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5 Invisible French Manicures That Feel Classic Yet Trendy

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@betina_goldstein / Instagram

A French manicure is classic for a reason. It’s pretty, natural, and goes with just about everything. While indie nails and patterned press-on nails have been trending, so have fresh takes on the French manicure. Beauty lovers have been finding ways to put their own spin on French nails and straying away from the traditional white tips.

Colorful French manicures in particular have been trendy this year (electric blue tips is an editor fave here at IPSY!) as well as ones that incorporate small nail art designs. We can’t forget about micro French tips, where the pop of color is subtle and completely transforms the look of short nails.

The next French manicure trend is already taking social media by storm. It’s even more minimalist than before and perfect for someone who loves the look of their natural nails. We call it: the invisible French manicure.

What Is an Invisible French Manicure?

Your typical French manicure uses a bright white polish to create tips on each nail and has a sheer or somewhat pink base coat. But to achieve an invisible French manicure, you’ll want to reach for a sheer or a neutral color to give the illusion of invisible or “barely there” nail tips.

We’ve seen beige tips, light olive green, taupe, and even sheer baby pinks. If you want to take your invisible French manicure a step further you can even add a thin line of glitter to the tip of your nail or the smile line (the bottom of your nail where the half moon shape is). It’s a fun twist on the classic and everyone will want to know where you got the idea from.

Invisible French Manicures to Try

1. Micro White Tips

Micro French or ‘baby French’ manicures as some like to call it are actually the perfect gateway to an invisible French manicure. This example uses white nail polish but you can use this additional nail technique with any color to get the look of the invisible French manicure.

We suggest picking a neutral color or a light nude. Try a gel nail polish for this style if you can. It will be much more durable than regular nail polish since it is on a part of your nail that is used the most throughout your day.

2. Nude Nails with Glitter Tips

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A post shared by Jenny (@jenny.jennys)

We can’t wait to try these, the precision is amazing! This specific photo shows a stiletto, almost almond nail shape. But, we bet you could try these as long as your nails are rounded a bit. This look uses a sheer, almost clear base and a nude French tip. Then, you’ll want to take a striper nail brush and outline the smile line of the French tip in a glitter polish of your choice. Seal it with a top coat and you have the ultimate invisible French manicure.

3. Mocha Colored Tips

Coffee inspired nails are still quite trendy. Look for a neutral gel polish, preferably a light mocha color like this one, or even a lighter taupe or tan and ask your nail tech for a thick, French tip. Showing a photo is always helpful so they can get the nail shape just right. You can also use a matte gel polish if you prefer.

4. Pink Nail French

We had to look twice before realizing the color used was actually a soft, baby pink! This is an ideal DIY nail look because the pink blends in well with your skin and nail beds, so you don’t have to be super precise. The key is to pick a baby pink that somewhat matches your undertones to really nail the invisible and “barely there” look. Don’t be afraid to swatch a few beforehand to see what works best.

5. Cream Colored French

This is another example of a micro French tip, but you can certainly do a thicker stripe as well. Instead of a bright white French tip to create your look, you’ll want to grab more of a cream color (almost like an eggshell). It’s the best neutral there is and works well with all skin tones to achieve the invisible look. Play around with the thickness of your tips to see what you prefer.

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About the author
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia is a freelance beauty writer. With experience in influencer marketing at Tata Harper Skincare and editorial at Very Good Light, she loves covering Gen Z beauty, wellness, and nail trends. Read her work on Very Good Light and Well + Good.
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Article Last Updated November 25, 2022 12:00 AM