Gelish French Manicure

This is the easiest way I have found to achieve a nice French Manicure with Gelish.  I do skip a few steps in my instructions below such as the prep so be sure to read my full guide on how to apply Gelish polish if you’re new to gel polish manicures.

Gelish French Manicure - Step 1

Step 1: (After applying your foundation of course…) Freehand paint the tips of your nails with a white polish. I used Gelish Sleek White here.  Paint from one side to the other and don’t be afraid of getting polish on your fingers – we’ll clean that up next.  Gelish French Manicure Step 2

Step 2: Dip a brush in alcohol or acetone and use it to clean up your lines and to remove any excess polish that got onto your fingers. Once the tips are nice and clean, cure the polish in your UV light. (Remember to do the clean up BEFORE you cure!)  Gelish French Manicure Step 3

Step 3: This is what they look like after curing. If you like you can now apply a coat of sheer polish over top of your french tips, or you can simply apply your Gelish Top It Off and cure them in the UV light again.  Gelish French Manicure

Ta da! I added a layer of Champagne which has a nice light shimmer, and then completed the manicure with my top coat.  Gelish French Manicure  Gelish French Manicure with Lace Stamp

And a bonus! I added a lacy stamp to the tips.  (This pic was taken in natural light the following day)

Polishes and tools used for this manicure:

Gelish Sleek White polish
Gelish Champagne polish
Konad stamp plate M57
Konad stamper
Konad black polish

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19 Responses

  1. Tishana says:

    That’s Perfect! I still can’t get a perfect french mani on myself and have been using Gelish for a year! LOL I can do all kind of art designs but french manicure NO WAY!

  2. Tam says:

    I love your designs!! Where do you get stamps like these beautiful lace ones?

    • Andrea says:

      Thank you, Tam! I buy most of my nail supplies on The lace stamp is Konad plate M57. I added links to the tools that I used at the bottom of the post. :)

  3. Janet says:

    What brush do you think works best to clean the smile line before curing.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Your information is so helpful and the nails are beautiful ! One question – will cleaning up the line with acetone remove the foundation layer?

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks, Tiffany. It doesn’t remove the foundation as long as you don’t let it soak too long. You can also use alcohol for the clean-up.

  5. Julia says:

    What would be your other color recommendation for the top coat without glitter?

  6. Michele says:

    I might just be brave enough to give this a try! Thanks for the tips.

  7. Mal Timmons says:

    Helloooo….does 1 coat of white cover?

  8. Rosie says:

    I have a problem doing my nails because I have such shaky hands (tremor due to medication even though I am 34). I can’t seem to clean up the “smile line” well enough with a brush. At Sally Beauty I bought a package of French Manicure guides. They are little crescent-shaped pieces of tape. I use an orange stick to press them down well along the tips of my nails, paying special attention to the cuticle area at the side of each nail. If you don’t press the tape down, the white polish will seep under and it will look terrible.

    I apply the Foundation coat and cure it in my UV lamp. Then I apply the crescent-shaped guides as described above. Then I just paint on one coat of Sheek White and cure it in the UV lamp, leaving the crescent guide in place the whole time. Apply your second coat of Sheek White and cure. After your white tips are done, carefully peel off the crescent guides. If there is tape residue, clean it off with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol.

    Then I do one or two coats of a sheer color (cure after each coat with the lamp). I love Bashful, Izzy Wizzy, or Simple Sheer. Then you do the Top It Off, cure it, and you’re done. I love Simple Sheer, does anyone know of a sheer gel polish that has a little more pink than Simple Sheer?

  9. krankenheim says:

    I just wanted to let you know that you’ve referred to the light as a UV light. Gelish, the polish you mention, is actually a LED polish. Even the light you’ve pictured is an LED light.

    I wouldn’t normally comment about this but your readers are probably here to learn about how they can do gel manicures at home for a fraction of the salon cost. You mention UV four times, including your tags. I’m taking time to write this because of the misinformation in your post because I genuinely want folks to have the correct information and do gel manicures at home on the cheap!

    **First of all! This has nothing to do with UV! It’s LED! The differences are major!!**
    **UV is the “old” method of curing UV polish. LED is the newer, and most efficient method.**

    Other major differences include, but aren’t limited to:

    UV lights are more affordable, however, LED lights are going down in price and are becoming more widely available to the public.
    UV lights are always plugged into a wall socket and have bulbs that need to be replaced on a regular basis.
    LED lights can be battery operated or can plug into the wall.
    The bulbs in a LED light never need to be replaced.
    Curing time for UV is two minutes UNLESS the LED light, like the one above, is battery operated.
    Curing time for LED lights are 15-60 seconds, depending on the type of LED polish and light used, as well as manufacturer’s instructions.
    UV lights can cure both LED and UV polishes.
    LED lights can ONLY cure LED polish.

    As you can see, the differences are a pretty big deal and readers shouldn’t be needlessly confused. I’m sure it’s just a mistake but it’s the type of mistake that can cause a reader to wind up spending money on the wrong products.

    On a side note, wall plug in LED lights are more efficient than hand-held, battery operated LED lights, resulting in a longer lasting gel manicure. LED gel polish is expensive. It makes the best economic sense to purchase a wall plug-in LED light. While the handheld version can certainly cure LED polish, it cannot properly cure it. There is a difference! Plug in models can be found as low as $30 for the Red Carpet Manicure version, sold at Ulta and other beauty retailers. The Sally Hansen, Harmony Gelish, and other handheld lights just aren’t worth wasting polish on.

    *CHEAP TIP!*

    You don’t “need” LED polish at all! It’s common practice to use LED base coat, two coats of your favorite REGULAR polish allowed to dry, and finish with LED top coat – curing with your LED lamp when necessary. Beyond Polish . com offers the best prices on LED polish, as well as top and base coats. I highly recommend Lechat Nobility LED top and base coat. They are only $8.95 for a full .5oz bottle. This is full sized, not a mini, as so many manufacturer’s are currently selling at exorbitant prices.

  10. Jess says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Is there a way to apply two tones for a French manicure with the Gelish system? I tried adding one color, curing it, then adding a second color and using the acetone to clean it up, but the acetone messed with the color I had already cured. Do I need to let the first color cure longer? Could I potentially put the foundation back over the first cured color and then add the second? Any ideas?

    Thanks for your help!