Love them or hate them, the staying power of the French manicure is undeniable. Nail artist Gina Edwards tells Allure they probably fell out of favor for a while because of their lack of creativity. “Most people viewed the French as a classic and kept true to the white tips,” she explains. “It became stale, mundane.”
However, as the French manicure sticks around in 2020, it has spawned into dozens of different colorful designs with the same timeless DNA: arcs of color along the tips of nails. (New York City-based nail artist Miss Pop may or may not have predicted this in December 2019.) Genius nail artists have shown off their unexpected takes on Instagram, with half-moons in neon, tie-dye, and eggs — yes, eggs, specifically sunny side up.
With salons across the U.S. closed (or open with new safety parameters) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the French manicure has proven to be the perfect nail art option. They work on both long and short nails (with the latter rising in popularity due to people seeking out the most hygienic nail length possible). Plus, the tips can be painted onto nude or bare nails, so you can let your nails grow out without your nails looking awkward and having to run back to the salon for another appointment.
On this list, you’re sure to find at least one French manicure trend that speaks to your aesthetic. Show your favorite to your nail artists at your next appointment or experiment with painting them on yourself. If you’re ready to take on your tips yourself, New York City-based nail artist Lolly Koon recommends by putting the polish brush on the center of your nail and make a small dash. Then, make arcs on each side of the nail that connect to it. “If you go from one side to the other, one side is going to be thick, and the other side is going to be thin because you’re going to offload all the polish onto one side,” Koon tells Allure. (She also recently created stunning takes on the French Manicure for us.) Then, voila, you’ll ace your half-moon tips.