Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Bow French Manicure

Are you looking for something a little more exciting than a straight-up french manicure? I found this cute bow nails manicure from Polish and Pearls, and I wanted to try it. Bows are surprisingly easy to make, and they’ll add something special to your look. I love how feminine these are, yet you can play around with the colors you use to complement or contrast that girly vibe. I went with a pumpkin orange and off-white for a classic yet unexpected look.

What you’ll need:

  • Two nail polish colors: I used Essie’s “Orange, it’s Obvious!” and Maybelline Color Show in “Canary Cool” (this one was limited edition, but any off-white will do).
  • A black striper polish, or a black nail polish and thin brush. I recommend a black striper polish because the longer brush will give you a little more control. I used one from Sinful Colors — only $2 at the drugstore!

How to do it:

1) Paint your bases, as many coats as you want. I followed the pattern used in the tutorial: thumb and ring finger one color, and the other fingers the other color. You could change that to every other nail or do all of your fingers the same color!

2) Once your nails are dry, you’ll want to paint a thick stripe of the other color at the top of the nail. It’s easiest to lay the brush down at one end of your nail and slowly rotate your nail, not the brush, to the other side. This helps if your hands are shaky! Don’t worry if it’s still not perfect; the next steps will cover that up. 

3) After that’s dry, paint a thin stripe of black at the border between the two colors. You’ll want these lines to be really straight, so I used the same technique as the previous step: hold the brush still and rotate your nail slowly. To make sure both sides looked even, I started at the other end and went over the line again.

4) Now for the bows! All you need to do for this step is to make two trangles facing into the center. In the original tutorial, she set her bows to the sides of her nails, but I did mine closer to the center.

Starting at where you want the center of the bow, paint a diagonal line up and towards the outside. From that point, paint a line straight down. Finish the triangle by painting a line back to the center. That’s one half done! Repeat in the other direction so you have two triangles facing each other, then go ahead and fill them in. Go ahead and check out Polish and Pearls’ video if you need to see it in action.

5) Let it dry, and don’t forget your topcoat! 

Thanks for reading! Let us know on Twitter or our Facebook page what you’d like to see next.

Colleen is a Creative Writing and Professional Writing double major at Carnegie Mellon University, and will be graduating in May 2014. She is currently the Director of Social Media for Her Campus CMU, and partakes in a handful of other organizations on campus. When she's not writing, she's probably reading or spending time with her residents as an RA in a freshman dorm.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️