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A truly classic look, French manicures are one of the most popular nail designs. There’s something so elegant and simple about a French manicure, replicating a natural nail with the sharp element of the white tip thrown in.
There is a bit of debate concerning the exact history of French manicures, but we know for certain the look became popular in the 1970’s through the president of ORLY, Jeff Pink. Pink was asked by Hollywood directors to come up with a nail design that would match any wardrobe, making it easy for actresses to change clothes without worrying about their nails clashing with the costumes. He then released his own at-home manicure kit to allow all women to recreate the look, and the trend was born.
While French manicures are a staple in the manicure world, over time nail artists want to push the envelope and experiment. Taking an old favorite and mashing it up with a new trend is a great way to get a classic look with modern flair. In this case, French manicures marry with ombré style nails, and it is a match made in heaven.
Going for an ombré look with the French manicure softens the look rather than the sharp curve of the white tip. You can also be flexible with your ombré French style, using it as an accent nail or as a component in an eclectic design.
No matter what you choose, you’ll feel elegant and glamorous with your French ombré nails!
Best French Ombre Nails Ideas & Inspiration
French ombré nails are stunning in this long-nail long, but the real star of the show is the three dimensional rose on the accent nail. This style highlights how a French ombré look can complement an intricate design without overpowering it or being too plain. It’s a perfect balance, creating an elegant style.
While the French ombré style is a mashup itself, there’s nothing that says you can’t add another element to your look! Here, French ombré nails go to the next level with a sugar nails treatment. Sugaring adds glitz and glam in a delicate way, with the subtlety of the ombré just coming through underneath the glitter.
Classic and Beautiful
For those that favor long nails, using the ombré version of a French manicure is the way to go. It is hard to achieve a typical French look with such long nails, as it is difficult to determine where the tip should end. However, by going with the ombré style, you can extend the tipped effect as far along the nail as you want! This version of the style is even more subtle than most, using a cream color for the French part rather than a stark white.
Short Coffin Tips
Coffin nails are a popular nail shape among nail artists, but there is a misconception that coffin nails have to be long. This nail design proves that isn’t the case! Ombré French tips are perfect on coffin nails, highlighting the shape while keeping the look neutral. Here, the ombré combines white and pale pink, not quite the natural look but keeping with the style.
Let it Snow
An ombré style is the perfect background if you want to put a design on your nails. The ombré gives a two-toned look, but doesn’t overpower the artistry of the nail design. Here, delicate snowflakes are beautiful against the classic French colors. The addition of the tiny diamonds adds just the right note of sparkle.
A pretty metallic pink is a fun complement to the white in this French ombré style. Sticking with a short nail is a good choice with this color mashup, particularly as the ombré gradation is sharper than other styles. This would be a good opportunity to use the sponge ombré method, as it helps the colors to remain sharp and brings another element of texture.
Marble nails make for a cool accent in this look, the coppery shimmer complementing the model’s skin tone nicely. The length of the nails really allows the design to shine, as there’s more room to add detail. French ombré nails work nicely against the marble, fitting with the same color palate and supporting the design.
This look brings together two different ombré looks, a standard French and a sparkly silver glitter. Adding white glitter to the French nails brings consistency in style and texture. This look is perfect for a short nail, as it is simple and adorable.
Sharp and Fierce
Using the ombré style with shape of nail is ideal when you want to accomplish a French look. Sometimes, the shape of a tip on a sharp nail is a bit awkward. Going with the ombré allows for a classic French style that still maintains the elegance of the original style.
Large flecked glitter gives a fabulous textural contrast to the smooth ombré nails, both in the stripe and the full-cover nail. The brightness of the white also gives a visual change within the look. Adding the final touch of one piece of glitter on the pinkie nail ties the whole style together.
This French manicure is classic in every aspect but one – the ombré finish. The brightness of the base color is the quintessential French tone, with the white staying closer to the tip in a typical French style. Blending the two colors together at the place where the tip ends adds a soft touch rather than the harshness of a solid line at the time. Altogether, this style is a smooth style that is a beautiful take on the French style.
A simple style like a French manicure allows you to shake up your nail style in other ways. Here, pointed nails go nicely with a coffin nail on the thumb. These nails are almost a true French manicure, only the touch of blending makes it an ombré look.
Gorgeous rounded nails have a fabulous sheen in this natural style. Just a touch of a creamy off-white at the tip makes this a French style, rather than just going for a clear or nude polish. This is a great option if you have to have natural or neutral nails for work, as they look beautiful without being ostentatious.
This is a great way to accomplish an ombré look on a short nail. Like a true French manicure, only the tip of the nail has the lighter color with the rest of the nail a gorgeous light pink. However, blending the white into the pink makes the look smoother and a better base for the bright glitter.
Pink to White
While some French manicures go for a nude or clear polish at the base, others employ pink tones to give a shot of color to the style. In this instance, the brightness of the pink works perfectly against the white, with the slow change in color visually interesting. This smooth style is perfect for a longer nail, as it provides space for the switch between pink to white.
An ombré French manicure is a great choice for a wedding look, especially if you want to have an accent nail like the one pictured. Using the ombré in the background lets the flowers stand out while giving a smooth and beautiful look. Additionally, the tiny rhinestones bring a bit of shine and glamor to the overall style.
The single accent nail trend is a fun way to bring a bit of glitz to your nails, especially if you keep the rest of your nails neutral. When doing your nails for a special occasion or formal event, it can be best to keep your nails basic so as not to be too over the top. This simple style is perfect for such an event, with the silver glitter providing just the right touch. Likewise, if you like simple decorations, ombré French manicures are an ideal option for the rest of your nails.
When combining textures, like these two different types of glitter, it is important to have some element of balance in the rest of the style. The nude and French nails help to accomplish that, the perfect foil to the glitters. Their holographic tones bring in the color element to counterbalance the plain nature of the other nails.
A great wintertime look, these ombré French nails look like a freshly fallen snow. The white glitter goes perfectly with the brightness of the French tones, highlighting the ombré blend. While this style would also work with a silver or even pink glitter, the white gives a light and airy touch that captures that quiet, fresh-snow feel.
While each nail in this style is different, they each complement each other perfectly to form a cohesive look. The silver and white glitters are both fine, giving the same textural element. The base of the glitter nails are French ombré like the pinkie nail, providing another connection. Far from when you were little and painting your nails the colors of the rainbow, this is a sophisticated single-nail style that will work for your grown up self.
Matte looks are rising in popularity throughout makeup styles, including nail art. These gorgeous coffin nails get the matte treatment, making the white of the French manicure stand out. In a way, the matte version of this ombré style makes it cleaner than its glossy counterpart, giving a more natural look.
Short and Sparkling
Short coffin nails fit nicely with this design, the large gemstones adding color and sparkle. A French ombré style is the perfect complement to these jewels, as it is a smooth background that supports the texture of the gems. You could also use little silver studs instead of rhinestones if you prefer.
A dazzling wedding look, the French ombré is an idea background for all the fun and fabulous details of this design. Showing its versatility, a French manicure works with both the gold glitter and the little decals. The final flourish comes from the floral design, adding little touch of wedding magic.
Tiny Pearls, Big Statement
It’s amazing how one little detail can elevate a nail look to the next level. While this French manicure is already gorgeous, the tiny pearls give a three dimensional look that lifts the style. You could also achieve this look with any decal you like, blue or pink jewels would bring a fun pop of color against the ombré.
Here, the French ombré look works as an accent nail within a larger design. This style has a lot going on, and while it all works together, using a simpler accent nail can tone down the look. The holographic nature of the glitter and gems brings enough color to the style without needing any other elements.
There beautiful designs are so delicate and detailed, it is important to choose a backdrop that lets them shine. An ombré French manicure is the perfect choice, as it keeps the style classy and allows the designs to be the focal point. The French ombré also brings a bit of depth that you wouldn’t have with a flat color.
Burnished gold is amazing in this look, making it look like your nails are really 24 carats. The ombré French manicure works perfectly in this design, mirroring the white and gold ombré of the middle nail. This is a great look for a special occasion, especially if you’re rocking gold in your outfit.
Silver Glitter Tips
When creating this look, it is a great chance to use the dipping powder method. You can either stick your finger into the glitter or use a brush to sprinkle the glitter over the nail. For a higher concentration of glitter closer to the tip of the nail, start by dipping, then tilt your nail upward and dust the glitter over the nail to wherever you want to end the ombré effect. This simple style is great for everyday while still bringing glitz into your life.
Large flecked glitter is the focal point in this style, with the ombré French manicure serving as the support. Stopping the glitter at the same place as the ombré helps to bring consistency to the style. This is a great choice for short nails, as it is simple but still glamorous. While these nails have a bit of a point to them, you could also square them off if you prefer.
Sometimes, you just have to go for the classics. This French manicure is beautiful and simple, using the original colors, taking on the vintage Hollywood style. The soft blend of the ombré effect doesn’t detract from the look at all, rather it smooths the overall style.
A mish-mash of designs, the pink glitter works perfectly against the cream tones of the rest of the polish. The French ombré works into the mashup nicely, complementing the other ombré styles within the overall design. This is a great way to do an eclectic style, sticking with the same color palate but going with different patterns on each nail.
Not quite square, not quite round, this is a great shape for a classic style. The ombré is centralized to the tip of the nail, mimicking a conventional French look. Classic colors emphasize the effect.
The gems on these nails copy the shape of a tiara, making them perfect if you want to feel like a princess! Using an ombré French manicure lets the gemstones be the star, as well as providing a smooth base to let the design sing. Placing the jewels at the shift from one color to another helps to keep the shape consistent throughout the style.
Looking like silver confetti, the accent nail is perfect for a celebratory atmosphere while the French manicure keeps the style classy. This is a great style for an engagement party, wedding, or special occasion. These nails are a bit longer, but you could easily make this style work on a shorter nail.
If you really want to splurge on your nails, you can put flecks of real gold in your design with gold leaf. In this instance, the accent nails have delicate swatches of gold, placed on top of the base polish then sealed. The ombré French nails are just the right complement to the gold, as both are classic and glamorous.
Copper and Leather
A great fall look, the coppery tones of the glitter perfectly match the brown tone of the middle nail. As the pointer and pinkie nails both us an ombré effect with the glitter, the French ombré nails fit right in the overall design. While this is a long nail look, you could do this on a shorter nail if you use a finer glitter rather than large flecks.
It’s the little touches that make a nail design great. The tiny golden feather is such an adorable feature of this nail design, and it works nicely against the backdrop of the French ombré style. Using a gold holographic glitter adds another fun element that complements the ombré nails.
Studded with Glamour
Bright glitter works nicely against the diamond studs in this design. Combining different French and ombré techniques together, this eclectic style is the perfect special occasion look. To get such a clean edge for the glitter French nail, paint clear polish in the shape you desire then dip the wet polish into the glitter. Shake off the access and clean it up with a bit of nail polish remover before sealing, and you’re finished!
If you’re a fan of classic nail styles, you’re probably an expert in French manicures. However, for those that want to shake up their typical style, using an ombré effect on your French manicure will give a new edge to your old favorite.
Not only that, but ombré French manicures work well within more complex designs as well. You can use the ombré effect as a background for decals or designs, or as an accent nail to balance out a look. Don’t feel limited to just the classic colors either!
However you choose to incorporate ombré French manicures into your style, you’re sure to love the look!