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What is a good technique for polishing a French manicure on toes?


What is a good technique for polishing a French manicure on toes? I seem to make a mess and can’t get a thin, white free edge.


I do French manicures different than most techs and it’s just something I’ve done since beauty school. Instead of swiping the polish from one side of the nail to the other, I brush it on from the smile line down to the free edge. I start the first stroke at the smile line in the center of the nail. Then I gradually stroke the polish in the same manner to the left sidewall. Then I repeat this process over to the right sidewall.

For a French pedicure, I have the client place the bottom of her foot on my knee, with her toes angled upward. That way I can comfortably fit my hand under her foot. I always work from left to right, so as not to move my hand over the freshly polished toes and risk smudging them. That means I begin polishing on the client’s pinkie toe, working over to the big toe. Then on her other foot I begin on the big toe and work my way over to the pinkie toe.

I do the base coat first, then the soft light color, then the white smile line, followed by the top coat. Afterwards I clean up the polish off the skin by dipping an orangewood stick into acetone (no cotton on the end of the orangewood stick since it tends to get fuzzies on the polish). Jill Wright is the owner of Jill Wright’s Spa for Nails in Bowling Green, Ky.

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