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If you’re looking for manicure that can take you from casual to dressy and is always in style, the French manicure could be just the ticket. This manicure looks clean and natural because the polish is neutral with the tips of the fingers white. For the classic French manicure, you’ll need a white enamel paired with a neutral one. Check out the top picks from beauty experts. With these winning enamels, your nails will always look polished.
According to the website Elegant Nails, the French manicure originated in Paris in the 1930s when well-off, sophisticated ladies were looking for an elegant, natural-looking manicure. Today it’s more popular than ever. "Allure" magazine indicates the French manicure looks best with rounded nails about one-quarter inch long. The French manicure is often requested at nail salons, but you can pull off this manicure at home by arming yourself with the appropriate polishes.
Go with a subtle pink, peach, beige or other pastel for your neutral coat. “Allure” recommends Rescue Beauty Lounge polish in Clear Pink. The magazine also likes Chanel Nail Lacquer in Jade Rose, which will give your nails a peach tone. “InStyle” magazine gives the thumbs-up to Essie’s pink Sugar Daddy shade. For a shiny polish in a light tan shade, snag Sally Hansen Complete Manicure in Café Au Lait. It’s one of the faves of "Allure" editors. Is taupe your go-to neutral? “Lucky” magazine likes the subtle OPI neutral polish called Over the Taupe.
For a pretty French manicure, you’ll want a high-quality white lacquer. Try Revlon’s Matte Suede Nail Enamel in Powder Puff. “Allure” notes this white shade was worn by models at the 2010 Vera Wang Fall Show. For a semi-sheer white, look for Essie’s Polish in Marshmallow. “Allure” calls it a creamy white that’s free of nasty chemicals. “InStyle” suggests Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Nail color in Whirlwind White. It’s opaque-y, rather than sheer. You’ll need just a tiny bit of white polish, enough to cover the tips of your nails.
There’s no set-in-stone rule about keeping your nail tips white. Twists on the French manicure include painting the tips black or going with a glittery, metallic or holographic polish in lieu of white, according to the All Lacquered Up website. Wanna get really wild? Singer Kelis has worn what “Glamour” magazine calls a Skittles French manicure with the tips polished in the colors of the candy. Variations on the French manicure are limited only by your creativity and imagination. Stick with the conservative white-tipped look or add your own signature style. There are tons of polish choices, so experiment.