The Expert

Harriet Westmoreland

Meet the super talent behind the French Manicure revival


Contemporary Twist on the Classic

@harrietwestmoreland // Instagram

What led you to becoming a manicurist?

My earliest memory is my grandmother painting her nails every Saturday morning. She would do a natural French manicure, on a slightly longer nail. The process was just so glamorous - she’d be in her dressing gown, with the old-school rollers in her hair, and produce a little pouch with all of her polishes before prepping her nails and painting them. I just remember watching as a child and noting her exuberant mood once she’d finished her beauty ritual. The obsession started from there. My plan was to develop a similar style to hers but no one was executing it how I wanted so I just started doing it myself.  

You’ve built up a high-profile clientele and a collaborative process - is there anyone that you particularly enjoy working with and why?

I love to work with Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley because she’s so interested in beauty. It's so enjoyable doing a manicure for her - she's always asking what the product is, and exploring colours. She’s genuinely interested - it's not a chore.

Chanel Mademoiselle Bath Soap

@harrietwestmoreland // Instagram

@harrietwestmoreland // Instagram

What is a defining moment of your career?

Being able to work with Dior. It’s such an iconic brand that I've always used. I remember buying the lip glosses when I was younger as a treat, and now I get to work with them! When Rosie contacted me in 2021, that was huge too. I was working at a salon in York when she reached out and asked me to come to London to do her nails. She discovered me on Instagram where I love playing with photography, lighting and different backgrounds. The next day she posted a picture! Since then, I’ve been travelling mainly to L.A. and the Middle East, to serve strong client bases.

Westmoreland's Method in Practice

@harrietwestmoreland // Instagram

Westmoreland's Classic French

@harrietwestmoreland // Instagram

How would you best describe the look you create?

Classic, clean, elegant, quite chic, and timeless. The look is not something that goes in and out of fashion - clients ask for it year in, year out.

Why does your take on the French manicure gained a cult-like following?

I think that it’s super wearable and fresh: it’s flattering as it grows out as I match the shade of nude to  skin tone so there isn’t a harsh contrast.

What was it about the French manicure that captivated you?

Going back to my grandmother, that era of beauty is very glamorous. The style originated from the Paris haute couture salons but back then, the style featured a thicker white tip. My making it super thin, it’s more modern and understated.

Tips for recreating a version at home?

Use a really soft nail file, nothing too abrasive or harsh, and just file to a flat  edge and shape soft corners in as you come down the sides. Spend time selecting a base colour that suits your skin tone - I love Dior Abricot as a good all-rounder - and then use a tiny paint brush, the tiniest you can find, for the white tip.

Westmoreland's Signature Tone-Matching Shellac

@harrietwestmoreland // Instagram

Glitter-tip French Manicure

@harrietwestmoreland // Instagram

The rituals you swear by?

Exfoliating the hands and applying cuticle oil is a big one. If you scrub your hands every couple of days, the cuticles will soften meaning that they won’t be flooded when polish is applied. Apply cuticle oil day and night and it will make a huge difference. Treat your hands and nails with care, as you would your face or hair.

What are your go-to products?

For base colour:  Dior’s Abricot base, Shade 500 or Shade 800. For the tips, I would use any white polish that you can find. For hand-care, I adore Dior’s Prestige Exfoliant or Sisley Energizing Foaming Exfoliantfollowed by Augustinus Bader’s Rich Cream, with a few drops of Chanel La Huile body Oil or La Mer’s Renewal Oil mixed in. When your manicure starts to go a little dull, wipe over with some acetone free remover and that will bring some shine back.

Party nail ideas?

A festive glitter tip, either in the style of a classic French Manicure, or a reverse French. OPI’s Be Jewel Be Bold is fabulous.

The beauty staples you’re never without?

Augustinus Bader Rich Cream and Face Oil, a good hair brush and Frederic Malle’s Musc Ravageur fragrance.


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