French manicures are a classically beloved pick at the nail salon, but in recent years they’ve been given an upgrade. “The classic French manicure will always be a go-to look for nail lovers, but the popular style continues to evolve with a variety of ways to put a twist on the classic look,” says celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec. Recently, the micro French, which features a very thin line at the tip of the nail, has been trending. People are always interested in fresh takes on old classics, and the micro French is a perfect example. We talked to some experts to get even more funky French manicure ideas to try in the new year.
Soft French manicure
Kandalec gave trendsetter Selena Gomez a soft French manicure. It’s a bit more muted than a standard French manicure and looks gorgeous on long nails.
Chrome French manicure
“Chromecore is everywhere, from Zendaya’s skirt at the 2022 Oscars to all the makeup you see on Euphoria,” says celebrity nail artist Sonya Belakhlef. Chrome is one of Belakhlef’s favorite nail looks, and “of course, chrome will lend itself seamlessly to French manicures with its highly reflective metal finish that’s bold and eye-catching.”
She notes that the chrome color could be either the accent of the base color, but she prefers it on the tips. “There are pro powders that nail artists apply to create the chrome finish, but you can use a super metallic eyeshadow pigment or fake it with a metallic polish like ORLY x Kwame Onwuachi’s Saute ($13),” says Belakhlef.
Angular French manicure
“One popular French style is angular, where the tip of the nail features a ‘V’ rather than the standard curve around the edge,” says Emily H. Rudman, founder of Emilie Heathe.
Galactic French manicure
Ahead of a photo shoot, Kandalec graced Zoe Saldana with this galactic French manicure. The funky look is sure to stand out in a sea of standard French manicures.
Reverse French manicure
“A reverse French is not only a fresh take on the classic French mani, but it’s also my pro tip for anyone who can’t stand new growth but has to wait for their next appointment,” says Belakhlef. “I love to extend my manicure’s life by adding a glitter reverse French to new growth!” Belakhlef did this look for Kiki Layne ahead of the Met Gala using Orly Builder in a Bottle ($40).
Double French manicure
Rudman says double French manicures are fairly popular right now. The look features “two lines that essentially outline the area that would normally be completely filled in with polish at the tip of the nail,” she explains.
Five different ways French manicure
Kandalec says this is a fun look any time of year but tends to be popular during the festive season. Around the holidays, people love getting a glittery iteration of this look. It’s a super fun option because you don’t have to pick just one style of French, you can have a different one on each finger.
Glazed donut French manicure
Glazed donut everything has been trending this year, thanks to one Hailey Bieber, so of course, the glazed donut manicure has been a hit. Kandalec recommends trying the iridescent manicure.
Optical illusion French manicure
Belakhlef says this trend made a huge splash on TikTok recently. “It’s incredibly intricate, chic, and most of all, super trippy. Both glossy and matte finishes look amazing with this design,” she says. “You can even combine the optical illusion French mani with chrome for a unique, otherworldly look.” If you’re endeavoring to do this at home, Belakhlef recommends using ½ Moon Guides ($6).
Holiday French manicure
“During the holidays, the trendiest and most popular French manicure style is pretty simple but features a bright red tip instead of the traditional white,” says Rudman. Hailey Bieber recently posted a photo of her sporting this look, which sent the internet into a frenzy.
Color block French manicure
If you can’t pick a color or want to go for a more dynamic look, try a color block French. Any two colors will do. This one even has a peppermint pattern peeking out from under the nail.
Barbie core French manicure
Kandalec notes that we’ll start to see a lot of Barbie core trends, including in the manicure space, as we get closer to the release of Barbie. It’s a full-throttle look and so much fun.
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