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As far as nail looks go, it doesn’t get much more foolproof than a classic French manicure. As stunning as a French manicure is, however, even the most tried-and-true designs need an upgrade now and then. Thus, the modern French manicure was born. It seems as though every time we log into our social media accounts, we’re introduced to new French manicure designs—and we can’t get enough! If you’re as obsessed with French manicures as we are, read on for 10 modern French nail designs that allow you to switch things up while remaining loyal to what you know.
If you’ve ever experimented with upgrading a classic French manicure design, the reserve French was likely your first foray into modern nail art. Rather than painting the tips of your nails white, this French manicure idea involves painting the half-moon shape at the base of your nail—the lunula—white. The rest of your nail will be painted an opaque nude or pink shade that closely resembles your natural nail. It’s the perfect balance of minimalistic and trendy!
Want to branch out from traditional French manicure colors? That’s where metallic tips come in. This modern French mani involves painting the tips of your nails in a metallic shade of polish, like gold, silver, or copper. You can even go for a metallic cobalt blue! The contrast between your shimmering tips and the neutral nude base creates the perfect amount of interest for those who prefer a subtle yet out-of-the-box nail look.
One of our favorite modern French manicure ideas is the half-moon French manicure. It seems that the beauty world agrees because it’s all we’ve seen lately as we scroll through Instagram! The trend involves combining a classic French manicure and the reverse French manicure, leaving you with a nude base and a line of white along the tip of your nails and the lunula.
Editor’s note: You don’t have to stick to white polish! Instead, you can spice things up even more by using a statement color, like ruby red or coral, in its place.
Speaking of playing with color, adding some variety to your French manicure with the help of a colorful upgrade could be just what you need. Swap your white tips for a fun shade—or five! We’re especially fans of this cheerful mani during the summer months.
Want to steer clear of tips that follow your natural nail shape? Not a problem—that’s where the angled French manicure comes in. Rather than a straight-across, slightly rounded tip, your nail technician will paint your tips at an angle for an abstract yet polished nail look.
If you like a bit of glitz and glam when it comes to your beauty look, we have a feeling you’ll love this French manicure design. As you can probably guess, this modern take involves painting your tips with a glitter polish in place of the traditional white. This look is great for special occasions, festivals, or when you simply want to sparkle.
If you’re torn between two French manicure colors, why choose? Instead, give this half and half French manicure a try. Ask your nail technician to paint one half of the tip of your nail one color and the other half a different shade. The result is totally abstract. Opt for contrasting colors, like black and white, or complementary colors, like yellow and purple.
As far as French tip nail designs go, the double French manicure is one of the easiest, but that doesn’t make it any less stylish. As you can probably guess, this mani upgrade features two parallel lines of color at the tips of your nails. Try combining trends by pairing a stripe of white with a stripe of metallic.
It’s no secret that the ombré trend has long ago made its way from hair to other aspects of beauty, including nail looks. If you want a seamless French manicure, have your nail technician create an ombré nail look that fades from nude at the base to bright white tips.
Last but not least, let’s talk a bit about the triangle French manicure. Instead of a curved line, this involves creating a triangle shape with the tip of your French nail look. We love this French tip nail design when paired with almond-shaped nails since it perfectly accentuates the shape.
Speaking of nail shapes, check out our article on How to Choose the Right Nail Shape, next.
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