We all love a bit of pampering, and having perfectly polished toenails can make you feel instantly more glam. The only issue is the salon cost of a pedicure!
If you love the French manicure look, but can't afford to pay someone to do it for you, then DIY with these simple steps.
Start by removing any existing polish with some nail polish remover.
Gently push your cuticles back with a wooden cuticle stick, and (if you have a cuticle trimmer) trim them to tidy up.
Carefully cut your toenails, making sure to cut them straight across (not following the curve of your toe - to prevent ingrown toenails), and file to remove any sharp edges.
Wipe some more nail polish remover across the nails again to remove any residue from the nail filing.
Now it's the exciting part!
Put some toe separators on, and take a clear base coat and paint one layer on to each toe nail - you can use a pale pink/cream polish, but I've found that a clear polish shows up less as your nails grow out - and your nail bed has enough colour going through it naturally to look a slight pink colour anyway.
Allow to dry, and get a white polish - then, carefully start with your big toe, and swipe a line straight across the top of the nail. This can be as thick or thin as you like - but don't worry about the polish going on to your skin - obviously beauty therapists are trained well enough that they can do this without the polish touching your skin, but I've been doing this for years and have always had perfect looking toenails, so don't worry - we will remove it from the skin later.
Go over the line of white polish as many (or as little times) as you need to until it is how you'd like it. If this is your first attempt then don't worry if it doesn't go how you'd like it to - just remove all polish on that nail and start again - working one nail at a time allows you to focus completely on that one toenail before moving on to the next - allowing you to perfect it.
Paint this white stripe on the tips of all toenails - and note that this might take a while - I've been painting my toenails French manicure style for 10 years and still allow at least an hour and a half to do this whole process - I see it as a little 'me time'.
Allow the white polish to dry thoroughly - the excitement to get the shiny top coat on and admire your work will make you want to rush, but if you put a top coat on too soon then you'll smudge and drag the white polish down the toenail, ruining all of your hard work. I normally allow about 30 minutes for it to dry, so sit back and relax.
Once dry, paint a coat of shiny top coat onto each nail - and don't worry about the fact that you've got more white polish on your skin than on your toenails!
Once the top coat is completely dry, pour some nail polish remover into a small bowl (or to save my dishes, I use the lid of the nail polish remover bottle). Then take a cotton bud, dip it into the nail polish remover, press gently against the side of the dish/lid to ensure the cotton bud isn't dripping, and carefully dab onto the polish on your skin. This step shouldn't take too long - just ensure that you're careful not to let the cotton bud touch onto the nail, as you'll ruin your French manicure.
If you're struggling to remove any white polish from your skin because it's so close to your toenail that you're worried about accidentally wiping some off your toenail, then gently press down on the end of your toe - the part that you would stand on if you were a ballerina en pointe - and that will slightly pull the skin down and away from the nail edge, allowing you to remove the polish without worrying about touching the nail.
Your French manicure is now complete! The final step is to take some time to admire your work, and remind yourself how much money you've saved by doing it yourself!
I think that saved money should go towards a gorgeous new pair of shoes to show off your perfectly pedicured toes!
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