22 Unexpected French Nail Tips That Totally Reinvent the Classic Look

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 2022, 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 arguably predicted this time would come way back 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.

“I like to think of a [French manicure] as a blazer,” says nail artist Betina R. Goldstein. “It will never go out of style, it goes with everything, but there’s also a lot of way to make it feel more young, fresh, and updated. And how you pair it (like a blazer) depending on color choices, shape, width, pattern can make it really feel new and different.”

Meet the experts:

French manicures work on both long and short nails (with the latter rising in popularity, potentially 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 starting by putting the polish brush on the center of your nail and making 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. Then, voila, you’ll ace your half-moon tips.