The French Manicure is the world-renowned special manicure where the tips of nails are pure white. Very popular as the de rigeur style and color for modern weddings, a French Manicure is considered by many to be very beautiful.
Everyone loves the clean and elegant look of French Manicures which are very feminine; indeed, the French Manicure is the epitome of glamorous nails. As far as nails go it has been called “the ultimate in sophistication.”
The French Manicure is named after the upperclass French ladies of Paris in the 1930s who were looking for “a clean and natural look.”
The French Manicure is the most clean and natural look in nails today — as it was 70 years ago — it still mixes natural style with high-fashion flair.
Although the look is the same today, it is now better than ever thanks to developing technology.
When applied with a nail polish brush the French Manicure gives nails a near-perfect finish.
The polish used is applied over guides that make it possible to create the perfect finish, which is still more sharp than other nail colors that are commonly applied personally and professionally.
A recent development in aerosol technology now allows the white enamel for the tips of nails to be sprayed on. This tends to result in a perfect finish free from brush marks with ideal consistency in color, shading, and shape; in addition, it makes it much faster to complete the polished look of the French Manicure.
To do a French Manicure, usually two colors are used, a translucent pink or beige base color that matches the natural skin or bare nail color, drawing out the natural look, as well as the white itself for the tips. The skin color is applied first; then the white is added.
The French Manicure is the only popular and widely established two-color manicure. The edge of the white finish gives it a sharp, distinctive look that is uniquely beautiful. The bright white with a sharp edge next to the light pink or beige creates the strong contrast.
The attraction of a French Manicure is due in part to the color being pure white. As such it is very bright white in the light. Just after taking a shower nails look whiter than usual, but the look often ends up with a little yellow; the French Manicure keeps them white and looking clean all the time.
Certain women have the French Manicure look all the time, such as Canadian TV talk show host Arlene Bynon, and the American Hollywood actress Tori Spelling. While others reserve it for special occasions, such as weddings, ceremonies, parties, engagements, dates, and other important social events.
Another reason for the appeal of the French Manicure is the way it is professional. It may not be done by a professional but it looks professional. It is as attractive as you can get without being provocative.
The color is neutral; it is demure. Thus the appeal to businesswomen, lawyers, doctors, and many other professionals throughout the work place. People see well-manicured nails make a professional statement.
The French Manicure works well for nail lengths which are medium to long: 1/4″ to 3/4.”
The white nail polish is typically aligned with the edge of the finger, but there are alternatives which also look very attractive. You can have long nails with little white or shorter nails with a lot of white.
Any combination can work very nicely — you compensate for nails which are not equally long or very long — so there would be no way of telling. A French Manicure can create that classic look of instant uniformity without having to wait for nails to grow longer.
The amount of white is the main choice made after choosing a French Manicure. Certain people feel that too much white can be used, creating a bulky, stubby, less refined, or imbalanced look. Much of the success for a total French Manicure nail look can depend on finger length and thickness, which varies from woman to woman, sometimes considerably.
Besides the color quantity and color combinations, there is the choice between the shape of the nail tips: round, oval, or square. There is no nail tip shape per se which defines a French Manicure. You can retain the shape you like or try a new look.
The French Manicure is the most-requested salon nail service, probably because it is the most classic nail look.
The average cost of a French Manicure in America today is $15 to $20. There are special kits available with a few polishes and large sets of painting guides to do it yourself, though it is difficult or tricky to use them perfectly on your own; it can also take time to get a great finish. For this reason and the comparatively low price, many women like to visit their local beauty or nail salon for a professional manicure.
It is possible to attain personally or professionally so fine a finish with a French Manicure that your nails actually look as if they are not your own. The clear accuracy and careful attention to detail give you great nails. They can look as good as — or even better than — acrylic nails.
Pink-and-white sculptured acrylic nails, which are also known as “Permanent French” nails, are the most beautiful, natural-looking enhancements a nail technician can offer. They are more costly to set up and maintain but they do offer the most gorgeous look. They make great nails look absolutely stunning.
The French Manicure is more popular but some women choose a coordination option with a “French Pedicure,” where their toenails match the color and style of their fingernails. Although this is less common and noticeable away from a beach or outside of summer, it can be seen occasionally.
The “frosted” French Manicure, a French Manicure topped with an opalescence coat of polish giving a pearled look, is another popular choice.
The arrival of many new nail colors and edgy new brands in the Nineties creating a congeries stretching right across the color spectrum has resulted in creative variations of the French Manicure, such as a black-and-white addition, where a non-traditional matte-black base coat is used with the traditional white tips. There is also a red French Manicure and even a reverse French Manicure.
Another development has been the advent of the American Manicure. This new manicure is a slight variation of the French Manicure, typically using a natural, neutral, sheer color for the base coat. A subtle emphasis is placed on a look still more natural than the French Manicure. It is fairly new to the nail scene but it is nonetheless catching interest.
The advantage of the clean and simple look of the traditional French Manicure is the flexibility it allows for creativity in nail art. There are many artistic French Manicures with pretty patterns and special decals to accent the simple look. These refined decals are often white but there is no limit to the freedom of expression in slight variations or great differences in color and style for any number of your nails.
Other variations in the French Manicure include the opacity of the primary neutral color over the nail bed. It is not always perfectly clear and the differences can be quite subtle, only noticeable upon closer inspection. It may be one, two, or three coats of a nearly clear nail polish, with shimmer, frosting, or a pearly look. Typically the tips of fingernails remain purely opaque and the differences are seen in the opacity of the nail polish over the rest the nail.
As a timeless style with great flexibility for something new to go with something old, the French Manicure is perfect for any age. Because of the neutral colors it is ideal for girls, young women, middle-aged women, and older ladies. It creates quiet and classical beauty. It has not lost its touch in 70 years. You can see women aged 20, 40, or 60 with a French Manicure today.
The coy and coquettish thing about the French Manicure is that it can, depending on where other people are, that is, how close they are, make it unclear if the nails are natural or enhanced. The ambiguity will draw attention in and of itself as people want to find out if what you have are naturally beautiful hands and nails.
One great advantage of the French Manicure is that it works for a diversity of settings. It is entirely appropriate for formal and casual situations, at black-tie affairs, or in the work place. Indeed, for almost any occasion or situation in the average week it is an above-average style that fits like a glove.