The first nail-focused beauty blog

Fanatic Feedback: French Manicures – Yay or Nay?

By on May 13, 2011
in Fanatic Feedback with 134 Comments

Earlier today the MTV Style blog tweeted, “Tired of French manicures for prom? SO ARE WE. We styled some nail ideas for EVERY high school clique!” with a link to a post where Celebrity Manicurist Lisa Logan gave some unique alternatives to traditional prom nail styles.

I tweeted in response, “French manicures are tired PERIOD.” That garnered quite a response from both French manicure fans and haters so I thought I would bring the discussion over here.

My take: I have never been a fan. To me, French manicures look fake and I rarely see them done well. The look was meant to emulate the perfect natural nail and thick or stark white tips are anything but natural looking. I also find the look very dated. The only time I’ve ever mentioned French manicures on this blog is when I discussed the difference between French & American manicures. Now colored/reverse/funky French’s are fun though I still don’t wear them often.

I remember talking to Deborah Lippmann about this very subject a year or so ago and we both agreed that we need to put a stop to French’s on fingers and don’t even get me started on French pedis. Just say no to stripper toes! Though, as Deborah joked, “As soon as we put an end to French manicures, they will come back in style again.” It would just figure, wouldn’t it?

The question I pose to you is… French Manicures – Yay or Nay?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

There Are 134 Brilliant Comments

Trackback URL

  1. SwatcherGal says:

    NAY, I have never cared for them. I agree that there are varying degrees with some being less awful than others, but in general, I just think they’re boring and unnatural.

  2. i use like french now i’m into the half moon mani

  3. kimi says:

    I’m actually a big fan of painting a french on my own nails. I keep my nails relatively short, do a thin line and top with a neutral tone. I am not trying to looking like a stripper or from the Jersey shore as some people think this look is trying to appear.

  4. Shadow says:

    It is deff. a NAY! I hate french manis they are so old I always see them on girls with fake acrylic nails. There is so much other thing you can do with yours nails now. Its time to retire the french mani.!

  5. Not a fan. It’s so overdone/tacky. I think it had its run in the 90s, but until someone finds a way to update it…I just won’t.

  6. love4lacquer says:

    hmmmm tough one.. i like the coloured french manis i see on the blogs, i like konad french manis.. but plain ones get a pass. and toes get a no way!

  7. kristine says:

    i cant stand the look. to me, the look screams “giant fake acrylic nails”. i associate it with housewives, barbies with fake tans, and old ladies. i much prefer a short, chic, well manicured nail with a fun color.

    now, as long as it’s on REAL nails, kept short and done with funky color combos, i suppose i could tolerate it :)

  8. I don’t know, I think they’re okay. I hate when they’re paired with really long, thick fake nails, though. I don’t really feel one way or the other about them; if people like them and it makes them happy, I say go for it!

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I agree with you that people should do what they want. I’m sure there are plenty of people that think bright colored polish shouldn’t be worn by anyone out of their teens or that it is garish. To each their own. I’m was just curious what the majority of readers think of the look.

  9. Yasmin says:

    I really don’t like your traditional neutral french manicure but I love using random colors since they look more interesting.

  10. Beth says:

    I agree that the French mani/pedi is outdated. If I want a neutral, professional look, I’ll use a sheer French manicure shade that allows my real nail line to show through.

  11. Amber says:

    I like people who have a reverse french and use black or something like that. I like the moon manis. But the beige nails with the white tips are awful. Especially with artificial nails, and the lowest is the very square artificial tip, with the rounded nail line in the french mani. Hate it!

  12. Tara Melissa says:

    French pedis are the WORST. Yuck.

  13. Bry says:

    I love the softer, less harsh look of the “American” manicure, but only on real nails. Then its just such a sexy look.

    • Maddie says:

      I agree so much

    • Kelsey says:

      Exactly. Yes, the stark white tips on long and/or fake nails looks tacky and awful… but a more subtle color combo on shorter, natural just looks crisp, chic and polished. I wore this look for my wedding and got a lot of compliments.

  14. Kat says:

    I love colored french manis–it’s what I get when I go to a salon. I can do a regular coat or two of color myself, but I don’t have the steady hands for a french. My favorite colors are blackened blood reds, dark blues, and chanel’s gold lame.

  15. Sarah says:

    I make it a general rule never to judge anyone else’s nails, because nails are really bound up with class and race issues. So I gotta say, the “stripper” comments do rub me the wrong way.

    BUT you will never see me with french tips or acrylics.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      That’s fair and I do see your point. I just associate French pedicures with porn stars and strippers because that’s who I usually think of as wearing them. While I know there are people who choose to grow their toenails long, I believe they should be clipped short. So why anyone would want to make it look like their toenails are too long and need to be clipped is beyond me.

      • Lindsay says:

        Well, I can’t speak for the previous commenter, but your reply kind of just underlined what she said about class issues. “looks like a stripper” is understood to be a negative judgment of the person and of strippers, regardless of the fact individual strippers are all different. It’s stereotyping that also hits on the paradoxical issues of considering a woman’s looks/sexuality/etc as their “most valuable asset” but if a woman actually goes and *uses* those assets, she is ostracized (of course these aren’t universally held but they’re still common).

        • All Lacquered Up says:

          Honestly, that’s not how I look at it.

          I get that we live in an uber-PC world but I’m not that girl and I’m not perfect. Some things I say may offend people but others may agree. I say what I feel and I can’t toe a perfect line 24/7. If my comment bothers you so much that you don’t read my blog anymore, that’s unfortunate and not my intention, but I’m just being my authentic self.

          • caleal says:

            I agree. I only think of porn stars and strippers when I think of french pedis too. Whoops.

          • Sarah says:

            First of all, I am definitely not trying to pick a fight here. We all live in the real world, so I know where the associations you’re referencing come from – they run through my head too. I’m totally not trying to pretend I don’t know what you’re talking about when you say french nails remind you of strippers. And I’m definitely not just trying to sound “PC”. My whole goal, pretty much in life, is just to stop judging other women. It’s hard! The urge to judge is so strong! So basically with my original comment, I wanted to cast my individual “vote” on French tips but also register that I am only speaking for myself and not judging other women who do go for that look.

            I think I have a really similar nail aesthetic to you, ALU, which is why I enjoy reading this blog so much. It’s just important to me to keep reminding myself that MY way is not THE way.

          • Lindsay says:

            Whoa, wait a second. Where did I say that your comment bothered me so much I won’t read your blog anymore? Or even that I’m offended at all?

            I was replying in a detached, academic-ish sociological way; I find these topics *interesting* (why yes, I love literary and cultural analysis, can you tell? :D). It’s completely possible to debate one side of something and *not* think the other person is some awful jerk.

            I’m actually rather taken aback that you reacted so strongly to my comment and read it as a personal insult. Like I said, I was just replying in what I thought to be a casual and interesting debate-discussion and my reply was not intended to be about any actual person.

          • All Lacquered Up says:

            Sorry Lindsay that wasn’t meant to be directed at you specifically. I meant that as a collective you and as part of the discussion with you and Sarah.

            I didn’t read either of your responses as being personal but more observations based on my comment in the post.

  16. Ishah says:

    I like them with some nail art/konading or funky french. I used to be a fan of the traditional french, but now I know there are soooooo many cool options for nails, it’s kinda boring.

  17. la_florecita says:

    Trashy. That, or I’ve never seen one I liked.

  18. Chiyou says:

    I’m neutral about them. I don’t like the uber white tips and talon-like French manicures, but gel nails and acrylic nails have both come a long way since the 90s. I was just watching a Youtube video yesterday on doing sculpted nails with acrylic that look very natural and not fake at all. Look up nailzoo on YT to check it out if you’re curious :)

  19. Barbara says:

    The fact that both Octomom and Kate Gosselin are big fans of French manis is enough to turn me off.

  20. Scienter says:

    I like them if they’re funky colors. I really like colored nails, unless I’m in the mood for a neutral and even then I think the traditional French manicure looks boring. I never got the point of painting your nails to make it look like you didn’t paint your nails.

  21. Ace says:

    Oh god. I was a french manicure/solar nail ho back in the 90′s. I look back and wonder what in the world I was thinking? I blame my sister for making me get them done for her wedding in the first place and creating a frenchie monster. :)

    Now I am freakishly obsessed with polish, and out of over 100 bottles, I think 3 are neutral colors. Sad, but true.

  22. YAY! I agree that doing them daily is a no-no. In college I used to wear American mani’s with my acrylic tips every week. But for weddings, I think a french is so elegant and classic. I am a fan and actually the guy I’m dating requests it frequently, even tho I don’t wear it often at all.

  23. stephanie says:

    I have never liked french manis or pedis, even when they were “in” and everyone around me was getting them. I guess I can see why people think they’re more classic and professional…but the words that come to mind for me are either BORING or tacky. They remind me less of strippers and of immature tweelns who think they’re just so trendy and hip (maybe its just because of the types of girls that were in my schools growing up). I feel like if there are so many colors out there and things you could do with your nmails, why would you draw a fake nail?! I don’t mind different colored french manis (I’ve seen some nice black ones)…although I’m still never inclined to get them.

  24. Meghan says:

    YAY! I love French manicures, but ONLY on short, natural nails (especially mine). I think they’re classy when done right. I hate acrylic/gel nails in general, especially when they’re so unnaturally long, and French manicures on them are super tacky.

  25. Rox says:

    Gigantic NAY to traditional French manis. I’m a huge fan of the reverse/funky French style though.

  26. Kacey says:

    I absolutely agree about the stark white, thick and fake looking French tips (and even MORE about the stripper toes!). I do, however, absolutely love a soft, natural-looking American mani with an off-white tip and sheer creme overlay :)

  27. Megan says:

    Geez. They get a “Yay” from me. I only ever wear them when I want a natural look.
    I like them because chips are not as noticeable with them (and speaking of chips, only my right hand pointer finger ever chips badly!)

  28. Suze says:

    I rarely did/do them, though occasionally have done for weddings (including my own 10 years ago). Much prefer color on my nails. I do feel they seem a bit fake – but to each his own. I just don’t like to do them on mine. Oh, and I’ve never done a French pedi…and never will!

  29. Hannah says:

    Nay – Give me a half-moon manicure over French any time! I don’t mind a colourful French mani though, and I think that some of the Konad designs which cover just the tips are really pretty.

    French pedis are a no-go though. They make me feel nauseous…

  30. Whitney says:

    NAY on the french manis and pedis. I agree they are super dated. In my opinion, they look trashy. Right now I’m loving the neutral/ flesh-toned colors for a more natural/ fresh look instead.

  31. BlueCat says:

    They’re not to my taste, but I’m really a live & let live sort of gal when it comes to nails. There seem to be very vocal factions about french manis/pedis, and also about short/long fingernails, no matter what is on them, and I like both lengths. I cannot grow nails AT ALL, so I wear Brisa gels, and they seem to work quite well for me. I have fun with some funky bright colors at times that some people may think are too young, but I don’t care. The only “style” I can’t quite understand is the bitten, ragged nails with the color half picked off. I’ve read recently that this is done intentionally by some as a look, and that’s beyond me.

  32. Noel says:

    I have never liked them and probably never will no matter how much they are in style. Maybe it’s because I have fairly white tips naturally, but they do seem tacky to me, even when I see them on people I consider very un-tacky. Oh well, to each their own.

  33. Kylie Boazman says:

    Nay. My prom nails were OPI Black Onyx with a coat of Sally Hansen on top.

  34. Cat says:

    I’m kind of meh on French manicures. I do think they can ok on short, natural nails– definitely not super fakey long acrylics. I wore a French mani for my wedding four years ago and was perfectly happy with it.

    Now, of course, I have gotten into the polish scene and these days I would personally prefer to just do my nails in a pale neutral polish if I couldn’t wear a color, rather do a French.

  35. Felis says:

    French manis are bad, but French pedis are DREADFUL. I’m sure there’s possibly a non-awful French out there, but I’ve never seen it.

    Funky Frenches and moon manis are occasionally cool, but never on the toes. Ugh.

  36. Julie says:

    French manis most often look cheap and gaudy…the first and last time I ever had one was when I was ten years old.
    I think you’ve got to either keep it simple and elegant with opaque nudes (no white tips!!!) or go for the extreme and do creative takes on French manis or wear bright, fun colours!

  37. Shaina says:

    YAY. But only if they are funky Frenches. I have never in my life had a traditional French manicure and never want to. If they are done properly–and almost close to perfect–than maybe I’d like them. Otherwise, I need some color, glitter, dots of something to make it more unique.

  38. Ulmiel says:

    For me a big fat Nay. I never wore it, never wanted to wear it, and most of the time I hate how it looks on others. Lately it has become quite popular here to have artifical nails, really long talons in strong white end and then some little nail art on the nail end, stripes or flowers or such. I think it looks very distasteful.
    But to each their own, I guess. I think they don’t flatter anyone, but if one likes their nails like that, go for it, as longs as they don’t make me wear it. I’m sure lots of people think my orange, yellow, bright green, or highly duochromy/holographic nails are too much, but I couldn’t care less. :) But I salute the retirement of french mani nevertheless.
    What frightens me even more is the up coming trend of chipped nail polish. Can I have “ewwww” added with “wth?!” and spiced up with “yuck”, please? Hope it won’t stick.

    • Ulmiel says:

      P.S.: I do think that funky french tips are cool though! Meaning different vibrant colours as base and then tip with other vibrant colour or just black. The traditional french mani is the one that I dislike.

  39. Sara says:

    NAY! The last time I had one was 6 years ago when I was a bridesmaid, and the bride made us all do it! Too dated looking for me!

  40. Karen says:

    I’ve never been a fan of the drastic white tips/beige nails (don’t even talk to me about toes), and I haven’t seen a subtle French manicure in years, although I never cared for them much either. I didn’t do French for my wedding either, which everyone seems to do.

    I’ve always thought of stripper nails as being red, or super sparkly, so what do I know? I’ve got bright red finger nails now!

  41. AndreaC says:

    To me it’s a nay, but I have friends who like it and actually think it’s chic! I never wore French but I’m considering doing the YSL “French-inspired” manicures from their Rock & Baroque collection (Fall 2010). And as for French on the toes…never, but to each his own.

  42. Liz says:

    yeah… but not the typical white one.. i normally use two different colors when i french manicure..for example black and blue, or white with pink tips… just white its boring and old fashioned! imo

  43. Penelope says:

    I live in Peru and French manis are really popular. But most of them are done on short natural nails, which I think looks ok. I wore short nails with a french mani for my wedding, and when I look at the pictures I don’t regret it. You just don’t notice my nails at all. I do prefer color for every day, and I love holos with a passion (although it is sometimes hard to find them in my country). I think fake French tips look kind of stripperish, but it depends on the person who wears them. Some people always look classy and some people always look trashy, no matter their nails.

  44. BL says:

    I prefer sheer colors to the more starkly defined French mani. In the same way, I think the entire nail polished in one shade looks classier than just painting the tips that color. I’m not really into nail art, I like my nails to make a statement with simplicity rather than anything too precious.

    And I DESPISE the black-tipped reverse Frenches; I see them on girls all the time and it just looks like they have dirt under their nails to me!

  45. Sara says:

    Nay for me. There are too many fun colors out there to wear instead.

  46. Jeannie says:

    I like French manis and don’t think they look trashy at all. I saw a French pedi once on a friend of mine who is a grandma/college student/skydiver all at the same time. To me, any nail color that the wearer likes and is comfortable with is good.

  47. JDV says:

    Not a fan of them either unless they’re VERY well done, but most aren’t. And you have to have the right length of nail, if they’re too short they make your nails look stubby and if they’re too long they just look weird.

    Don’t get me started on the pedis, I think they’re gross. I’ve always thought long toenails were gross and this method of painting them makes me see long toenails even if they’re really not. Just ewww.

  48. Michelle says:

    French pedicures look like someone clipped their toe nails, then changed their mind and tried to glue them back. Not a fan at all.

  49. Steph says:

    I can’t stand french pedicures. And Im not a fan of the stark white tips at all. I don’t mind a more natural take on the french nail, such as a wash of sheer pink over natural nails for a break from colours.
    I also agree this looks better on shorter, kept nails rather than long nails. I usually have long natural nails so I tend to wear bright or dark colours. I wore long dark red nails to my school ball.

  50. Ice Queen says:

    I like French manicures if they are done well. Every now and then I crave one and apply and wear it for a few days then I go back to my usual polish rotation. Personally, I think that a French is prettiest on more “active” length nails then on very long nails. But that is just my own personal taste. I certainly don’t cast judgement on anyone who chooses to wear a French on long nails or enhancements.

    French pedis don’t bug me. I seriously doubt I would ever give myself one but seeing one on someone doesn’t induce me to hurl.

    Funky French manis are fun now and then.

    Taste in polish is highly subjective. I have been told that my love of very dark and black polish and glitter is highly inappropriate for a woman my age. I wear what makes me happy and I think that everyone should. :)

  51. Grace says:

    Eek I really don’t like french on toenails. I strongly believe that your toenails should never be so long that the white part shows. To all the ladies and men out there please for god sakes keep your toenails short! I have no idea what the people who like to grow their toenails long are thinking *gag*

  52. Jessica says:

    I love color, so I have never personally been a fan of a french manicure. It can look nice on some people. I was recently in a wedding, and the bride “required” her bridesmaids to get french manicures (she wanted french pedicures too, but since I was footing the bill, and the bridesmaid dress was long, I put my foot down, so to speak, on that – I was not going to pay an extra $10 to have freaky looking toes). Anyway, I ended up surprising myself and liking my natural french mani enough to wear it for 5 days after the wedding. But the bride had the big chunky square glaring white french mani – and even though she otherwise looked lovely and classy, the garish manicure ruined it. But not everyone notices nails (unlike us fanatics), especially a bride’s, so that was probably just my hang up.

    In short, I vote “nay.”

  53. Claire says:

    Nay, for sure!! I agree that they always look so fake. Although what I *especially* hate is when the tips are soooo thick. Ugh!! I just don’t understand how anyone can think that looks good, but many do. I haven’t gotten into the color manis yet, either. I love colorful, bright polish, but the two-tone look just isn’t for me.

  54. Nora says:

    NAY. I’ve never liked them, most of the time the nails are too long and square and the white is so stark…. aka porn star/stripper nails. Yuck.

    I’ve seen a few nice ones, but only when the nails are short and rounded. Then it can look really nice. But for the most part, it isn’t a pretty look.

  55. Aseret says:

    Love the French mani (short version..natural nail!)Both on hands & toes..It’s a clean classic look that goes with everthing..

    I see that I’m in the minority here. Oh well.

    I still love & use all the new great colors out..purples, blues, greens…pastels & vibrant deep hues (& I’m beyond middle-age!)..I think I’ve waited all my life for these colors.. I have fun with them..I was sooo tired of every variation of reds/pinks etc that were available in my youth..I’ve gone color crazy…but I do have to honestly say that many of the colors clash with clothing & styles but I guess it’s up to the individual…When I see someone with a good french mani(toes or hand), I still admire the clean lines….(PS.I’ve never seen long toenails & I don’t want to! & what is going on with this Shatter stuff..it looks like a disease)

  56. Andrea says:

    What a coincidence because just this week I was trying to convince my sister, who’s getting married this summer, not to book an appointment for a french mani/pedi for her wedding day. I told her that french manicures are out of style and ultra cheesy. She argued that they were classic and she finally got her way because it’s really her choice.

    So she’s booked an appointment for a french mani/pedi just in time for her wedding day. As a bridesmaid, I’ll be wearing OPI Bubble Bath. No old, rich, divorcee woman-looking french mani/pedi for me. Yuck.

    Thanks for bringing this up, such a fun topic!

  57. Melissa says:

    For everyday wear, I don’t care for frenches, but for special occasions (weddings especially), I think they look classic and nice. Since they are going to be in photographs that will be looked at for a lifetime, it’s better to go with something that won’t instantly date a photograph IMO.

    • Abby says:

      Totally agree! A well-done French mani (AKA the kind where the nail tip isn’t longer than the nail bed) is really classic and clean. I love it on brides.

      I’m probably in the minority when I say that I’m actually a fan of the American manicure. Stark white is a bit too intense for me, but a nice ivory jelly for the tip with a light pink sheer really brightens and cleans up the nail without looking unreal.

  58. Laura H. says:

    French pedis are just plain wrong. It looks like little teeny fingers on your feet. EW EW EW.

    I don’t care for French manis either, but at least they’re not disgusting like pedis.

  59. Katy says:

    I used to hate it, but then I tried it with OPI Princesses Rule and Essie Marshmallow, and it looked pretty good, though bridal. I did laugh when the girls on “Jersey Shore” got in a fight and ripped all their acrylic French manicures off.

    • Katy says:

      Also I think the reason we associate them with strippers and porn stars is because it’s the exact kind of nail style boring straight guys prefer. So anyone who caters to them, there ya go.

  60. brandiwine says:

    The only way French OR American manis work, imho, is when they’re on natural nails that extend just a hair past the nailbed, so that the tip is very, very thin (around 1/8″) and also covers up any tiny amount of nail discoloration that sometimes happens near the tip.

    But short nails with trendy and unique colors are just so much better!

  61. Tamara says:

    I think it depends entirely on the nail in question and the skill of whoever it doing it. I’ve seen them done on natural nails and look very classic & polished. A good friend of mine has lovely nails, and I adore how they look in that style.. definitely some nail envy. LOL

    But of course I’ve also seen so many of the obnoxious versions and everything in between. I’ve seen maybe one or two pedis (again on natural nails) that looked fine, but by and large the first thing that comes to mind with thick toe nails is fungus. >.

  62. vicki says:

    nay,, i loved the look 5 years ago, now it feels very dated… i like clear polish or brights (these look the best with my skin tone)

  63. Melissa says:

    I remember when I learned what a french manicure was in the mid-90′s. Even then my first one was green (ala OPI Rainforest ALU) with purple tips. I bought colors intended for real frenchies and ended up using all the white to just paint my nails solid white. I stopped caring about them on myself once I noticed people with the fake nail frenchies and decided they’re so garish. But for me, I would rather see a neutral colored frenchie over the natural colored nail with any color tips, especially glitter. I hate those! They look so dumb! At least do an all over coat of one funky color then a tip of another funky color. And the frenchie toes are horrible! I say I judge people on the style (not the brand) of shoes they wear and I also judge women on how they choose to do their nails. French mani’s and pedi’s make me knock off some points.

  64. Stephanie says:

    I kind of love them. I really love the reverse french, when I wore fake nails I did that all the time. I can’t seem to do them myself on natural nails, but that’s okay. They have to not be too long, that’s the key to a good french!

  65. Laura says:

    Hey! Don’t bash the French polish! As a nail tech, it puts extra revenue in my pocket. I agree that “stripper toes” are U.G.L.Y! Done in natural colors with a muted white tip, it looks nice on fingers with natural nails. It just looks stupid when bright, bright white is polished halfway up a person’s nail plate. My favorite color combo for natural looking French polish is OPI’s Makes Men Blush with Essie’s Marshmallow on the tips.

  66. AJ says:

    I’m not a big fan of French manicures on myself but that being said, my mother likes them. She keeps her nails relatively short and she’s an elementary school principal. She can’t get away with periwinkle shimmer on her nails, much as she would like to (she leaves that for her toes). So she does a very subtle and natural looking French manicure with a tiny bit of glitter or a fine line of some color so they look “real” from a distance or at a glance but give her something funky when she’s looking at her nails.

    Of course, once summer hits and she’s not at work I’ll be bringing my bottle of RBL Catherine H over to her place and giving her something more fun.

  67. Ann says:

    I like the American version or whatever, where it just looks like your nails but perfect. But I do prefer OPI Bubble Bath or Essie Ballet slippers for weddings etc. The chunky, chicklet looking french manis are sort of revolting. I’m not a cougar looking for fresh meat, so I stay away from them.

    And French pedicures? You want your toenails to look long and luxurious?? I just don’t get it

  68. meme says:

    Major nay from me on French/American mani/pedi. Way too tired looking. If you have to have a clean nail just do it with a sheer one color. A new hip way I have seen and like a lot (esp on toes) is use of the Stripe Rite in a very thin stripe at the tip of your toes. Stripe Rite can be found at Sally’s and is available in tons of colors. I sort of like the silver the best. The colors and metalics are super densely opaque. Take even a dark navy or dark plum and put a thin stripe of say the anything but white on the tip (and I am taking a thin strip – not a full cover the VNL like in a French mani). It’s a cool hip look. Not sure if this was covered in new hip ways to do your nails for prom or not. I get tons of compliments when I do my toes this way. Reminds me, I need to get a new bottle which means a trip to Sally’s and pick up my buy one get one free China Glaze that I think runs through this weekend. I have to check the email ad I got. But do check out the Stripe Rite. You can have a ton of fun doing free hand nail art if that’s your thing – or just as I described above – a thin stripe at the end of your toes in a contrast or complimentary color to your base shade.

  69. Gaby says:

    I must admit that I actually love a french mani, but only when done short. Lately I have gotten into the gel mani using color and so far so good.

  70. Ling says:

    Short and somewhat natural looking French/American manis are ok on other people :) (not on toes, though, keep it to the tips, please!)

    I love colors, and my nails are yellow stained as a result. When I for some reason cannot wear color, I’ll cut them fairly short and put on some nail brightener and …make a slightly funky French. My favorites for this are Color Club Ooooo La La and Femme Fatale. Lovely glittery almost neutral – that’s the kind of French I can live with!

    I guess that means I didn’t manage a Yay or a Nay – maybe an ok?

  71. Nellie says:

    I have never had a French mani or pedi done. It’s my not my style — I’m more of the crazy-polish-color type. I’m the type of girl who wears bright emerald green polish on her wedding day. :)

    I’m sure people who rock Frenches think I’m just as tacky as people who hate Frenches think they are. Heck, I rock the shatter polish look every other week or so, really, I have no room to judge. :)

    Having said that, like I saw someone else mention, I try not to judge people who have them, especially with gendered and class-specific language. It’s not about being PC as being … wary, I suppose is the right word, about those kinds of judgments. It’s hard to not do it — hard to unlearn doing it, but once I took enough art history classes in college, it’s also hard to not be aware of it.

  72. Deb says:

    I would definitely do Minx for prom! Well, I don’t think they had it when I went in 2002, but I would have. Thanks for the link!

    I do not like French manicures at all, although I did like the glitter French in the older entry you linked. Oh, and you’re right – French tips on toes are just disgusting.

  73. Lisa Cohen says:

    I’ve never liked French manis. They look too fake, and I love bright colors, too much. French pedis are just wrong!

  74. Rachel says:

    I think with short fingernails and a small, muted, sheer white tip (like Essie marshmallow), it can look understated and classic and pretty. However, the trend that won’t go away is the high school girl “full set” look-with the huge, square, stark white tip-which can now be found on a lot of 40s & 50s yuppie women and Jersey women. It just looks bad. Seriously, like every 40 and older woman you meet in jersey has a full set!!!

  75. Lillian says:

    NAY. I hate them!!
    I really like color, and I think they look tacky and fake. I do like reverse French manicures though.

  76. Joyce B says:

    I’ve worn a French manicure when I needed my polish to last well over a week. The thickness of the polish on the tip helps that. But now, with gel polish, I’ll use that and probably won’t ever get a French manicure again.

  77. Lauren says:

    NAY! I don’t get it. And the french pedi…it literally skeeves me. Why would anyone think that is attractive? I agree that a colored french is fun, but I haven’t had one since my senior prom 14 years ago.

  78. Karen says:

    I think if it looks natural (off white tips with rounded edges that aren’t 5 inches long and a pinkish sheer) then it can be a good way to have a nice clean natural look, especially if you paint your nails a lot or have stained nails. But i have way too many pretty colors and ideas for nail art to ever do a french Even for something like my wedding, I’m going to go with a ivory mani with a silvery brocade pattern. Clean, pretty with something extra to make it fun!

  79. Goose says:

    My favorite “French manicure” look is where the tips are very, very thin, to make the nail bed look nice and long. I really do hate when the white chunky tips cover up the nice pink nail plates.

    Although I have to say, glitter gradient “French’s” and funky color’s (with the natural pink nail bed) are super fun, in my opinion. And black French manicures (with nice short tips) are very classy to me :o)

  80. Amanda Quaggio says:

    OMG, definitely NAY! It looks so boring, I’m really tired of that! Bye Bye French’s…:P

  81. dovile says:

    NAY. I agree with you completely on everything you’ve pointed out.

  82. Chris says:

    I think French manicures are tolerable as long as the nails are not too long. They are a little dated, but they could work for certain occasions like weddings and events where subtle nail looks are needed. French pedicures are inexcusable to me. Why would you want your toenails to look like they need to be clipped?

  83. sookiecat says:

    French manicures are so tacky, especially since the majority of people who do french manicures are super trashy. French manicure toes – don’t even get me started. If I see that on someone I automatically think they’re strippers.

    I can say that I love the different takes on the French manicure – the really thin tips, the reverse version, even colored ones are okay.

  84. Kristen says:

    French pedis look like you need to clip your toe nails. A never for the toes. French manis are like vanilla ice cream. It’s good and sometime necessary (like on apple pie) but just boring if that’s what you eat for dessert every day. Nail polish companies make the rainbow for a reason.

  85. Jmy says:

    YAY! I love color & in my stash I have funky colors, shatters, glitters etc that I have fun wearing but when I am attending an event such as a wedding I think french looks great on both fingers & toes. White/pale pink makes my nails appear shorter on my stubby hands :( . I agree that if it is chipping it can look trashy but shellac/axxium have changed that. Plus if your traveling french goes with almost everything. Don’t Hate!

  86. Hannah says:

    I never liked French Manis. For my prom, I did my nails and toes myself in Orly Lunar Eclipse to match my royal blue dress!

  87. jwilder says:

    Nay Nay Nay on the French Manicure! Very garish, in most cases. I’ve rarely seen them done well.

    French Pedicure?? Oh my let’s not even go there!

    People pay EXTRA for this look?! I’ll never understand it.

  88. J says:

    I used to love a french manicure (especially in the summer with a tan) but after all these Housewives shows (they all seem to have the super thick french mani) I can’t bear them. I am also not a fan of the dark colors on the tips, it seems very tacky to me.

    I am a big “Nay”

  89. lulu says:

    I think French manis are dated; but like all fashion, will probably come into style again someday.

    French pedis are just downright gross to me!

  90. Sarah says:

    I don’t wear them, because I find them boring, but I like them on others :) I would tend to disagree with calling them “dated”, I think at this point (love it or hate it) it’s a style that has been popular for so long that it’s not linked to any particular time period.

  91. heather t says:

    Big NAY. Very fake and cheesy, especially on fake nails.

  92. lam says:

    Never on toes!!! I do like a french on short natural nails. I like a very, very thin line of white.

  93. Erin says:

    No. I won’t do french manicures anymore. I’ve never liked them. Color or clear. But color please?

  94. Katie says:

    I’ve always hated french manicures, they look really cheap.

  95. amber_j says:

    I like French manicures when they’re done well. The colours should complement your skin tone and the tip shouldn’t be thick. I do my own French manicures and am often complimented on my nails by women and men. I’ve even had a few friends ask me to do their nails for them. But I guess we can’t all like the same things. That would make life too boring! :-)

  96. D. says:

    I have pretty small nail beds on both toes and finger nails so my natural nails look like they are fake already or in the case of my feet they look just uberlong even when they are really short and a french just would accentuate this and i would look like i just got down from the stripper pole! Big Nay, i preffer a classic clean pinky sheer for my toes and something fun for my fingers specially if itis purple and shimmery!!

  97. Ariel says:

    I’m going to be in the minority and say that I like French manicures! If they’re done with the right colors and on natural nails (not the

  98. PirateFoxy says:

    I admit it – I like French manicures sometimes. (Well, technically, I prefer the American version – more natural looking.) But that’s because my visible nail lines are all messed up from getting psoriasis under my nails (this is not fun, thank your genetics if it does not happen to you) so if I want to essentially have ‘natural’ clean looking nails, I can do a french-type manicure with an opaque ‘foundation’ coat (to hide the wonky nail line) and suddenly, I have ‘perfect’ nails. (Because much as I like color, sometimes I do feel like something subtle is more appropriate – plus my mom doesn’t really like nail polish, so if I’m doing something really special with her I’ll do that in deference to her preferences. Technically, still nail polish, but it doesn’t LOOK like it, so she’s cool.)

    All of that said – I keep my nails pretty short, so they don’t interfere with typing. So I don’t have huge big white tips, just a 1/8-1/4″ one. (Width being determined by nail length, which varies somewhere in that general area. I’m not obsessive about keeping them one precise length as long as they’re neat and nicely shaped.)

    I will also fess up to buying one of those fake toe nail kits with the french pedicure – you know the drugstore ones? – because my friend was SO grossed out by the very concept that naturally she had to have a set of her very own. I am a giving and generous friend like that. :) (I did also send her a bunch of samples of something she DID want, to soften the blow.)

  99. Penelope says:

    Michelle, what do you think about wearing the same color on your fingernails and toenails? Is it a must, is it not important or is it better not to?
    I change my nail color really often in the winter because I don’t have to change the color on my toes. In the summer, my fingernails and toenails don’t have to match but I need to wear a neutral or a color that complements my toenails or my fingernails.
    What do you think?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules. Mixing colors seemed to be a trend the past few years but matchy-matchy is having a comeback. I prefer to coordinate my finger & toe colors, rather than match but that’s mainly because I have so many polishes it seems a waste to only wear one at a time. Though a lot of times my hand and foot colors clash and I don’t really care.

  100. MeganNoel says:

    Honestly, I love a great french mani, I feel like that and a good blood red mani is a special occasion staple for nails. But I feel like the french manis only work on certain people. I only like them on natural nails, I think they look horrible on acrylic nails.

  101. Bridgette says:

    I have to say im not firmly a yay or nay, either. I was in a wedding a few weeks ago and the bride decided to shuck her normal personality and hit up the acrylic french nails. The tips were way to long- Im not kidding when i say they were almost half an inch past her fingers. They made the elegant, classy gown she spent months looking for (because she didnt want to look dated in her portraits with something too trendy) and thousands of dollars on look cheap, and completely defeated the purpose of finding a classic gown. her nails, combined with the fake spray tan she just had to have on her olive skin four days prior definitely gave off the stripper vibe. that type of french is a no go, all the way.

    However, the mother of the bride had a very classy french manicure with white- but not too white- tips on her short natural nails, as she has had for practically the entire 17 years I have known her. save for the classic red, or once a hot pink (gasp!)she got at the spa in St. Thomas when we were all on vacation- completely out of character because “well, it seemed tropical”. she always complements us on our daring to wear dark shades like LPAD or essie’s wicked. her type of french i could live with, but it would get old quick, because i love the darker colors.

    as bridesmaids we got two choices, the french fake manicure like the bride had, or red- also on acrylics. I just had my nails shaped a bit more square to mimic the acrylic shape, and wore essie’s forever yummy on both tips and toes, to go with our black dresses and the red flowers that were pretty much everywhere.there was no way i was ruining my nail plate with acrylics, and no way i was wearing that kind of french manicure.

  102. Barclay says:

    I definitely feel like French manis on acrylic nails need to go the way of the dinosaur. It’s so 1999 it hurts. I do, however, think American manis (on real nails) have a place in the world still – they are so much more natural-looking when compared to French, and after I’ve done my nails 43,9874 times in one day, each in a different color, I need something to cover the stains that isn’t just another color.
    I also have to add that gradient manis with the jellies should be the new French, if it isn’t already. I am trying to master that look still, it’s not easy, but your tutorials are helping!

  103. Carrie says:

    For myself, I prefer color.

    For others, I like the look of French manis on short natural nails, and I like the look of French pedis on NO ONE. ;)

  104. Kate says:

    French manicures are the only things that save my sanity. I LOVE bright, funky colors, but my work forbids any nailpolish. My nails feel naked (and get banged up way too much) when I’m not wearing polish, so I give myself a french manicure and nobody notices. I’ve done them enough that they look completely natural.

    I can’t STAND colorful variations of a frenchie, though. They just look stupid and kind of cheap to me. Especially the black tips. And french pedicures… the point of a pedicure is to get some crazy color you can’t get away with wearing on your hands!!!

    Funilly enough, one time somebody tried to lecture me about how I was wasting my money getting french manicurs and how they were out of style. My nails were completely bare that day (not even clear coat), and she’d mistaken my very white nail tips for a manicure.

  105. KathiD says:

    That is a big N!O! Don’t like French manicures, HATE French pedicures!!

  106. Pixie says:

    YAY! For the reasons following:

    1. I’m a shocking nail biter from way back and I go back to it whenever I don’t regularly polish my nails. So for me painting the free bit of the nail is a celebration of having one!

    2. I have tiny, round nails and will only ever have natural nails, so I don’t associate it with that crusty ‘spends too much time at the salon’, talon-ed look.

    3. If the nail tip is so covered with polish that it’s UGLY thick you’re doing it wrong.

    4. Sometimes I can’t pick from all the amazing colours and just want my nails to look done, and pretty.

  107. Mandy says:

    I’m not really a fan, they just look very fake to me. Better to go with clear polish or a clean, buffed nail bed if you want a natural look. Though I do rather like french manicures done in other colors. A friend of mine gave me a gold manicure with black tips that looked pretty neat with a leopard-print outfit I had!

  108. Marcy says:

    Nay! I’ve always hated the french manicure. to me it’s cookie-cutter, plain-jane, and pretentious. there is no personality to it and i always picture snobby rich girls with polo sweaters tied around their necks. LMAO at the “say no to stripper toes!”

  109. Tania says:

    I used to get acrylic sculptured nails and as much as I loved them, they only came in one style-french manicure! every now and then I would jazz it up with nail art (you know painted moons, tiger stripes, gel flowers, crystles-I used to go all out on nail art every Christmas)

    Now I have natural nails, I have not had french manicure on my nails, simply because it is so difficult to do it yourself. I know I sound stupid but I just can’t do the french tips by myself, they come out blotchy and it looks like I’ve smothered my nails in white wall paint.

    In recent years,I think French manicure looks a bit tacky and something only Soccer WAGS (that stands for Wives and Girlfriends in British) would have. Right now I think it is a Nay for French Manicure and I think it needs to be out of fashion because there are so many amazing nails trends out at the moment (look at Katy Perry and Lady Gaga- the pioneers of the non-french manis) and French manicure does look like it belongs in the late nineties/noughties.

    French Manicure will, like most things come back in fashion and it will be back with a vengeance but for now I think it needs to out. Let the Crackle rebellion commence! xx

  110. Pam says:

    French manis are booooooooooooooring! And don’t get me started on French pedis…

  111. mk says:

    french manis just scream bridezillas!!!! and yes, they originated with srrippers so their nails would not clash with their outfits like anyone is looking at a strippers nails!!!!!

  112. mk says:

    that shatter coat sh** is ugly too!!!!! it looks like your polish is chipping vertically to me.

  113. Val says:

    I’m very very lucky and have super white tips naturally so I just need a light pink over my nails to look like it’s french. I completely agree, Frenches are RARELY well done and thick white tips look terrible. I’ve heard of people putting white under the tips of their nails to brighten the white effect. Overall French on the fingers and toes can be a real hit or miss unless you have natural white nail tips.

  114. Pepper says:

    NAY! Show me 1 French woman who has this so called “French Manicure” and I will eat their beret! So fake but sadly women are becoming so plastic looking with augmentation and botox. What are these women hiding? Insecurities?

  115. Prescilla says:

    I detest french manicures. I agree that they always look bad and super fake. Not to mention that they remind me of all the girls from high school whom I had no interest in knowing.

  116. Kerrie says:

    NAY x3!
    I could not agree with you more. I remember my friends older sister always wanted to do french mani’s on us, lol. I hated it then and I hate it even more now. It looks so fake.

  117. Angie says:

    I am so in the NAY camp. What’s even worse than a French Mani is an acrylic French Mani.
    Here in Australia though so many women still get it done, it drives me nuts!
    I do nails at home on the weekend as a side business, and my policy is I don’t do French. Not on brides, or anyone.
    For the past 20 years a bride’s uniform seems to be fake French nails, a fake tan, and a strapless dress. I absolutely cannot stand any of it! So, so, so, so, so passe.

  118. Amy wells says:

    French fries I do not like even ! I just got acrylic nails & did them round,clear & NOT french. I thought I thought wanted French because I an going to a wedding & think I should dress it up. I’ve always hated French manicures on other people so, why would I want them on me? They DO look fake. I am wearing sliver open toed shoes & have no idea what color to paint my toenails. They have been multicolored for years & now all of the sudden ,I need mildly conservative. I’m actually sitting in the pedi chair as we speak ! Think I will go mild silver to cover the discoloration of years of abuse ! Thanks for the NAY on the French pedi. I was being steered to that but, couldn’t stomach the thought its not me . Apparently,it shouldn’t be anyone ! Ha

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Top