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Fresh French Manicure Designs: Yes, the French Mani Is Back

BY: Colleen Loggins Loster | Apr 26, 2019

Modern french manicure

Finding stock photos featuring modern french manicure designs like this is as hard as convincing your boss that meetings on horseback are good for office morale. 

If you went to prom in the late 90s/early 2000s, you probably did something that embarasses you when you look back on it. No, I’m not talking about grinding your butt on the pelvis nearest you (though, yikes that grinding was a thing and double yikes that we felt mad when school administrators told us to stop). No, the embarrassing thing I’m talking about is getting a french manicure—specifically, a square french manicure with chonky white tips.

Of course, at the time, it was the pinnacle of chicness. It was a classic design! It went with everything! It was French (probably)! But we also thought wearing strapless dresses over flared jeans was cute... .

 

outdated french manicureThis look was the height of glamour at prom in the Chicago suburbs in 2005.

 

That trend hasn’t made a comeback, but french manicures sure have. Luckily, today’s french manicure designs eschew the thicc white square tips in favor of modern shapes, brighter colors, and nail art. Here are some of our favorite contemporary nails if you’re looking for fresh french manicure ideas.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Alessandra Ceccaroni Il Baio (@alessandra_ceccaroni_il_baio) on

Photo: @alessandra_ceccaroni_il_baio

 

Italian nail artist Alessandra Ceccaroni Il Baio frequently creates various french manicure designs for her clients in Spoleto, Italy. Here, she’s paired a trendy oval nail shape with a polish that’s more nude than nude-pink.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Alessandra Ceccaroni Il Baio (@alessandra_ceccaroni_il_baio) on

Photo: @alessandra_ceccaroni_il_baio

 

Another creation from Allessandra, this french manicure has a more traditional shape, but still feels fresh due to its brighter pink color and subdued thin white tips.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Nails by Mets | Metta Francis (@nailsbymets) on

Photo: @nailsbymets

 

In London, Nails by Mets's Metta Francis creates a lot of modern french manicure designs for clients. This summery look combines a barely there nude base with lime-green and white tips.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Nails by Mets | Metta Francis (@nailsbymets) on

Photo: @nailsbymets

 

With this french manicure nail art, also by Metta, pastel tips replace white. Look closesly and you can see that the tips are asymmetric. It's a small detail, but a fun way to update a french mani. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Nails by Mets | Metta Francis (@nailsbymets) on

Photo: @nailsbymets

 

Yes, this is pretty close to a classic french manicure. Even so, this Metta creation feels contemporary due to the short, round nail shape and pearlescent sheen from the Shellac polish. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Nails by Mets | Metta Francis (@nailsbymets) on

Photo: @nailsbymets

We like an ombre french manicure, but if you really can’t get on board with the pink-and-white, try Metta's colorful french-manicure-adjacent ombre look.

 

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