Health Lifestyle

The French Manicure, 10 Ways to wear It

(Courtesy of Instagram)

The look had a brief hiatus sometime in the mid-2000s, but the latest incarnations are a far cry from the thick, angular acrylics of decades past. Rose petal decals, Mondrian outlines, and checkerboard accents offer new ways to wear a French manicure right now.

Understated Stripe

Courtesy of instagram @naominailsnyc

It is a subtle way to update the French manicure. After your white tips are dry, under line each with a stripe of nude and finish off the look with a clear topcoat.

Floral Decals

Courtesy of instagram @nataliepavloskinails

An easy addition to the French tip? Decals. After creating the traditional look, layer a thin coat of clear top coat. While tacky, gingerly set your design and press down. Finish with a topcoat to secure.

Mondrian Outlines

Courtesy of instagram @nail_unistella

Focus on this manicure's ring finger. The white tip is lined in black for a graphic, Mondrian-esque design.

Oil Spill Tips

Oil Spill Tips Take the oil spill nail trend to another level by applying the foil just at your tips, leaving the rest of your nail bare.

Courtesy of instagram @paintbox

Take the oil spill nail trend to another level by applying the foil just at your tips, leaving the rest of your nail bare.


Courtesy of instagram @mpnails

For this checkerboard nail, start with a classic French tip. Once dry, apply black boxes to create the design and finish with a clear topcoat.

Mint Fade

Courtesy of instagram @palemoonseattle

This nail artist combined a mint French tip with an ombre fade. No matter what colors you choose, always start with your lightest shade first and give yourself ample time for each coat to dry.

Double Lined

Courtesy of instagram @aliciatnails

This minimal nail updates the French tip with the simple additional of a corresponding middle line. For that section, mimic the curve of your tip to get the cleanest look.

Freeform Details

Courtesy of instagram @nailsbymii for @vanityprojects

For a quirkier French tip, freehand your design all over like this mash-up of grapefruits, watermelons, and '80s motifs.

French Fade

Courtesy of instagram @sohotrightnail

Apply the concept of French manicure—white tips with a nude base—to the ongoing ombre trend. For best results, apply the two polishes on a makeup sponge and continuously dab onto the nail. Finish with a topcoat.

Micro Details

Courtesy of instagram @krocaine

Bust out a thin brush to paint micro details to the base of your nail for a playful design. This back-to-school manicure by nail artist Kro Vargas features a yellow bus, a pencil, and a teeny tiny chalkboard.