A brief history of French manicure

There are things that suit absolutely everyone, are universal and…

There are things that suit absolutely everyone, are universal and never go out of style. For example, french manicure. Business women and students, on weekdays and on special occasions, can be sure that such nails will be appropriate and will look neat and aesthetically pleasing. A nude coating of the nail plate with an elegant white stripe along the edge can also be the basis of a pedicure. Therefore, learning French manicure history will be interesting for everyone who has ever worn this noble and discrete version of the manicure.

What are French nails? 

French nails

This manicure is a base polish of a natural light color applied to the fingernails and a solid white tip. The length can vary, but in most cases the tip is shorter than the main part. Colored versions have also been a trend for a long time. For acrylic nails, the length and shape can also be any, but most often it is a square or oval shape and a length of up to 3 mm. With such nails you look well-groomed and appropriate anywhere, at any time.

Why is this technique called so? 

You may be surprised, but French manicure was invented not in France, but in the USA. The technique itself appeared in the 1930s and was developed by Max Factor. But it became widespread later, in 1976. French manicure origin would have been impossible without the film industry. Hollywood directors have noticed that choosing the color of nail polish for actresses for each outfit and for each scene is quite expensive. They were looking for some kind of universal option. One of the directors turned to the founder of ORLY brand, Jeff Pink, to come up with an all-purpose way of fingernails cover.

Pink’s original design name was “Natural Look”. The required elements were a white edge (“smile”) and a flesh-colored nail plate. The idea was to create something “like natural nails, but better.” Jeff Pink has released a kit to create a new way of coating.

The idea was received with a bang by models, actresses and ordinary women: hands with such «makeup» looks natural, feminine and elegant, not flashy or distracting attention from the main thing — outfit. Thus, Jeff Pink saved a lot of time and money, eliminating the need to select a color for each occasion.

There is also another version that the same technique was first noticed back in the 1800s.

This type of hand care became associated with France when Jeff Pink personally brought his kit to Paris. It was used in fashion shows by models. Returning triumphantly to Los Angeles, Pink called the manicure “French.” The image was adopted by popular stars of the time, such as Barbra Streisand and Cher. There was no Instagram yet, just actresses and singers who were shown on television. Following them, new nail cover techniques spread among ordinary women, gradually appearing in every beauty salon.

Application technique

Application technique

French manicure and pedicure, simple and classic, has become one of the most common cosmetic procedures. Toenails painted using this technique look great in sandals, open shoes.

To create it, only two colors are used — main and white. The main color is nude, beige or soft pink. A thin strip at the tip is painted milky. This strip can be wider or narrower, depending on the preferences of the owner. As in the case of the regular method, French begins with a warm bath and scrub for the hands or feet. The cuticles are pushed back, the fingernails are straightened and cleaned with special files and brushes. There are many shapes, but the “ballerina” shape is ideal in this situation.

After pre-treatment, the fingernails are covered with standard or gel nail polish. The artist applies white polish using strips or by eye. Stripes provide a smoother, more perfect line and eliminate the danger of failure during application. The white part should be opaque, while the base polish should be slightly translucent to enhance the natural look. As a rule, the milky layer is applied twice. After applying white polish and base, a top coat is applied to make everything last longer.

It is important to wait for the previous layer to dry naturally or in a UV lamp before applying each subsequent layer.

The acrylic application technique is different, because the white tips are already part of the artificial nail. The master uses only glue to secure it and, if necessary, adjusts the shape.

How long do French nails last?

Sooner or later you have to say goodbye to your manicure. When this moment will come, depends on how the cover was applied. Regular polish on natural fingernails will stay with you for about a week. A gel manicure done by a professional at a salon can last up to 3 weeks, while an acrylic one lasts even longer, up to 6 weeks.

French manicure and pedicure are eternal classics, a win-win option, balancing between aesthetics and a touch of old Hollywood glamour. It is appropriate in any situation. Knowing this, many women around the world still prefer it, and beauty salons call this service one of the most popular. So the French manicure history will definitely continue for many years to come.

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