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By Rebecca Mathison, Guest Blogger

I’ve been hooked on french tip manicures since my first one that I got for my junior prom. However, it’s an expensive habit. It didn’t take me long to master giving myself a manicure because yes, I’m that cheap. I’ll share with you all of my secrets for a great at home french tip manicure:

1. Get good polish

You don't have to go to a salon to get a french tip manicure that looks great! (lenetstan/Shutterstock.com)

If you’re buying the cheapest polish out there, you’re setting yourself up for failure unless you only want your nails to last for one day. Since a french tip manicure is kind of a pain to do, I get quality polish to make it last longer. The brand I use the most is Rimmel French White Pro. I love it mainly for the brush because it is extra fine and easy to use.

2. Take your time

It is important to take this process slowly and let your nails dry completely between each round. Your base clear coat, two rounds of white polish, and then your final clear coat need to all dry carefully. Yes, this will take over an hour, so find a good movie and settle in.

3. Lotion up

Put healthy amount of lotion on your hands before you get started and then wipe your nails clean. The lotion will not only make your hands soft, but it’ll make it easier to clean off any remnants of polish that miss the nail.

4. Plan ahead

I’ve come across many situations that pop up during the nail polish process. I’ve learned to always go to the bathroom before I start, get my phone out and have it handy, find the TV remote, have a drink ready, put pets outside, and have a snack that is easy to eat already made. All of these prep steps will help make sure you don’t smudge or chip your nails to tackle common problems.

5. Move one hand at a time

The key to having a straight line when you paint your nails is to keep the hand that is doing the painting still while the hand that is being painted moves. I know it doesn’t make sense, but I promise–that’s how I get a straight line. Using stencils, bandages, and other things to give you a straight line is a hassle and I’ve never had it work as well as doing it free hand.

That’s all I’ve got! Those 5 steps have helped me save a small fortune in manicures over the years. I still go once every 6 months or so to salon, but I generally do my own nails. Hopefully my tips will help you too.

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