Oh la la – how to achieve the perfect French manicure!

The French are synonymous with style and class, so it comes as no real surprise that a French manicure is largely regarded as trés chic.

Admired the world over, this classic look - with bright white tips and soft pink tones - accentuates the natural colour of nails for a healthy, glossy and natural looking finish.

The key to a French manicure’s beauty and its enduring popularity, surely lies in its simplicity. But just how easy is it to create the look yourself?

Here the manicure experts at the Semilac Shop, share their secrets to help you achieve French manicure perfection.


6 tips to achieve a stunning French manicure


#1 – get squeaky clean

Starting with a clean and clear nail plate is essential for any manicure, but it’s particularly important for a French manicure.

Always take care to fully remove your old polish and all traces of any previous colour. The purity of the look you’re trying to achieve will be spoilt if there are signs of your last shade colour lurking around the edges of your nail (worth remembering here that using a base coat helps to avoid staining and make colour removal quick and easy).


#2 – shape up

Long, short, square or stiletto, the good news is that a French gel polish manicure works on any nail shape or length, so you’re free to pick the style that best suits your nails. Just be sure to shape them before your get started. 


#3 – take care

A French manicure draws attention to your hands, so the last thing you want is unruly cuticles or dry looking skin. As part of your manicure routine, tend to cuticles and apply a moisturising lotion to replenish your hands – just remember to wipe the surface of your nails before applying your gel polish otherwise the added grease will prevent it from adhering properly (read our blog on nail primers, to find out more about preparing your nail plate).  


#4 – cheat

Worried the white tip of your French manicure will look like it was applied while under the influence? Wobbly lines are not a good look. So what can you do?

The easiest way to achieve smooth, sleek tips is to cheat by using special nail strips. These stick to the nail, acting as a stencil to guiding your strokes and preventing you from going off course.

No strips? Try using an ‘X’ stroke. Rather than attempting to cover the tip in one movement, brush your white gel polish on in a shorter (and therefore smoother) stroke from each side of the nail towards the centre, allowing them to connect in the middle.


#5 – use quality French gel polish

Even with the steadiest of hands, you’re only as ever as good as the gel polish you use. So be sure to pick quality French polish, such as those offered as part of the Semilac range - chip-resistant, smudge-resistant and famed for their durability.


#6 – don’t forget your layers

Whether it’s your base coat, finishing top coat or layering up your colour to achieve the ideal shade of pink, don’t cut corners and miss out stages. And be sure to cure each layer fully in between applications for a flawless finish.


Want more bling?

Keen to up the glamour ante? A French manicure provides the ideal canvas for nail decorations. Try adding gems for extra sparkle and personality - perfect for special occasions and weddings (check out our silver horseshoes and mini silver hearts, you’ll love them!).


Buy your French manicure supplies today

At the Semilac Shop, we stock a fabulous range of Semilac gel nail polishes. Pick your own combination or go for our French colour set which includes 3 gel polishes  - white, pale pink and milky beige.

Don’t forget you could also put a 2021 twist on your French manicure with a pop of colour in place of traditional white tips – check out our full colour range for inspiration. And with orders over £20 qualifying for free UK delivery, there’s even more reason to experiment.

For further information or advice on perfecting your French manicure skills, be sure to get in touch with the team.