French vs American Manicure

You might just think of a french manicure as a simple or outdated look, but there is a difference between a classic French vs an American manicure.

If you are anything like me, when I first starting getting my nails done in middle school I had those awful acrylic nails and would get a pink and white set. This was a bold white with a clear base and was … well lets just say I grew out of it.

maxresdefaultBut as I got older, I would get them on my natural nails and even on my toes because I thought it was pretty but the white polish was always chipping off.


A classic French manicure has a solid white tip and a clear or pink-y base with no color going over the end so that the tips are very white. I loved this look but I eventually got out of my Ohio bubble and met a group of fabulous girls in Miami and they all had a more polished look for this classic manicure. It was called an American manicure. This is an update from your typical french manicure.


An American manicure is a more stuble version and the ends aren’t as noticeable, they are a faint white or creamy color giving it more of a natural appearance. Then over the entire nail, it is painted with a light or skin color tone. You can tell in this photo, compared to the previous photo it already looks prettier and more natural, but still has that defined tip kind of like a French manicure.

This is also the look worn by all of the Victoria’s secret angels.8d30aac601383d90_Winter_Tan.preview


If you prefer the American manicure over the French manicure, you can get this look really easily. Just take a color like Essie in Marshmallow and put it only on the tip of your nail. Then over your entire nail, paint it with a color like Essie in Ballet Slippers. This will give you that slight manicured look without having bright white nail tips! This look is more natural, blended and gives you that “are they real” look and appeal.

But by all means, if you love french manicures I’m not saying that I hate them or anything is wrong when them, but for me a personal preference is a more stuble version of this classic nail look … but this is coming from the girl who has worn the same polish since 2008, doesn’t wear nail art and can’t decide on a nail shape so c’est la vie.

Below is my personal version of the American Manicure that I just got today. I’m wearing a white gel on the tip with Orly “Kiss the bride” gel on top in 2 coats and an LNA Clothing Dress.


If you get a french or american manicure, be sure to tag me on instagram #mariannamanis and I’ll take a look!

And just for giggles … my fav nail video of all time


6 Responses to French vs American Manicure

  1. I love American manicures! They are so classic and beautiful. Plus, you never have to worry that your nails will clash with your outfit!

  2. I agree – the American is a much more tailored, classic look. I think in all your pics you show an American manicure with 2 coats of polish going over the off white tip. I believe it looks better and more natural (also easier to maintain) with just 1 coat. I use 1 coat of a light, off white for the tip (Zoya Laurie) and 1 coat of a light sheer pink (Zoya Bela). Personally, I find Zoya goes on a lot smoother and doesn’t ever clump up at the end of the bottle like Essie does. Also, Zoya is cruelty free! Thanks so much for covering this new mani!

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