Reverse-French manicures put twist on classic designPosted on October 2, 2013 | by Brenda Liu
More subtle than a whole new wardrobe but as eye-catching as statement jewelry, a daring manicure can be a canvas for style right at your fingertips. Celebrities and designers alike are known to feature manicures that make highly unconventional use of shape and texture, with some recent trends including caviar-textured or almond-shaped nails. Nail art is one of the subtlest way to try a bold beauty look, and is accessible even to those on a college student’s budget. Among the wildest looks, however, is a high-fashion paint job anyone can do at home — the reverse-French manicure.
Also called the Ruffian for the fashion line that popularized it, the reverse-French manicure features a crescent of the accent color at the cuticle rather than the tip of the nail, and begins with a precise shape. The shape of one’s nails is the frame of the picture, so if the shape is off, the paint will not be as attractive. Stick to a classic square nail shape. Simply file perpendicular to one’s nails until the tip of the nail is a flat line, shaping it in a rounded rectangular shape.
After filing, it’s time to move onto the polish. Always begin with a base coat. It helps fill in the ridges of the nails to provide a smooth surface. A base coat will also prevent staining to the actual nail. The Revlon Multi Care Base + Top Coat (Walgreens, $5.99) will save you money, as it also doubles as a top coat. A slightly more expensive base coat is the OPI Nail Envy line (Walgreens, $16.99), which not only primes but also nourishes the nails, so they will grow faster and stronger.
Once the base coat has dried, paint the desired color of the bottom remaining strip over the entire nail. An extra coat is not required because there will be another color on top. The OPI An Affair in Red Square ($8-$9) can be found either in drugstores or in nearby nail salons.
After the first color has dried, begin to apply the reverse-French design with the second color by painting a half-moon shape at the base of the nail. Paint on enough coats of this color to make it completely opaque. The Essie Beyond Cozy ($8) color is available at drugstores. One can choose to invert the colors for the ring finger, but this is merely preference.
Once the polish has dried, cover the nails with a top coat. One option is Seche Vite ($9.50 at most drugstores), which offers quick drying — however, be cautious of the consistency. You can also use the Revlon Top and Base Coat. Once finished, flaunt your do-it-yourself manicure as a glamorous complement to your fall wardrobe.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 2 print edition. Brenda Liu is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.