When to use traditional and reverse L&P French techniques
Q: When should I use traditional and reverse L&P French application techniques?
There are so many liquid and powder (L&P) French manicure application techniques but I’ve found some clients are better suited to one than others.
The traditional style of French application uses the three-zone method – starting with a bead at the white free edge, followed by a second bead in the stress area (known as zone two) and a third at the cuticle. However, there are a few things you can do to perfect this technique.
When applying the white bead, angle your brush so the bristles are pointing up when you’re pressing the product out as this ensures the smile line area stays thick and the free edge thin. Creating this structure with your brush also means less filing later.
To create a crisp smile line, use the point of your brush to sweep from the centre to the outer corners, then tuck the product in at the smile line as it polymerises. Although a fan of this technique, I’ll admit that it only suits those who have long nail beds with no imperfections, clients with short nail beds will find it much less aesthetically pleasing.
For those with short nail beds, the reverse application technique is a dream come true, but it takes practice to get right. It involves bead application on zone two first and then the cuticle area, before finally applying the free edge bead.
To achieve the perfect application, use an opaque pink polymer at zone two and blend it towards the cuticle. Then, apply a translucent pink at the cuticle area to create a more natural effect and prevent an obvious line when the extensions are growing out. You should file the product at the smile line before applying the free edge bead to get a crisp line.
Using opaque polymers will mask any imperfections on the nail plate and can be extended past the client’s own free edge to create the illusion of length.
Carrie-Leigh Allen is educator for professional nail brand Artistic, an award-winning nail tech and qualified FE lecturer.