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French Manicure

Despite the plethora of amazing new nail techniques available in today's salons, one more traditional style remains as popular as ever, and that's the French Manicure.

Having said that, there are some variations on a theme but we'll come back to those.

The traditional French manicure is best described as an enhanced version of your natural nails. The idea is to create a set of beautifully manicured nails with a pale pink nail bed and dazzling white tip. Just like you own nails only better.

Glamorous and Sophisticated

Rumour has it that the name of this manicure was invented by the aptly-named Jeff Pink, the creator of Orly nail polish. Seriously, what else could you call such a glamorous and sophisticated look? It was not born in France, but in a small Californian suburb called Calabasas.

The tale is quite delightful. Apparently, Hollywood actresses spent far too much time getting their nails painted to match their outfits. Movie directors approached Pink for a solution and this is what he came up with.

Suddenly everyone was doing it, starting with mega songstress Barbra Streisand. She even raved about it on national TV. The beauty of this look was that it was elegant, versatile and went with everything.

Classic and Timeless

It wasn't long until the French manicure exploded onto the fashion runways and found its way into influential magazines such as Vogue. Classic and timeless it will never go out of fashion.

When you Google 'French manicure' you'll be bombarded with advice and YouTube tutorials showing how to recreate the look at home. Two words: don't bother. Whilst a straightforward manicure and polish may be possible at home, a French manicure takes expertise.

The ratio of pink to white has to be perfect and the finish needs to be sharp and polished. A French manicure can be done in gel or acrylic and there are a couple of different methods.

Acrylic or Gel

The easiest way is to glue white plastic tips to your nails using clear acrylic. The other method is far more complicated but does produce a more natural-looking and durable finish. This method involves sculpting the white tips onto the nail.

Amidst the glitz and glamour of nail art, neon shades, stiletto nails and more, the French manicure remains the epitome of sophistication and style. Feminine, clean-looking and understated, this is a very popular wedding manicure.

New techniques and style variations are constantly being introduced, the latest being spray-on French manicures. This uses aerosol technology to apply the white section of the nails, resulting in a perfect finish.

Variations on a Theme

In the salon, your nails can be filed round, oval or square. You can also choose how much white you want to show.

Another variation doing the rounds is the frosted French manicure. This is a traditional French manicure, finished with an opalescent coast of polish. You'll also find a Reversed French Manicure (literally what it sounds like), black and white or red and white French manicures.

The Inverted French Manicure uses high-gloss black for the main nail and gold for the cuticles and decoration. Coloured Tips is another popular style, where the body of the nail is pale pink or opaque white, and the tips are different colours. Often a thin line of gold or silver polish will separate the two.

Then there's the Ombre French Manicure, as popular for nails as it is for hair. The list of choices just goes on.

Go for Health

Remember, as with any manicure using acrylic or gel, your nail health is very important. Whilst these treatments will cover up all sorts of problems, the better your own nails the better the results will be.

To keep your nails in optimum health and enjoy your own perfect French manicure, use Bookwell to find a salon in your area.