Who doesn’t love a good DIY mani or pedi? As relaxing as appointments at your go-to salon can be, the convenience of doing your nails in the comfort of your own home is unbeatable. But even those who regularly manicure their nails themselves will tell you that certain designs can be super intimidating to attempt.
With the French manicure, in particular, the curved tip can make or break the entire look. If your goal is to create crisp, clean lines, it can be tricky unless you’re a pro with an incredibly steady hand — or have this little trick up your sleeve.
Thanks to everyone’s favorite resource for beauty hacks (that would be TikTok), the code to getting the perfect at-home French manicure may have finally been cracked. Say hello to your new BFF: the silicone nail stamper.
Since beauty hacks can be hit or miss IRL (did anyone else struggle those little tip guide stickers?), Bustle chatted with Lexi Suga, nail artist and owner of Notox Nails, to find out if silicone nail stampers really make it easier to get flawless French manicured tips without an appointment. Below is a breakdown of everything you need to know.
How Do Silicone Nail Stampers Work?
Let’s start with the basics: the nail stamper going viral is a rounded piece of silicone (usually clear) encased within a plastic holder. According to Suga, it’s used to transfer polish onto the tip of the nail and using it is actually pretty simple.
First, Suga says to swipe on a base coat to prep your nails for the color. Next, grab the shade you want on your tips and paint a thin layer onto the rounded rubber end of the tool. Then, you’ll want to push the tip of your nail into that polish on the stamper at a 45-degree angle, and pull your finger straight back in the same direction. (Suga explains that this is why the base coat step is crucial; the polish starts drying seconds after it’s applied to the stamper, so it gives the tip color something to stick to.) Apply a top coat to seal everything in and you’re finished.
To prolong your new French mani’s tips and overall wear, she says to reapply the top coat the next day and again a few days after. “This will help to keep your manicure shiny, prevent chipping, and add to the longevity of your design,” she says.
How Do You Fix A Mistake?
You might feel pressured to get that curve just right — but mistakes happen. So no worries if you blunder the color transfer. “French tips are more forgiving than you think,” says Suga.
If you found that the color didn’t transfer the way you imagined, she says to use a rounded brush dipped in a little bit of nail polish remover (too much might take off the base) to clean up the parts you don’t like. If that still doesn’t do it, then you might need to start over. But that would probably be okay too. The process is so simple that it won’t take long to redo — praise be.