A classic French manicure is arguably the crème de la crème of nail designs, the gateway style into the nail art world. These days, the traditional technique (which actually isn’t French at all) that typically involves a neutral pink base and white-accented tip has taken on new life, with artists and influencers replacing that sliver of white with vivid colors and fun patterns.
Enter: the colourful French, a new way to channel the classic design’s minimalism with a twist. Whether your shape preference is square or almond, you can dress up your tips with alternating shades of neon or opt for mixed marble accents (a favorite among celebs like Kylie Jenner and Lizzo). If you’re in the market for a new design, we rounded up some unique French manicure ideas to to jazz up your fingertips, ahead.
When your manicurist tells you to pick a colour and you can’t decide on just one, go for a few of your favourite shades and ask for a different hue on each finger, like Polish artist Nails By Paulin did here.
Pastel-toned tips are even more seasonal when decorated with cute daisy detailing.
Instead of sticking to one singular shade, you can ask your artist to melt a few hues together to achieve a similar swirly effect.
Los Angeles-based nail artist Amy Le combined a gradient ombré design with the placement of the traditional French using rainbow-coloured Essie polishes. Instead of straight vertical lines, she created sloped separation between the colour and clear base for a groovy effect.
Eri Ishizu, Lizzo’s go-to nail artist, decked her client’s coffin-shaped tips in brown marble art with a gold line accent.
Metallic pink tips are also a vibe when you’re bored with your usual French. We’ll be screenshotting this fuschia set by Reset Nails that’ll look neat even when it starts to grow out.
Tom Bachik reinvented the French mani and made it a black-tie nail look with this black, white, and red colour scheme for Selena Gomez.
Celebrity nail artist Chaun Peth used the French technique as the base for a recent set on Kylie Jenner. Peth alternated between Candy Coat nail polish in the colours Marine, Courtney, and Gracie to create multi-colored layers designed with polka dots.