The American Manicure Is Fall’s Simplest, Chicest Nail Art Trend

However, asking for colorful tips in a French manicure style can be considered an American manicure, too, Koon says. In fact, Bachik even notes this is the most popular way to approach an American mani these days — and the trend is about to be even more major this fall. “People can personalize this look with their favorite colors — whether all the tips are one color or having every fingertip a different color,” he adds. 

Tom Bachik and Lolly Koon

Sacramento-based nail artist Icey Milli seconds Bachik’s sentiments, adding, “If we were fortune tellers, we’d predict this becoming even more popular for fall 2021. I can definitely see nail techs becoming creative with warm color palettes.” 

Although Icey Milli specializes in acrylics, she says American manicures are more common with those who like to keep their nails in their natural state. However, any nail length works with the look. 


As mentioned earlier, Bachik’s preferred approach to the American manicure is completing the tips first. Usually, he visualizes an imaginary line down the middle of the nail. From there, he creates arcs on either side of it with the polish color of choice — we love Sundays’ No. 43 or No.48 if you’re going the soft-white route — and its brush, starting from the middle. He adorably calls them “smiles.”

After all the smiles are done, Bachik perfects them by shaping and cleaning them up with a thin eyeliner brush soaked in nail polish remover. “Turn the hand [you’re doing] with your nails pointing up and facing you when cleaning up the smile line,” Bachik recommends. “This helps you with your imaginary line down the middle making each side the same.” 

Next, Bachik layers on a clear base coat, such as the Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat, all over the nail to smooth out the edges of the American tips. Then, finish off with a sheer, natural color over the whole nail and a topcoat. Try Olive & June’s EC and Best of Beauty-winning Essie Gel-Setter Top Coat, respectively. 

The American Manicure Starter Kit 

Sundays No. 43

Essie Gel-Setter Top Coat

Olive & June Nail Polish in EC

Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat

Read more about nail art: 

Now, see Amber Ruffin’s 10-minute nail routine in action: 

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