October 25, 2011 Makeup.com Nails

3 Modern Twists on the French Manicure

When I think of a "French manicure" I automatically cringe at the thought of those white-lined tips (is it just me?). Sure, it's a clean and sharp look, but I think it's about time the old staple get a modern makeover. So, I talked to three celeb manicurists to find out how they'd give the good 'ole French mani a more interesting vibe. French manicure loyalists, we dare you to give one of these looks a try!
Free-Hand Ombre
Nonie Creme is one of the most innovative manicurists making the rounds today and she is the Creative Director for Butter London. While ombre has been a hair-coloring trend for a while now, Creme used the painterly look to inspire her version of the French manicure for the Yigal Azrouel Cut25 fashion show.

STEP 1: Start by painting your nails with two coats of Butter London in Pink Ribbon and let dry.
STEP 2: Brush Butter London in Cream Tea across the tips of each nail, but don’t worry about the lines being perfectly straight across the edges (you’re just going to mess it up).
STEP 3: Next, swish the brush back and forth on the tip to create a jagged gradation down the nail.
STEP 4: Finish by painting a sliver of Butter London in Diamond Geezer across the edge of your nail.  The messier the better!
Moon Mani
Celebrity manicurist, Julie Kandalec’s polish work and mani tips have been highlighted in top magazines like Marie Claire and InStyle, and she’s known for primping the talons of supermodel Brooklyn Decker. Check it out: this isn’t your typical moon mani, as it’s very 60’s inspired and flipped to the side for a retro, unexpected twist.

STEP 1: Polish a half circle on each nail using the corners of your nails as a guide. Remember, it doesn’t have to be exact. Kandalec used RGB in Dove, a light grey creme shade, as creme shades are more forgiving for nail art beginners.
STEP 2: After two coats, use a quick dry topcoat like Seche Vite to seal it before applying your darker shade.  This will prevent the two hues from running together.
STEP 3: Once dry, paint two coats of a darker shade (like: Chanel in Black Satin) around the half circle and finish with a topcoat.
Moroccan Triangles
When she's not perfecting the cuticles of celebs like Blake Lively, you can find Elle Gerstein backstage at New York Fashion Week as the lead manicurist for Essie.  This nail look—aka "the reverse chevron French"—was inspired by fashion designer Pamela Love's boho spring 2012 collection.

STEP 1: After applying your base coat, paint your nails with two coats of Essie in Topless and Barefoot (an opaque matte nude), and let it dry completely.
STEP 2:  Next, use Essie in Little Brown Dress and paint a diagonal from each corner of the nail bed to the tip to create a triangular shape.
STEP 3:  Allow your nails to set for about two minutes before applying a topcoat.
Now it's your turn! Share with us your French manicure alternative in the comments box below. 
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