How To Create French Tip Nails

How To Create French Tip Nails

When it comes to classic nail styles and manicure designs, one look stands out from all the rest: the French tip. French tip manicures have always been seen as glamorous and chic, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a gorgeous French tip look yourself. 

With so many contemporary French manicure styles to pick from, you’re sure to find a look you really love, and you can begin applying it at home with the tools and colors you already have. 

Nailboo is here to help. We carry easy-to-use nail dip kits that bring salon-quality manicures right to your home. We even carry nail tip kits that you can begin applying with ease today. And we’re also sharing all we know and love about nail designs and styles, so you can get the looks you love, starting with the French tip.  

What Are French Tip Nails? 

A French manicure or pedicure employs the best of neutral colors for a classy and chic style every time. Traditionally, they utilize a light pink color or nude neutral color for the base coat. 

The defining feature of a French tip manicure or pedicure is the white line across the top. Depending on the size and shape of the nail and your personal style preference, the thickness of the white line will vary. 

While a French tip can take some practice, the look has become iconic for a reason. French tips match many different occasions and are a great option for pedicures if you’re looking to deliver on classy and fun vibes every time. They match many different styles and pieces, and there are contemporary French tip looks that you won’t want to miss. 

History of French Tip Nails 

One of the reasons that French tip nails are so iconic is because they’ve been around for many generations and lasted through fashion and style changes. The original look dates back to the 1920s and 1930s—or perhaps even earlier—but the variation as we know it today can be traced to an American man named Jeff Pink, who worked for one of the largest nail polish brands of the 1970s. 

While the French manicure did not actually originate in France, it does take inspiration from early French styles, and many actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood wore variations on the look. The earliest version is largely credited to Max Factor, considered the founder of modern makeup. He first made the connection to French styles by connecting this neutral and delicate manicure to the French style icons of the 1930s, but it is not the only correlation between France and the French manicure. 

In the 1970s, Jeff Pink named the French manicure as such and turned it into a household name, and Hollywood played a role in its evolution, yet again. Directors and makeup artists, frustrated with the time required to change wardrobe, appreciated a neutral, easy-to-match design, and Pink brought it home with his DIY French manicure kit. 

The final product was versatile and feminine and didn’t upstage the rest of the outfit, and Pink took the look to Paris, where it became a huge hit in couture and runway culture. The success in France led to the name we now know it as today, and the ubiquity of the French manicure on some of the style icons of Hollywood at the time solidified its place in the fashion history books. 

Different French Tip Nail Styles 

One of the defining features of the original French tip manicure is its versatility and neutrality, but as styles and looks have changed over the years, so has the French manicure. Here are some modern variations of French manicure styles to try out. 

The Classic 

Of course, you can’t go wrong with a classic French manicure. The base layer is a neutral or light pink shade and the tip of the nail is painted white. The thickness of the line will vary depending on preference. The lines may be straight across or curved to follow the natural shape of the nail. 

Decals and Diamonds

One way to elevate a classic French manicure look without straying too far from the original style is to add diamonds or gems to your finished manicure. They can be placed along the base of the nail, curve with the natural shape of the nail, or follow the French tip. You have lots of options to pick from to fit your personal style while adding a little bit of shine. 

Double French Manicure 

The double French manicure adds a little something extra to your tipped look. Similar to the classic style, you’ll pick your base layer and paint the tip according to your personal preference. With the double French manicure, you’ll then add a thin second line below the thicker tip coverage for a unique and geometric style that really stands out. 

Colors and Shades 

Traditionally, the French manicure is applied in neutrals and pinks with white tips, but who says we have to follow tradition? You can get a gorgeous manicure inspired by the French tip in all your favorite shades and colors. Pick one shade for a more subdued look, or rainbow or ombre your nails for a manicure that really stands out and gives you confidence all day long. 

How To Get French Tip Nails

There are so many reasons to love French tip nails, and the good news is that you can get this gorgeous look right at home. Follow these simple steps for a chic and glamorous French tip manicure that will never go out of style. 

Step One: Practice Nail Care 

Before any manicure, you want to clean, cut, and care for your nails. A little nail care can go a long way to keeping your nails healthy and strong and can ensure the final look is as clean and long-lasting as possible.

Step Two: Pick Your Shape 

There are many different nail shapes to pick from, and you can decide on your favorite styles based on your preference and your level of activity throughout the day. Pick from easy-to-maintain shapes like short square and round nails to chic and elegant styles like almond or stiletto. 

Step Three: Apply the Base

Typically, the base for a French manicure is neutral or a light pink shade, but this is an opportunity to put your own modern spin on a classic style. Apply your base coat and allow it to dry completely. 

Step Four: Paint Your Tips

Now comes the fun part! You can freehand if you feel comfortable or use nail tape to paint your French tips on the dry base coat. Make them as thick or thin as you personally like and find a shape or design that really fits your style. 

Step Five: Add Pink

To get a really classic French manicure look, consider adding a thin layer of sheer pink color to the dry paint. This will help to give you a classy and glamorous shine and really make your French manicure stand out. 

Step Six: Seal Your Style

Once the nail polish is completely dry, add your final top coat. This will help to seal the look in place and ensure it lasts as long as possible. The extra shine will really help you to achieve that glamorous French tip look. 



Nails, the French Way

The French tip has a long and exciting history inspired by past eras and styles from around the world, and it’s not hard to see why it’s become such a classic over the years. Like all timeless looks, the French manicure has evolved and changed, and that means there are more great ways than ever to get a French manicure that really represents your style right from the comfort of home. 

Adding gemstones, trying out unique colors, and giving your French manicure a double line are all ways of making your next manicure really stand out. 

You can get the French manicure look you really love right from the comfort of home with a few easy steps. All you have to do is shape, style, and paint for a classy design that will really last. 

Nailboo is here to help. In addition to carrying easy-to-use nail dip kits that provide style and protection with every coat, we’re sharing tips and guides for achieving gorgeous nail looks without salon-quality costs. Find your favorite style, like the French manicure, and try it out for the next date or night out on the town with friends. 



How the French Manicure Made Its Comeback | New York Times 

We Met Jeff Pink, Founder and President or Orly | Salon Magazine 

Our Heritage | Max Factor X
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