French Manicure & Artistic Creations Instructions
Where nails encounter design. Where hands convey art.
Twist open your Base Coat. Glide and imagine. Dip and realize. Shine with Delight.
Whether doing a design or a French Manicure, it’s important to create the base ‘canvas color’. Choose your underlying color from your Ellie Nail Dipping Powder Kits. This is the color that forms your ‘canvas’ that you’ll build on (Canvas Color). You can choose any color. Or you might choose to go with Crystal Clear – Build It to highlighting your natural nails. You can choose to let your natural nail color shine through but add a bit or shimmer and sparkles with Clearly Sparktacular as your underlying Canvas Color. Get inspired by our gallery and from magazines and Instagram.
Apply a thin 1st Base Coat to 3/4 nail plate – away from the cuticle.
a) Tip: We suggest that you seal the very tip of the nail during the dipping process by lightly stroking a small amount of Base Coat under the leading edge of the nail and dipping. This helps with water resistance and we find that it typically extends the time between applications. Make sure you do this lightly so as not to trap too much Base Coat and powder under the nail.
b) Dip your nail in your Canvas Color.
c) Tap off the excess powder.
d) Wait a few seconds until the combination Base/Powder is half dry, then brush off any excess powders to preserve your Base Coat Brush from contamination.
Because Ellie Nail Dipping Powders and Liquids are RAPID DRYING formulations, there is absolutely no need to wait to apply the next layer. Just make sure your brush off any excess powder between coats. Your nails don’t have to be all one color! Simply dip into whatever colored powder jar you like as you work through your Artistic Creation application nail-by-nail. You can reverse colors, make a geometric design, pick an accent nail, and/or make tips or areas of white, silver, or any color in the rainbow too.
Apply a 2nd Base Coat to the entire nail always keeping a hairline away from the cuticle, and dip into your Canvas Color. Make sure you examine your nails from the first dip to make sure you cover areas that you might have missed. This is easy to see.
Now it’s time for your artistic flair. You can use several methods to create your designs. If you are doing a free-hand design, simply paint your Base Coat on the area you want for your Accent Design Color and dip. Tap off excess powder, wait a couple of second and brush of the remaining loose powder. The possibilities are endless! Repeat this step twice regardless of the method you choose to get the color vibrancy you desire. Great ideas: You can actually:
a) Paint a design with any regular nail polish too. Remember to wait until it FULLY DRIES before going to the next steps.
b) Use glitter. Simply put A Base Coat on your nail and sprinkle glitter. Tap the glitter down before/as the Base Coat dries to avoid filing through any glitter later.
c) Use stickers, embellishments, or rhinestones by placing a small amount of Base coat on the nail then sticking the element to the Base Coat.
d) You can layer you design by starting with your Canvas Color. Then add an Accent Color or design element. Now add another Accent Color, polish, or elements. Limitless possibilities!
e) Here are some tried and true methods for creating professional looking designs:
f) French Dipping Tray: French Smile Lines in any color are hot! You can do a single Smile Line, or add a double line by layering. We highly recommend a French Dipping Tray (Purchase HERE) for amazingly easy results. Simply add powder to the tray. Apply Base Coat to the end of the nail and place you fingertip into the tray. Stop dipping at the line level you desire taking care to get a similar tip dip length on all nails. You want a thin Smile Line Tip? Apply a thin sweep of base. A more substantial Smile Line Tip? Apply the Base Coat so that it extends further down the tip. Tap off excess. Let dry for a few seconds and brush off any loose powder. Repeat the dipping process for every nail twice. Use the same process when you add a double Smile Line but only dip once for each color, otherwise the tips become too thick.
How to Use a French Dipping Tray Note
We suggest that you practice this process without Base Coat on all fingers)
Lift lid off container.
Pour powder to indicated line.
Gently shake container from side to side to level powder.
Put Base Coat on as much of nail to allow Smile Line to form.
Keep finger straight and place on finger guide.
Steadily push container forward to obtain desired French Dip Smile Line curve.
Remove finger and tap off excess powder. Repeat for other fingers.
g) Use a rubber band to create Smile Line or Horizontal Lines: Stretch a rubber band around your nail having the band form a Smile Line or Horizontal Line. Apply Base Coat to the portion next to the rubber band. Carefully remove the rubber band and immediately dip. The secret to a professional look is making sure you get a similar tip length on all nails. For the second coat, simply paint over the tip you’ve created and use it as a guideline. No need for the rubber band on the 2nd coat.
h) Free Hand Designs: This is the most difficult method and takes a steady head! However, this method is preferred for more modern looking French designs like the Angled French or Almond French – especially if you are doing these in different colors than a Classic French. You’ll also choose this to create abstract or unique free-hand forms. Place your hand firmly on a non- moving surface. Apply Base Coast to the portion of your nail for your design in the collor of your choice. Apply Base Coat to add more design features/areas. Dip Immediately. Tap off excess. Let dry for a few seconds and brush off any loose powder. Repeat the dipping process for every nail adding colors and elements until you get the look you want.
i) Follow a template: You can draw your design with Nail Polish or Nail Polish pens and cover with Crystal Clear or Clearly Sparktacular to add Shimmer. Or you can draw with a pen (like a sharpie), then use that pen or polish line as a guide to paint your Base Coat to form your design. Remember to cover the line so that the tip color will cover it. This process is fabulous for any designs that are abstract or when you are great at painting but not so great at getting the Smile Line right. For the second coat, simply paint over the design element you’ve created and use it as a guideline.
j) Use Scotch Tape or Moleskin Padding: You can use tape or moleskin padding to form any lines or designs, and this can provide great results. Make sure you press the tape firmly onto the nail to avoid bleeding. Cut small lengths/pieces of the scotch tape to make your design. Have these ready for all nails. The tape will be used to keep expose the little part (tip or design element) where you want Base Coat and Powder applied. Remember… You need to remove the tape or moleskin padding IMMEDIATELY after applying the Base Coat and before dipping. This will keep results at their optimum for this method. If you don’t do this, the tape will get stuck and be bonded onto the nail when the Base Coat dries. For the second coat, simply paint over the tip you’ve created and use it as a guideline. No need for tape on the 2nd coat.
k) Moleskin Pad Reverse Designs: Because it’s a bit thicker than Scotch Tape, you can use Moleskin Pads for reverse designs. How? You cut out a moleskin element/shape (heart, star, circle, triangle, etc.) and place it firmly onto the nail. Apply Base Coat so everything except the moleskin element, remove the element, and dip. This will make your Canvas Color be ‘covered’ except for what was under the moleskin element. The results: Your Canvas Color is the exact shape of element, much like a cutout.
l) You’ll notice that after you’ve added design elements, these are now ‘higher’ than the rest of the nail’s surface. The rest of your nail, especially between design areas, needs to be filled to level the surface of the nail. Now you are going to finish by building the remaining portion of your nail by adding adequate Base Coat and Ellie Nail Dipping Powder to level this out. Luckily, the formulations level out beautifully. You can choose to use Crystal Clear – Build It powder so that your design elements are crisp through the clear coating. Or you can do a look where the elements are muted by adding Nature’s Pink. Or choose Clearly Sparktacular to add a bit of shimmer and pizzazz.
m) Artistic manicures are beautiful when your nails are long or short. If you are going to keep the nails long, you have to make sure to build adequate structure using the Crystal Clear – Build It powder or by building up your base with your Canvas Color prior to adding design elements.
- Apply Base to the portion that needs filled, dip into your fill/leveling powder of choice. Tap off all excess powder. Wait a few seconds, dust off the remaining powder. Repeat for all nails. Important: Repeat until your nail is level and any low spots are ‘filled’.
Repeat the dipping process for every nail, building the look and structure you want. Multiple dipping ensures fuller coverage and a stronger finish for a chip-resistant manicure. If you especially desire extra strength or structure, you can repeat the Base Coat and dipping process adding layers for durability, support, and structure up to 5 times. Why would you consider this? Perhaps you have nails that are thin or brittle. You may have decided to add length with longer tips and need the additional support, etc. Perhaps you have ridges that you want to fill. All of these can be accomplished by layering.
If you don’t want elements embedded into the Canvas Color or build up, you can also apply any nail art accessories like rhinestones on your nails with tweezers or other tool prior to applying a final clear Top Coat. That would be a final decision after you nail is ‘full’ but before moving on to the Top Coat.
After you are satisfied that your nail is ‘full’ and you’ve added any other raised design elements, continue with Step 4: File & Shape and Harden in the General Application Instructions.