How to Do Metallic French Tips
A french manicure is a classic and versatile look for both everyday events and special occasions. Commonly known as a clear or opaque nail with a white tip, the style of french manicures has shifted to include a multitude of colors from bright neons to soft pastels. The current trend, however, is metallics. These glittery tones add a touch of drama to the traditional look and can be dressed up and down as you like. All you need is a bit of manicure tape and patience to recreate your own metallic tips at home.
Cleaning Up Your Nails
Remove nail polish and clean your nails.If you are wearing nail polish, make sure you first remove it completely. Take a cotton ball or pad and apply a small amount of nail polish remover. Press the pad onto your nail for a few seconds, then wipe off the polish until it is complete gone. Make sure to clean under your nails, as well. Try using a nail file or manicure tip to remove excess dirt.
- Wash your hands thoroughly when you are done.
Cut and shape your nails.It's important to have all your nails relatively the same shape and size. You can have either square, oval, rounded, stiletto, almond, or even lipstick shaped nails. Try going off of your current nail shape or whatever works best for your everyday routine. For example, if you are constantly typing, you may want to avoid a long, stiletto nail as it can make using a keyboard difficult.
- Once you cut the nail down with clippers or nail scissors, use a nail file to shape and smooth the edges. Slide the file in one direction across the top of your nail. Moving the file back and forth in a sawing motion could damage your nail.
- Keep the length close to your regular length as well. Working with longer nails can be difficult to adjust to if you don't usually have them.
Push back your cuticles.Use a cuticle pusher to gently push your cuticle down and away from the surface of your nail. Then trim any loose bit of cuticle with cuticle scissors. Be careful not to cut your nail bed or your finger!
- You can also use your cuticle scissors to trim hang nails.
Apply a base coat.To keep the color lasting longer, apply a base coat before you start painting your nails. This will help prevent chipping, splitting, and peeling in the future as it fortifies the nails. It will also help stop the nail polish from staining your nails and fingers.
- Make sure to wait 3-4 minutes for the base coat to dry before you apply your color.
Applying the Metallic Tip
Paint your base color.After your base coat has dried, paint the entirety of your nails one color. Try a soft, opaque pink like Essie’s Fiji or a matte Silver. You can also go for a matte gold or peach nude. These colors work well in contrast to a metallic tip. Start in the middle of your nail and apply the polish in three even strokes. Don't worry if this isn't enough, you can paint over any uneven areas.
- Wait 5-10 minutes for your nails to dry completely.
Decide on the width of the tip.Do you want a thick stripe at the top or a thin one? There is no wrong choice for a French manicure. However, current fashion trends promote a thinner line for the tip. Use the length of your nails to decide. If you have short nails, then a thinner line is better. Longer nails can handle a thicker stripe.
- If your base coat is translucent, then you should make sure that your tip color covers the entire white part of your nail that extends past your fingertips.
Apply manicure tape or painter’s tape.Once your nails have dried, take a thin strip of manicure tape or painter’s tape and place it where you want the base of your metallic tip to be. Try to get these lines as straight as possible. You also want to make sure that the space between the tip and the manicure or painter's tape is approximately the same for each nail.
Paint the tips of your nails.Apply your metallic nail polish to the tips of your nails. Try a shimmery, metallic gold or a cool, metallic silver. Don’t worry if there is a bit of overlap onto the tape, as you will be removing it later. However, be careful not to paint over it onto the other side of your nail as this can be difficult to fix.
- If you don't want to wait for the tips of your nails to dry, you can also try using metallic foil to coat your tips. Simply apply foil glue to where you would normally paint the nail. Then press the metallic foil to that spot and hold for a few seconds before removing it. The color will stay on the nail.
- Wait 5-10 minutes for your nails to dry.
Finish with a top coat.Once you are satisfied with the color and look of your nails, use a top coat to finish them off. Similar to a base coat, a top coat helps set and protect the color. Not only will it add a little bit of durability to your nails, but it will help keep them looking beautiful longer.
Play with the design on the tip.Just because it's a french manicure doesn't mean you need to be restricted to the one line at the top. Try doubling up! For example, put a gold metallic stripe across your tip and then a matte gold stripe directly beneath it. You can also divide the lines on your tips in half. Try painting one side a metallic silver and the other one bright white.
- You can also work with geometric shapes. Directly under the stripe on your tip, paint a line of upside down triangles. You can do this with manicure tape just like you painted the original stripe for the french manicure. Just make sure everything is dry before you put the tape down.
Try some sequins or jewels.A small pack of nail beads, jewels, or sequins only cost around five to six dollars on Amazon and last a long time. Simply apply the jewels or sequins with tweezers and nail glue. You can also attempt to place them while the polish is still wet. Try putting a jewel in the center of your nail where the line for your base coat ends and the stripe across your tip begins. You can also add sequins to the base of your nail.
- For example, gold and silver sequins or diamond jewels would be a great contrast to the metallic tips on your nails.
Add nail stickers.If you aren't confident in your painting skills, try using nail stickers to add designs. These can be cut down to any size you need and only require you to peel and apply them. Try black and white polka dots or gold stripes. You can even use floral designs, leopard prints, camouflage, and plaids.
- Be careful not to overdo it with nail stickers, though. You want the metallic tips to shine on their own, so try only applying stickers to one or two fingers on each hand.
Create a half moon manicure.The half moon manicure is like a reverse French tip. You apply color to the top of the nail and let the base coat show at the bottom. To get the look, you can create a half moon at the bottom of your nail by placing a French tip guide sticker over your base coat just above your cuticle. Then apply your metallic polish to your nail. Remove the French tip guide to reveal a half moon manicure!
- If you'd prefer, you could apply the metallic nail polish beneath the guide sticker over your cuticle to create the half moon, leaving just the base color on the rest of your nail.
- You can also use reinforcement stickers, which are the white circle-shaped stickers used on hole-punched paper, as guides for your half moons. These are available in the office department of your local store or online.
Video: New Year Metallic French Manicure - Natalie's Creations
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