The French manicure is the nail art’s underdog. The polarising look has made a comeback after a brief hiatus in the mid-2000s and is now more popular than ever.
However, acrylic square white tips aren’t the only way to do a French in 2022. Nail artists and enthusiasts are reimagining the classic white stripe with minimalist lines, stiletto shapes, and neon polishes. For those who prefer a neutral manicure, elevating the French manicure is as simple as swapping white nail polish for black.
Black French Tips Stilettos: Black French Tip Nails
Nail artist Yukie Natori added drama to LaQuan Smith’s Spring/Summer 2022 show with this sharp stiletto shape with a black French tip.
Black Wavy French Tips: Nails
Jin Soon Choi’s wavy design for Peter Do’s Spring 2022 show combines the classic French manicure with a negative space look. Choi created the cool nail art with her own nail care brand’s products.
French Almond French Tips: Black French Tip Nails
The black French manicure looks great on all nail lengths and shapes, including these long, almond black tips seen on nail artist Amy Le.
- Swirls of Black
Nia Ho updated classic white tips with black swirl accents on each nail.
- Black Round Tips
Melissa McCartney wore rounded black French tips to the 2021 InStyle Awards to accept the Icon Award.
- Clashing Patterns
You are not required to choose nail art or French tips. Vanity Projects’ whimsy look shows how to do both: simply add whatever designs you want to a black and white French manicure.
- French for Half Moon
Half moons and pastel pink tips are two unexpected details that will dress up the standard black French manicure.
- Curves and Swerves
60s-inspired swirls are still popular. The pattern has appeared on dresses, jeans, and home decor, but it also makes for great nail art. Nailsbyalsn combines a black French manicure with a few black and white swirl accent nails in this look.
- Black Outline and Inverted French Tips
This black French tip variation is ideal for minimalist nail artists. Marina Iwakoshi of Vanity Projects experimented with different line sizes to achieve the graphic look.
A splash of colour
There’s a reason you have so much black in your closet: it goes with everything. The same is true for black nail polish. Paintbox’s black and yellow manicure shows how to add a pop of colour to dark French tips. Another eye-catching feature is the angled tips.
Before we get into the various ways to do a black French manicure, let’s define the difference between French tips and a French manicure. Dasha Minina, a nail technician and the founder of Maxus Nails and BeauticianList, previously told InStyle that when people ask for French tips, they usually mean artificial white nail tips. A French manicure, on the other hand, is when the tips of the nails are painted a different colour than the base of the nail. However, when referring to the design of the actual tip, the terms are frequently used interchangeably.