When you first hear ‘French manicure,’ what do you think? Do you think it came from France? You didn’t come close at your guess. Understandably, French women included, everyone in the world wears the nail trick, and most don’t know where exactly French nails came from. And its name piles up the confusion.
The truth, however, came from Hollywood. Jeff Pink, the founder of Orly is the man at the tail of the traced origin of the French manicure. In the ’70s, in the USA, he made a manicure technique he named ‘French manicure.’ Some sources share a different opinion though.
We will furnish you with the process of making a unique French manicure that everyone, including Instagram, would love. The difference with American manicure has been revisited briefly as well. And the part you will enjoy most: like never before, we have compiled a list of 27 inspiring French nail designs to last you till the end of the year.
Ideas of Inspiring French Nail Designs: Contents
• What Is French Manicure and What Is Its Origin?
• How Is French Nail Design Different from American Manicure?
• How to Do French Manicure at Home
• French Manicure Tips for a Flawless Nail Art
• 5 French Manicure Kits for At-Home French Mani Experience
• 27 Fresh French Nail Designs to Inspire
French manicure can have a nude base with crisp, white tips, or you could design it as a pink, (beige or nude) base tipped with pure white. And you can rock it on almost all occasions. It is beautiful, versatile and easy to make.
French manicure has not been invented in France. Like we said, its origin can be traced to the experiment of Mr Jeff Pink, the founder of Orly.
At a movie set, in the ’70s, the crew would like to change the color of an actress’ nail with each costume change she wore, and Pink found a solution. He created what would be a hot cake of manicure that the world would admire and demand like sweaters in winter. The French manicure is best at that point because it is fast and saves the crew a lot of time.
Some sources have a different story to tell. One says the father of modern cosmetics, Max Factor brought the look to live for the fashionistas of Paris in 1930. Another states the style was first used even earlier than that, as far back as 1800.
French nail designs usually have a solid white tip to a pinkish or nude base. And the nail shapes are usually squarer. It looks more complex.
The American manicure, on the other hand, has a white tip that isn’t solid but faint. The base is usually a cream or simply the skin color. It looks simple with a natural effect.
Like everything you will do to make you look beautiful, it must have a way to improve your appearance. It must, in fact, be safe and give you maximum benefit. Here is the process to have such with a French manicure.
Step 1: Prep Your Nails
• Clean your nails. Use nail polish remover to remove the old nail polish.
• Keep the nails long. French manicures are beautiful when your nails are long. So trim them not too short. Keep them long.
• If you would use acrylic nails (you know, it is more like adding extra length), then you can trim the nail short. The acrylic will add length to it later.
• File your nails to a square or round shape. The edge must be well trimmed and smooth. A nail file is the best tool here.
• Time to soften your cuticles. Pour some warm milk or olive oil or warm water in a bowl. Soak your fingers in it for three minutes minimum.
• Have you done the above? Apply some cuticle oil on your cuticles.
Step 2: Apply Your Nail Polish
You should have a quality French manicure kit to get the best appearance and maximize the benefits. Our list of the best French manicure kits is your friend. It will help, definitely. So pick one from the coming sections and read on.
• Apply the base coat. The choice of base coat that is recommended for French manicure is cream, pale pink, or clear.
• Apply a stripe down the centre of your nail. Follow that with two stripes heading either side. Tilt the bottom of the polish forward; now paint from the cuticle towards the tip.
• Do these to all the nails.
• Add white nail polish. When applying white polish, stop right at the end of your nails’ white. Add the French nail tips choosing the best application method for you (discussed below).
• Let it dry. And add a second layer over the first, if you wish.
• Protect the surface of your manicured nails with a top coat.
Step 3: Adding the French Nail Tips
To add the tips there are different methods. All the methods are simple depending on what is convenient for you. Continue reading to find the suitable method for you.
Method 1: Using a Scotch Tape
For those that are poor painters, use this tape to get a perfect edge and tip.
• Cut a small length of the scotch tape. Place it on your finished nail, leaving the tip that you want to paint. The tape will be used to cover the bottom of each tip you want to paint. It will expose the little part (tip) that you will paint.
• Apply the white polish at the top of your nail. The tape will make the edge of the painted tip perfect and accurate even if you make a mistake.
• Let it dry, and remove the tape.
Method 2: Using a Moleskin Pad
If you want a rounded tip, this is your best choice. Buy a moleskin pad and try it.
• After you finished applying the nail color and it has dried, attach a moleskin pad on your nail. Expose a little part at the top, which is meant to be colored as the tip.
• Paint the exposed part as your tip. Ensure the tip is well painted. If you make mistakes, the moleskin will still make the edge a perfect round shape.
Method 3: Using a Whiteout
A whiteout is like a correction pen, which will prevent mistakes. With the whiteout, your French manicure will have a square and even edge.
When you use it, it makes it easy for you to paint out a perfect tip. So opt for it instead of using a white polish and save yourself a lot of time. It doesn’t really look different after using, so you don’t have to worry.
Method 4: Using a Rubber Band
Although using a rubber band does not mean you will have a flawless French nail art, the odds are higher if you follow the steps.
• Apply a base coat over your nails and let it dry.
• Pick a rubber band and tie a knot at the middle. There will be two loops on either side.
• Put a loop over the nail you are painting and the other loop on the thumb to make it firm and in position.
• Dip the polish brush in the bottle of the nail polish of your choice. Then, paint above the rubber band as the tip.
• Before the polish dries completely, remove the rubber band.
• If there is any mistake, use a top coat to make corrections.
Do you know you can make a nail art over your manicured nails? With these tips, you will come with an error-free and beautiful French nail design.
• A good choice of manicure kit goes a long way. It should have all the necessary tools you will need, including a classic base coat, a top color, etc.
• At every stage, it is important to let a layer dry off before you continue.
• Clean nails to enhance the appearance of your French manicure.
• A good choice of a base color isn’t only pink or cream. Use red, purple, blue, green or any other color that pleases you.
• Go for a white nail polish or a contrasting color for the tips.
• When you want to apply the white tip, you could hold the brush in a hand, and move the hands you want to paint under the brush.
• When you want to paint the tip, make sure it is not too thick.
• After painting your nail with a white nail polish, put a Q-tip inside a nail polish remover to correct mistakes. You could go over the tips with a pinkish silver or any other fun light color.
• Use a cotton swab to apply some Vaseline (or petroleum jelly) on the skin around your nails before your French manicure.
• Do you want the edge of the tips across the nails to look curvy? Cut the tape to possess the desired shape before you apply it to the nails.
• Paint two layers of base coat to prevent your nail from chipping. The first layer will cover the entire nail; the second will be applied at the top towards the tip.
• The polish will dry faster if you soak your nails in cold water after painting.
• Alternatively, you could spray some nonstick cooking spray.
• Use the soft tip of your tongue to correct smudged paint after using dry polish.
• Pre-paint on a sandwich bag. If you are not confident or comfortable making French manicure with designs, you could paint the design on a plastic sandwich bag. Paint the top of the plastic to become thick. Let it dry and then add the design at the top. Let it dry too, and peel it off to glue to your nails with a base coat.
• Apply tiny nail art accessories like rhinestones on your nails with the tip of a pencil eyeliner.
The beauty and duration of your French manicure depend on the product you use and how. Once you have conquered the hoe from above, here is where you should make the right choice. In our simplicity, these are the five best French manicure kits to deliver the best nail appearance.
1. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails French Manicure in Nearly Nude
The necessary items you need come in a single French manicure kit. And they would be there anytime and every time to help you get a beautiful nail appearance. You will complete the use in just two steps, and it won’t chip like those nail kits that have caused you a headache. For the duration, the quality lasts long on your nails. This French manicure get is available now at Ulta Beauty.
2. Ella + Mila French Mani Set
The surface of your French nails will be lively and lovely thanks to this kit. But can it stay in style for long? Like very long? You can get something livelier only if you trust us on this. Buy this French mani set from Target and enjoy a fresh-from-the-beauty-world nail.
3. Revel Nail French Manicure Nail Dip Powder Kit
With this French manicure kit on your table, your mind will be spurred on to act. It is easy, has a unique white and pink paint. You won’t damage your nails. We won’t talk about the look until you try it. A little guess: something like a celebrity. Get this SNS nail kit from Amazon!
4. Sally Hansen Diamond Strength French Manicure Pen Kit in Barely There
It is a time-saving French mani kit containing important tools. The strength isn’t limited to its bright color. It is well developed for home use, which means it is as easy as eating cakes. And it comes with a manicure and pedicure guide that totally simplifies the process. This French manicure kit is also available at Amazon.
5. ORLY The Original French Manicure Complete Kit in Pink
Get this French mani kit from BeautyEncounter, and you will have an amazing base coat, a special white tips lacquer, two mani guides and more. The unique appearance lasts till you get bored or just want a different color. But don’t use it often – you could be asked many times how you get your magical French nails.
These French nail designs come to let your nail look superbly beautiful for every day, as you’ll have a different style per week. Your Instagram page would be filled with likes for sure!
1. Mother’s Day French Nails
This French nail design has a glossy look that does not dull easily. Smooth and elegant, the surface looks something like a glazing effect. What do you expect? It’s adorable. Beautiful. The edges are slightly trimmed to add the dimension you will love.
2. Hardware French Manicure
It has one art-decorated finger out of five, and that is the special, magnetic effect of this French nail design. The nail is adorned with three simple designs of a rose. Looking at its entirety the beauty isn’t that simple anyway. The silver-colored tips make it special out of many French manicure ideas with designs.
3. French Manicure with Silver Designs
The edge is trimmed to become adorable. This French nail design idea speaks more than its design. Across the ring finger nail, there are two decoration lines that are divided and brightened with another city-like design.
4. French Manicure with Half Moon Design
The shiny surface is pink. At the root is a silver designed half moon nail art that says a lot about classic fingers. The edge is captivating with the tiniest curve. If you would like a day with the tremendous amount of appreciation, then try the white tips and the whole of this French manicure. You won’t be spared for a minute.
5. French Nail Design with a Twist
Black designed manicure can be unique after all. Perhaps it’s because of the pink paint that is bounded by black tips. Or it is because the ring finger is entirely black and matte. Well, overall, it is a special French nail design you should try.
6. Bunny French Nails
We don’t know about you but this is a special style of a French nail design. We mean you will design a hare on the nails of the ring finger. At the tip, you will make the white have an extra curve. And you’ll step those fingers outs for us all to admire.
7. Flower-Covered Gel French Manicure
This French nail design has a more natural look. The surface paint looks similar to the natural color of the nails. But it is special because of the flower design on the fingernails. It is a design of petals and it’s classic.
8. Almond-Shaped Raven French Nails
This French manicure took simplicity to its peak. With a pink surface finish, the tips are sharp round to make outstanding white tips. One thing is certain; the outline was excellently styled. It is simple and suitable for a good day off.
9. Short French Manicure with Gloss
The ring finger has two vertical lines down the length. Between these beautiful white lines is a busy nail art designed. It has a deep touch of silver. With a pink nail finish, the white is bright at the tips, and the overall French nail design for short nails is bright.
10. French Nails with Rhinestone Details
The pinkish surface in this French nail design appears in a simple form. The smoothness shines brightly. The tips are a little wider than your typical tips. One of the fingers is endowed with miniature art accessories. They blend so well that you will want to add it to more fingers.
11. Minimalist Styled French Manicure
With some faint touch of black flower design, these French nails look simple but beautiful. If you are the type that wants a brilliant style that is yet simple, try this pink appearance and marvel your world.
12. Princess-Approved French Nails
The medium style is recommended for sparkling nails. The surface is glossy to touch and glistening to eyes. The ring fingernail is styled with a silver rhinestone art at the cuticle – small, but beautiful.
13. French Crown Manicure
Look at the tips of the nails and see a thick finished tip. The coast was layered to effect. In an excellent craft style, some of the nails are styled in half, leaving one side plain and the other busy. One side has a dotted design of art, the type that earned about a thousand likes on Instagram.
14. French Nail Design with a Metallic Touch
The French manicure is like a simple camouflage. Talk of being an excellent master – the designer switched the color of the tips to silver-stained on one of the fingers, and that spells the beauty of it. Try it, as this French nail design looks different on different types of pen.
15. Camouflage Diva French Nails
The style just has a slight difference from the previous. It adds a busier design to the ring finger than the previous. The beautiful strips of this French nail design stand out on the hand like a queen among the fingers.
16. Nail-Tail French Manicure
Do you like a sophisticated French nail design? This is it. The design is a little complex and would involve expressing a certain level of attentiveness. Well, looking at the final product, it is well worth it. The unique design does not appear on all nails, just your thumb and the ring finger – any other one you want.
17. Crystalline Monogram French Nails
The edge is typically trimmed close to a square shape. The pink top coat appears to flourish, then a white art finish is done on one fingernail, and it makes it to our list. This French manicure consists of simples dots craftily spread over the nail to make an inspired design.
18. Snowflakes-Style French Manicure
This French nail design has a luxurious appearance that says a lot about you as a lady of class. Imagine the little finger being covered in a silver art design, and the sparkling finger having a somewhat golden finish. Although the finish is simply glossy pink, the art is sumptuous and will not go unnoticed.
19. Ballerina French Nails
If you love white, this is the style that fits you. And you will get something extra that says a lot. On your ring finger add an art design that is styled out masterfully with some black color in relation to the white. It produces a flower design.
20. Black Jacket Royal Monograms
Here is something for your short nails (it doesn’t mean you can’t try it with long nails). Like the common style, the surface is finished with pink. You work the tips with a black color. Finish this French nail design off with black over pink nail art – the design of a tree on selected nails.
21. French Manicure with a Sunflower Design
If light purple interests you, then you have a choice. The white tips thin out at the edge in a beautiful design. The nail art, however, chooses an entirely different color: black and ash. The bottom corner of the art is total dark, while the rest (ash) is styled to be a sunflower.
22. White Rectangles in the French Style
This French nail design has details that aren’t flashy. The designs are made on each nail and comprise a square shape of white polish over the finished surface. It is quiet. And if you don’t want to call so much attention to your nail art but the glossy look, then do this.
23. Daylight French Nails
Some French nails are classic, some are loud and some are simple. But there are some that are in between. They complement you and your love for simplicity. Here, the color is simply pink, the length is moderate, the tip is white, and a simple vertical golden design appears on the ring finger.
24. Kingdom Perfect French Manicure
You see the French nails radiating a shiny appearance with just three colors. The thumb, index finger and the little finger are made of pink and white tips. The middle finger and the ring finger are made to glow in a silvery appearance.
25. Jeweled Pink French Manicure
For short nails, this French manicure style has a unique color that blends with your skin tone if you are white. It has a jeweled nail on one of the finger. It is beautiful and radiating a shiny look.
26. Korean Style French Manicure
Not necessarily Korean. The dark tips make this French nail design special, just as the pink surface. If you look across four out of the fingers, the black tips are followed by pink layers, then a thin white line runs below the pink. And that is not something that catches our fancy. The ring finger is even more special with the black colored ‘X’ design.
27. French Nails with Dyed Cuticles
Here you have a nail art that dyes the lower end under the cuticle. First, it is simply pink, then it is blessed with beautiful flower designs that make us say ‘waoh’. And the tips are wider to enhance the stunning appearance – some black, others simple ash.
Photos via Instagram