The French Manicure Is Not So French

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For some, the allure of French culture is undeniable. The fashion, the food, the amount of paid vacation—it all just seems so … je ne sais quoi. So back when Jeff Pink, the creator of Orly nail polish was on the hunt for the perfect name for his custom manicure, he made the right choice in calling it "The French Manicure." Despite having nothing to do with France, claiming the country for the name instantly gave the illusion of elegance, sophistication and style.

In reality, the French manicure was born in Calabasas, a small suburb in California, nowhere near vineyards, the Eifel Tower or the haute couture of the high streets, reports Women's Wear Daily. Pink created the manicure (beige nails with white tips) to suit the needs of the Hollywood studios. At the time, actresses where spending copious amounts of precious filming time having their nails painted to match each outfit change. Directors called upon Pink to find a nail look that would match every dress the women wore, and thus the natural-looking French Manicure was created.

Barbra Streisand was the first big starlet to give the look (and Orly) national stardom, talking to Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, she raved about the French manicure in the same way today’s celebrities show off their nail art on the late night circuit. Cher also had a big hand in putting the white tips in the limelight.

Over the years, the manicure has gone through variations. We now typically see the look altered with colored tips slight variations but it looks like the French manicure is here to stay. Do you still wear the classic French manicure?