The Quintessential French Girl Manicure: A Quick Lesson in How to Achieve It With Tom Bachik

French girl beauty is all down to its deceptive laissez-faire approach. Hair is air-dried or slung in a seemingly thoughtless ponytail, skin is dewy and largely untouched (save for a dusting of blush, a red lip, or a flick of eyeliner), and nails are clean and, most importantly, chic. Fortunately, achieving an air of done/undone is a possible feat when it comes to your polish job. So if you’re aiming to elevate your manicure mode, look to celebrity nail artist Tom Bachik, who took to Instagram to school followers in the art of the “French Girl Mani,” as worn by Michelle Williams at Sunday’s Critics Choice Awards.

Photo: Courtesy of Tom Bachik / @tombachik

To begin, Bachik recommends a meticulous manicure, which is a first-step mandate for any of his noteworthy nails and one that honors your nail’s natural shape while promoting a modest length. After prepping your hands (and indulging in a round of moisturizing and massage), ensure nails are primed for a new hue with a swipe of 90% alcohol, followed by a protective and smoothing base coat. Two thin, even shades of Chanel Les Vernis Longwear Nail Color in Pirate provide a pitch-perfect red that’s then set (after fully dry) with a thick finish of the brand’s top coat.

“Lastly we finished off the mani by rehydrating her cuticles using L’Huile Camēlia Hydrating and Fortifying Oil to keep the skin as rich as her nails,” captions Bachik. The takeaway? An understated shape and a classic shade are obvious essentials—but for Bachik, grooming (well-tended nails and sumptuous skin) are the keys to a truly timeless French girl manicure.

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