The history and types of French manicure

French Manicure and its History

In general, women love taking care of themselves from head to toes. In a week, there must be at least one day for a little salon visit! Moreover, hair and skincare are a must, however, nails are important too. A manicure is not only making your nails pretty but it ensures healthy and clean nails. Did you ever try a French manicure? It seems to be the most popular type of manicure among people who love painting their nails. Let’s take a closer look at this particular art form with our complete French Manicure guide below.

Definition of French Manicure

Before anything, know that a French manicure is a beauty treatment for nails, while a pedicure is a treatment for your toes. A French manicure is a classic manicure that normally uses two colors; a sheer nude or light pink as a base for toenails, with a white polish stripe at the tip. The width of the band of the white polish varies following the length of the nails. Most women choose French manicures when they want their nails to look natural yet polished and vibrant.

Process of French Manicure

The process of doing French manicures is quite similar to any other regular manicure. It includes cutting cuticles, moisturizing, trimming, cleaning the nails, and shaping the nails. After that, the painting process begins:

  1. Firstly, the artist sticks the nail stripes flatly to the nails.
  2. Then, he or she will apply the white nail polish at the tip of the nails while making sure the first coat dries out.
  3. Afterward, a second coat is applied for it to be more visible.
  4. As the last step, light pink is applied to the area uncovered by the white polish.

Of course, to finish the look, we usually go through one extra step which is called “topping the nails” with a topcoat.

The History of French Manicure

French manicure did not originate from France as you may think. Actually, it was invented by an American. Jeff Pink, the founder of nail polish and treatment brand Orly. Indeed, he was the one who first used the term “French manicure/pedicure”. Nevertheless, it is believed that French manicure might have also originated in the 1930s as Max Father, founder of many modern cosmetics at the time, claimed that he was the one who invented it. This is why many believe that the connection is there.

In the 1970s, Pink made the first DIY French manicure kit for some Hollywood actresses. Thereafter, the French manicure quickly started to gain in popularity. The idea of the French manicure kit came to him while he was working on a filming set. The director complained that it took too much time for the actresses to change nail color. Then the director asked Pink to make a color that would fit any outfit. He wasn’t sure what to do, but he considered a color that would look natural and elegant at the same time. Finally, he invented a flesh-tone polish and applied the white polish on the nails’ tip. The director loved it! On top of looking nice, it could save time and money during production. Both actresses and stylists also loved it because it did not upstage the outfit.

Types of French Manicure

It is suggested by many nail artists and manicure experts that before choosing which French manicure suits you the best, you should consider many factors, such as which manicure fits your style, look, or even your budget the best. Recently, there are 7 popular types of manicure as follows;

  • Standard manicure; normally includes trimming, buffing nails, shaping, addressing cuticles, and hand massage. The painting process is optional.
  • Vinylux manicure; a professional color brand that does not need the base or topcoat. The concept is having striking shining color, and protection for nails. You can apply the nail polish yourself.
  • Shellac manicure; an in-salon professional product that is applied like nail polish but is tough like gel. It is a long-wear, with no dry-time (similar to a gel) with a shining color.
  • Gel manicure; there are two types of gel which are soft and hard gel manicure. The soft one will look transparent while the hard one is sculpting gel.
  • Dip powder manicure; this manicure uses a colorful powder that you need to dip your nails into in order to use it. The final color of your nails will depend on the color of the powder.
  • Gel extension; premade gel extensions that are glued to the nails and topped with a clear gel. To finish, they are then cured with a mini LED light.
  • Acrylics; made from monomer and polymer, both are mixed to form a specific shape.


French manicure is probably not all about beauty. It is also about ensuring your nails are clean and healthy. Therefore, you should take care of your nails like taking care of your hair and skin. There are various manicures’ styles these days, but the French manicure is surely a timeless classic.

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