To achieve a salon look this is what I do:
Have cleaned conditioned nails, and file them into a square tip, I feel this look is more salon like for the French manicure. Make sure your nails are smooth and free from previous nail polish or marks.
I get tape (not duct or anything to strong) and cut it to fit below the tip where where the French tip starts leaving the end open for the nail polish to go on. The look has a slight curve so cut the tape that way. When putting on the tape press firmly on the edge where the polish will go. Do one hand at a time.
Then take white nail polish or whatever color tip you want and apply to the tips. Let dry and reapply making sure the second coat is completely dry before the next step. Do the other hand the same way.
Next, take off the tape from each nail and for any mess use a Qtip or small thin brush with nail polish remover to clean up the nail. Rinse it off and dry your nails.
Last, take your clear polish, top coat, and polish over the whole nail let dry and apply another and dry.
My nails looked terrible and one day I bought this dish soap for sensitive hand Sunlight Sensitive Dish Soap with aloe and vitamin e and washed dishes as usual and after about 2 weeks I noticed my nails were growing and not peeling or chipping. If you don`t do dishes by hand you can do this by soaking your finger nails in it with part warm water everyday a couple of times a day for 5 to 10 minutes and see if it works for you as well.