Ever Wonder How French Tip Nails Started? French nails are an absolutely classic look, whether on long or short nails. The best thing about the white tip is that it is subtle, neutral, and goes with everything. No one is exactly sure on who invented it and where because several have claimed to found this seemingly timeless nail design. The furthest evidence has been found in the 30’s, but whether is it really “French” or not is the debatable point. Some say it originated in Hollywood, while others say it was founded in Paris in the 1800s but didn’t really catch on until later.

The fact is, though, that even though some fashion experts call the French style “last decade”, many women all over the world walk into salon everyday and ask for this elegant yet simple look. The other great thing is that they are very doable yourself with some practice. They are versatile too, as they can be worn to work, going out with friends, and on a fancy date.

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All The Options

Of course, the white tip is the most well-known and probably well-worn design when it comes to French manicures. That doesn’t mean that that’s the only way to wear it however. There are many and possibly countless options to place a twist on the classic.

  • One is simply an exchange for color. Instead of making the tips white, make them blue, or pink, or purple, or green, or red; any color you can think of!
  • Keep most of the tips white, but add a bit of flare by changing your ring finger nail tip color to something different. It’ll still be a classic look, only with a very slight variation.
  • Get a fun and quirky look by painting each tip a different bright or neon color.
  • When you decide to use colored tips, spice things up even more by using the glitter or metallic version of the color.
  • An elegant option is to stay with the white tips but put a thin line of glittery silver or gold at the line where the white meets the natural looking nail. This addition gives the look a subtle yet sophisticated feel.
  • Use rhinestones, whether clear or colored, to make a simple design that will take your manicure to the next level. Doing this looks best on longer or fake nails, but there are some ways to pull it off on shorter nails. You could put one rhinestone on each fingertip in the top right corner, or perhaps a vertical line of three on the right side of your ring finger nails. Another option is to use smaller rhinestones and line the French tip line.
  • Start getting fancy by adding a nail art design on top of your French manicured nails. This could be anything from a big flower or several small ones to your favorite cartoon character.
  • If you choose a flower, use a rhinestone as the center dot to really make it stand out.
  • Flowers don’t have to be complete either. A popular choice is to only have one side of the flower showing so that the outer corner of your nail is theoretically the center of the flower.
  • Not all of your nails have to have the French tip style. Instead, have your ring finger nails have a design that will accentuate the rest of your nails, which will be French.
  • Make the tips some type of animal print. This is a really unique and fun look.
  • A diagonal line dividing the tip is also common and provides a nice twist. Paint each side of the tip a different color. This could potentially lead into a really different type of look because the typical tip line may be more triangular instead of rounded.
  • There are so many different and beautiful options for French tip nail designs when you use lines of color. The most popular way of approaching a look like this is to start at the corner where the tip and nail line meet, and have that point at the center. Either wavy or straight lines (or a combination of the two) would then spray outward from that point.
  • Adding bows to tips is also another good choice.

I bet you never thought there were so many alternatives to your typical French tip nails! The ideas and images here should definitely help you to get started.

The “How To”

Once you know what type of design you want, you’ll have to actually get it done. And you can do just that: go and get them done at a nail salon. If you don’t feel confident that you will be able to describe exactly what you want, take a picture with you when you go. Going to a professional also gives you the option of getting fake nails, which can look very good. Sticking with your natural nail has a lot of benefits too though. For an in between, try the new trend, Shellac nails.

If you are going to do your nails yourself, or if your planning on throwing a nail painting party with friends, you will need to do some planning. Make sure to have all the colors and accessories you need, such as rhinestones, readily available. Also, have on hand some nail polish remover, q-tips, and other nail tools to perfect your chosen design. Aside from the tip, you’ll also need to think about the base. Often times, it’s not just left as your natural nail color, though it very well can be. Any shade of pink or even a light beige will do the trick. You know what will look best on you.

A far easier way to get French nails is to buy stickers or fake nails that you can glue on. There are a lot of premade nails with cool designs on them. They are easy to apply and a more temporary option, if that is what you are looking for.

No matter what you decide on and how you ultimately decide on doing it, your nails will look great when you’re through! Have fun!



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