8 Fresh French Manicure Design Ideas

French manicures are so glamorous and lovely that they literally go with anything and everything. But did you realize it’s not actually French? It wasn’t invented in France and not even by a French person. It’s impossible to determine who exactly originated it because it seems to date back to the 1800s, but in terms of who coined the phrase, there are two options.

Max Factor (yep, that one) claims he designed it for the fashionistas in Paris in the 1930s.

The original name “French manicure” was developed by Jeff Pink, the designer of brand Orly, in 1978. When he was in Paris he painted the model’s nails and when he came back to the states he started to call it French manicure. They later started marketing French manicure kits. It became very popular after Hollywood started using it for convenience. It takes ages to change nail paint colors on actors so that it complements each clothing change yet French manicure goes with everything. And of course since Hollywood exploited it – it became enormously popular over the world and still remains to this day. Honestly, it’ll probably never go out of vogue.

1. What Is A French Manicure

A French manicure is often done using two colors. One nude or pinkish nude for the complete nail and white to draw the strip at the end of your nail. It’s basically like an exaggerated and more polished version of your actual nail color, but you know, better.

2. French Manicure For Short Nails

Many people think that to receive a French manicure you need to have long nails and that couldn’t be further from the truth. You can completely wear a French manicure with short nails, you just draw the white strip narrower and that’s it.

3. Colorful French Manicure

However, you don’t have to keep to the rules if you don’t want to. You can just take the idea and run with it. People have been doing variations of French manicure but with diverse colors for a while now. You can apply black tips instead of white, or red for a more dramatic look. You can do a different colour tip on each nail for a rainbow effect.

4. Reverse French Manicure

Reverse French manicure is a unique and smart variant on the classic. Instead of painting a white or different colored strip at the tip on the nail, when doing a reversal you pain that line at the root of the nail, exactly under the cuticle. The result is both classy and modern at the same time.

5. Sparkly And Glittery French Manicure

Instead of using white or any different color for the tips you can always go for sparkles and glitter. It’s a great way to make French manicure more festive for a special occasion or a holiday, or just because you feel like it that day. You can do the same with a reverse French too, for a subtle sparkle.

6. Metallic French Manicure

To take your French manicure to a whole new level, why not introduce a metallic shade? You could do the entire nail in metallic and do some black or white tips. Or you could do a matte base and metallic tips. Either way, it’s going to look incredible and you’ll see your friends stealing this idea as soon as you post a snap on Instagram.

7. Dotted French Manicure

This is a great idea if you like patterns. You can either add some dots on top of your regular French manicure or do the dots instead of the classic white stripe. It looks incredibly cute and minimalist, while also providing a unique and fresh angle on a tried and true classic.

8. Ombre French Manicure

For a modern twist and a seamless transition between colors go for an ombre French manicure. It’s very subtle and understated but looks very dainty and beautiful. This is possibly our favorite variation on the classic French manicure because it’s just as natural-looking and versatile but more modern looking and possibly even chicer than the original.