File, using sweeping motions in one direction for the best finish.
After shaping, use the Buffer Block to buff the surface of your nails, creating a grippy surface for the gel polish to adhere to. Be careful not to buff too roughly, otherwise you might end up damaging your natural nail. You want just enough to create a dull, matte finish.
Apply a coat of Nail Prep Dehydrator to each of your nails to remove any oils and dirt from your nail bed.
Step 2: Apply a Gel Base Coat and Base Colour
Take your Base Coat Gel Polish and apply one layer to your nails, making sure to coat the entire nail. Cure this under your Mylee LED Lamp for 30 to 60 seconds to set the base.
Then you can paint the base colour for your gel French Nails. Use the So Nude Gel Polish from the French Manicure Duo and paint one layer onto your nails. Cure under your Mylee Lamp once again.
Add more layers if you like a more pigmented look, curing with your lamp in between each coat for the correct amount of time.
Step 3: Paint the French Tip
Now, you can use Break The Ice from the Duo to create a thin white line on the edge of your nails – the French tip.
We recommend using our 7mm Ultra Fine Nail Brush to draw on the tip for the most precise line, but you could also use the brush from the gel bottle if you wish.
Dip the 7mm Ultra Fine Brush into your white nail polish and draw a smile line on the tips of your nails, taking care to keep the line neat and tidy. It might help to rest the side of your hand on your work surface and use a slow gliding motion to draw the line. You can also draw a straight tip if that's your preferred French tip.
Once you're happy with your linework and don’t want it to smudge, you can flash cure under your Mylee LED lamp using the 15-second timer. After that, fill in the end of your nail with the white polish and cure for another 30 to 60 seconds.
Have you seen the French nail hack using a silicone stamper to apply your coloured tip?
Check out this reel to see the technique in action!
Step 4: Apply Your Glossy Top Coat
When you've cured your gel French nails, apply a coat of Mylee No Wipe Top Coat to seal in your mani, once again curing under a Mylee Lamp.
You could apply two coats if you want extra shine and lasting power, just make sure to cure in between!
Step 5: Apply Cuticle Oil to Your Nails and Cuticles
To finish, apply a healthy amount of Sweet Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil to your nails and massage it into your fingers.
This will l leave your cuticles feeling healthy and nourished.
What are the Different Types of French Manicures?
The classic French mani (like the one we've detailed above) enhances the look of your natural nails, where your nail bed is a neutral colour showing your skin tone through it, and the tip of the nail as it grows is a sheer white.
However, there is nothing to stop you from breaking the mould and going wild with your French designs.
Coloured French Tips
We've been seeing lots of variations and takes on a classic French mani, including a coloured French tip.
French Tip Nail Art
You can also add nail art to just the tips too! A tortoiseshell French tip is the perfect autumnal nail look!
Reverse French Manicure
You could even go wild and do a reverse French manicure, and instead of painting the tips of the nails a different colour, you paint little cuffs around the curve of your cuticle a different colour.
Micro French Manicure
One that has been all over TikTok is the micro French mani, which involves creating a classic French tip but with a tiny, cute French tip.
Again, you can keep it classic with a white tip or try out different Mylee gel polish colours.
Short Nail French Manicure
Gel French nails even work well on short nails and can create the illusion of longer nails.
Simply adjust the size of your French tip to suit shorter nail lengths – a micro French mani will work well here!
Finishing Up: Creating the Perfect Gel French Nails With Mylee
Whether you're going for a classic French manicure, trying out the trendy micro French nails or creating your own twist, our gel polishes will give you the perfect salon-worthy finish every single time.
Our gel polish formula lasts up to 3 weeks with no chipping or denting, so you can achieve a professional-looking mani right at home.
Plus, we have all the nail tools you need for prepping, creating and caring for your nails, so you can start creating the perfect gel French nails today.
Don't forget to tag us in your Instagram photos so we can see all your Mylee French manis!
Can I Get a French Manicure with Short Nails?
The short answer is YES! It doesn’t matter how long your nails are, you can still achieve this look. For shorter nails just paint a very thin french line along the free edge of your nail.
How Do You Take Off a Gel French Manicure?
If you have created your French manicure using gel polish, you can remove it the way you’d usually remove your gel. Simply buff over the nails to break the seal, soak a cotton pad in Gel Remover or 100% Acetone, and place over the nail bed. Wrap the pad around your nail plate using some tin foil and leave for 10-15 minutes. Remove the wrap and gently scrape off the polish using a gel scraper or wooden cuticle stick.
How Do You Do a French Manicure without Guide Strips?
Our 7mm Ultra Fine Nail Brush makes it really easy to create French tips - it's the perfect thickness for that thin white line. Just dip the brush into your white polish and draw the smile line on using a slow gliding motion. The key is to be slow and steady for the perfect line! Wrap the pad around your nail plate using some tin foil and leave for 10-15 minutes. Remove the wrap and gently scrape off the polish using a gel scraper or wooden cuticle stick.
What is the Most Flattering Shape to Use for a French Manicure?
You can either go for a curved tip or a straight tip. A curved tip is more traditional and mimics the natural shape of your nail bed, while a straight line looks cleaner and sharper. We think a curved tip looks best and can actually give the illusion of elongating your nails, so it's a really good choice if you have short nails.