Thought you couldn’t get a french manicure because you have short nails? Think again. Short nails don’t often appear in the stunning nail art designs on Pinterest, but this doesn’t mean they can’t take the spotlight. Whether you’re in the stage of growing your nails out or you just prefer shorter talons, turning a standard french mani into a soft gradient can look so much better on short nails.
The french manicure gradient works well on shorter nails as there isn’t a sharp white edge that shows where the nail bed ends and the nail tip begins. It gives the illusion that the nail tips are longer as the white tip gradient fades.
To achieve this look, you’ll first need to use a good-quality base coat like Essie Grow Stronger Base Coat ($9) and then apply a light pink or neutral color like Essie Skinny Dip ($9) as a base color. Once dry, take a makeup sponge and begin layering the pink and white, such as China Glaze Cabana Fever ($7), onto the sponge, overlapping a little. Sponge off the excess onto a piece of paper, and begin dabbing onto the nail. You’ll need to build up a few layers until you get the gradient effect. Once completely dry, use a supershiny topcoat like Seche Vite Fast Dry Topcoat ($10), and there you have it! This manicure requires a lot of clean-up, so I’d suggest using a liquid latex tape ($9) designed for nail art to protect the cuticles.
Read on to see how other nail artists have created their own french manicure gradients to find inspiration for your DIY manicure.
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