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This TikTok Nail Art Stamper gave me the perfect French manicure

Thanks to this $6 beauty tool, I’ll never pay for a French manicure again.
Three images of Writer Cailey Rizzo using a nail polish stamper
TODAY Illustration / Courtesy Cailey Rizzo

Whoever said that “nothing worth having comes easy” obviously hasn’t spent hours skimming #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt videos.

If you regularly peruse the beauty side of TikTok, you may have seen an unbelievably clever manicure hack taking over your For You page over the last couple of months. (I know I have.) Dozens of videos show users applying nail polish to a silicone "stamper" and pressing their fingers into its jelly-like pad, only to pull away and reveal a perfectly shaped French tip — seemingly instantly.

It’s one of those mind-blowing tutorials that’s simple enough to arouse suspicion. Are they lying? Could it really be this easy? And if it is, why have we all been struggling with guide strips or expensive salon sessions when we could have been doing our own French manicures — in just 30 seconds, no less?

Obviously, in this case, seeing wasn’t quite believing. So, I decided to try the stamping technique myself, using a super affordable tool from Amazon.

BlueZoo Nail Art Stamper

Salon-quality results without salon prices

The first step is to find a nail stamper. Shockingly, you can find these things everywhere — making me wonder even more how I hadn't come across this beauty hack sooner. The one I used rings in at less than $6, making it one of the cheapest ways I've found to fake a salon-quality manicure at home.

For my first nail design, I wanted to try something a bit more modern than a traditional French. So, I decided on painting my nails clear and using the silicone stamper to create a bright red tip. However, I didn’t immediately feel confident diving right in.

I watched beauty YouTuber after beauty YouTuber review the hack and collected a few tips — like how to clean the stamper between uses and to use gel polish rather than "regular" to create a cleaner line. After picking up a bottle of Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel in Rhapsody Red, I got to stamping.

I painted a few strips of the bright red polish onto my stamper, then held my breath as I stuck my nail into the silicone.

Image of Writer Cailey Rizzo using a nail polish stamper
If there's one thing I know for sure, I won't be paying for a French manicure ever again.TODAY Illustration / Courtesy Cailey Rizzo

Practice makes perfect ... French manicures

The first thing I should note is that there is indeed a learning curve to this hack. Perhaps it will be intuitive for you, but it took three tries, or fingers, for me to even begin to understand how the stamper worked. At first, I couldn’t figure out how much of the paint transferred. I didn’t know which angle to go in at, or if it would be easier to just roll the stamper across my nail.

It took almost two full attempts (about 15 nails) to figure out my own personal method, which depended on the length of my nail and the style I wanted to achieve. I discovered that I liked the result best when I used only the slightest of touches. You don’t need to jam your nail into the silicone, let it sit in the polish or roll it around. Quick, targeted applications tended to produce the cleanest lines. And although that knowledge was hard-won, once you learn how to use the tool, the process gets much easier.

This hack is fun and addicting!

Once you master the stamping French technique, you’ll wish you had more than 10 fingers so you can experiment with even more nail designs. The process is insanely addictive and genuinely fun.

If you're trying this beauty hack for the first time, make sure to have nail polish remover at the ready. Unless you're an experienced nail stamp user, have very long nails or have a grip as steady as a surgeon's, it is inevitable that polish will get everywhere. (The shorter your nails, the messier the process.) After your stamp is complete, you will most likely have to clean up the surrounding skin with a Q-tip and some acetone. But the results are so cool, and the process so cheap and easy, that it’s nothing more than a slight bother.

The bottom line is: TikTok got it right once again. A French manicure for less than $6 — and without going to a salon? That's definitely worth having, and it doesn't hurt that it came pretty easy.

For more TikTok beauty products we're loving, check out:

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