14 Tips to Get the Best of Red French Tip Nails

Red French tip nails: French ombre nails, also called French fade or baby boomer nails, combine the classic French tip with an ombre-style gradient to create a bright, blended look. They’re great for special occasions, like weddings, school dances or holiday parties, and you can even add fun embellishments like glitter or nail sprinkles. Whether you prefer regular or acrylic nail polish, this look is pretty, eye-catching, and easy to create.

Read on: 11 Tips to Look Good on Pink French Tip Nails

Red French tip nails

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1. Trim, file and clean your nails before you paint them.

Use your clippers to cut your nails to your desired length. Then, buff the top of your nails with a nail file. Next, soak your nails in warm, soapy water for 2-3 minutes before scrubbing them lightly with a nail brush. Finally, use a cuticle pusher or orange stick to push your cuticles down toward your nail bed.

  • You can finish your quick manicure with hand lotion. However, the nail polish won’t stick to nails that have lotion on them, so wipe nail polish remover over your nails before you paint them.

See also: 10 Tips to Look Cute on Black French Tip Nails

2. Apply a clear base coat to protect your nails.

You don’t have to use a base coat, but it will help your nails stay healthy after you apply the polish. Additionally, a base coat will increase the coverage of your polish and reduce chipping. Put on one even layer, then wait 5-10 minutes for it to dry.

Red French tip nails

3. Paint on 2 or more coats of a neutral polish.

Choose a natural or pastel-colored nail polish for your main color. Carefully paint it on your nails in a thin, even layer. Wait for it to dry, then apply another layer. Repeat to make the color more vibrant, if necessary.

  • French ombre nails look best with neutral or pastel colors, like peach, light pink, beige, or light blue. Lighter colors make the fading effect look more natural.

4. Place liquid latex tape around your nail to keep your skin clean.

Apply a thin coat of liquid latex tape all around your nail, reaching down to your top knuckle and around your fingertip as well. Let the liquid tape dry for 5-10 minutes, until it hardens slightly.

  • Liquid latex tape protects the skin around your nail and makes the cleanup process easier when you’re done.
  • If you don’t have liquid latex tape, try placing thin strips of Scotch tape around your nail instead. It won’t be quite as effective, but will still catch some of the polish.

Red French tip nails

5. Apply a thick coat of white polish to the end of a makeup sponge.

Take out a wedge-shaped, disposable makeup sponge and use your nail polish brush to paint a thick, straight coat of white polish on its tip. Paint until you have a strip of white polish that’s as wide as your nail and long enough to cover the tip of your nail.

  • For a glittery look, use a shimmery polish for both the white and colored parts of the ombre.
  • To make sure your sponge is clean before you apply the polish, use a piece of scotch tape to remove any dust or debris. Stick the tape onto the sponge, then slowly pull it off.

Tip: Stick a couple pieces of tape on the makeup sponge before painting it. Peel them off to remove any dust or small particles.

Read on: 14 Tips to Keep Sweet Posh Nails

6. Add your base color to the sponge, overlapping it to create a gradient.

Take out the neutral nail polish that you just applied to your nails. Paint it on the makeup sponge, just above the white polish, then continue down the sponge to overlap the color with the white. Leave a small strip of white untouched, as wide as you want the white part of your nail to be. When you’re done, you should have a strip of white, a blended section, and a strip of your neutral color, creating a fading, ombre effect.

  • Go back with your white color afterwards and mix the colors a bit more, if necessary.
  • Apply the nail polish liberally.

Red French tip nails

7. Dab the makeup sponge onto your nail.

Hold your makeup sponge with the white part lined up to the tip of your nail. Gently dab the sponge against the nail to transfer the polish, tilting it slightly to hit the sides. Slowly move the sponge part-way down your nail away from your tip as the polish layer becomes thinner. Continue dabbing your nail with the sponge until you see the French fade effect.

  • Don’t worry if you get polish on the tape or liquid latex tape around your nail. That’s what it’s there for!

8. Let your nails dry, then peel off the liquid latex tape.

Give your nail 10-15 minutes to dry. The ombre layer isn’t very thick, so it shouldn’t take long. Once they’re dry, peel off the liquid latex tape with a toothpick or a small brush, or remove the regular tape with your hands.

9. Apply a clear top coat to smooth and shine your nails.

Applying with a makeup sponge can give the polish a slightly grittier texture. To smooth it out, make it shinier, and help it last longer, brush on a clear top coat. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes to finish your French ombre nails!

  • For a subtle, shimmery look, use a clear, sparkly top coat.

Red French tip nails

9. Dab white polish onto your nail with a paintbrush, making it thicker near the end.

To start, use an acrylic nail brush to place a dab of white polish on the tip of your nail. Brush it down towards the cuticle, fading from a thick layer near the nail tip to a thinner, translucent layer closer to the nail bed. Use the flat of the brush to shape and press the polish into shape.

Tip: Acrylic nail polish is more difficult to put on and remove, but it lasts longer and looks more professional.

Remember: Don’t apply acrylic nail polish unless you have acrylic nails.

See also: 16 Tips to Open Campus Nails Salon

10. Add your pink or neutral base color from the middle of the nail.

Use a different brush to place a dab of your base color in the middle of your nail. Paint it in a thin layer on top of the white to create a blended color. Thicken the layer as you paint towards the cuticle to make the color more vibrant.

  • Lighter colors create a more natural looking gradient for your French ombre. Try going with a pink, peach, beige, or baby blue shade.

Red French tip nails

11. Apply a layer of clear acrylic polish.

Give your white and colored nail polish at least 10 minutes to dry, or as much time as specified by the manufacturer. Then, use a new nail brush to apply a thin layer of clear acrylic polish on top. Press and shape the polish to your nail as before.

12. File your nails to make a slightly rougher surface.

Run a nail filer over the surface of your nail to make the surface somewhat rougher and easier to seal. Wipe away the dust with a soft cloth afterwards.

Red French tip nails

13. Paint a clear gel top coat on top.

To make your nail shinier and smoother, apply a layer of regular clear nail polish as a top coat. Let it dry to complete your acrylic French ombre look!

  • You can add nail sprinkles or glitter as well. Scatter them on your nail with a brush, then seal them on with a second top coat.

14. Things You’ll Need

Using Regular Polish for French Ombre Nails

  • Clear base coat polish
  • Neutral- or pastel-colored nail polish
  • White nail polish
  • Disposable wedge-shaped makeup sponge
  • Liquid latex tape or Scotch tape
  • Clear top coat polish

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Trying Acrylic Nail Polish for the French Ombre

  • White acrylic nail polish
  • Neutral- or pastel-colored acrylic nail polish
  • Acrylic nail brush
  • Nail filer
  • Clear gel top coat
  • Nail glitter or sprinkles (optional)

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