Alternative French Manicure
The classic French manicure–a pale pink, beige, or nude nail with a bright white nail tip–has long been a favorite of brides, prom queens, and classy ladies everywhere. Demure and lovely, yes. Kind of boring, also yes. If you like the look of a French manicure, but want a little color to liven it up, the alternative French manicure may be a good option. Pick any color as a base, and any other color for the tips.
Burgundy and Gold
Here’s my first attempt at the alternative French mani. For the main color, I used Sally Hansen Diamond Strength in Brilliant Bordeaux and for the accent color I used Revlon ColorStay in Fall Mood. You’ll notice I combined this look with the Accent Nail trend, so my ring finger inverts the look. I loved how this color combo looked on my hand. The deep red bordeaux with the gold-bronze is perfect for fall. To get this look, I painted two coats of the main color. Then I poured a small amount of the tip color on a piece of foil, then dipped a thin nail brush in the polish and applied. In the past, I’ve always used the actual nail polish brush to achieve a French manicure, but using a thinner, better quality brush gave me much more control over the line.
Red and Gold
This is a similar take on the previous mani, keeping the tip color Revlon ColorStay in Fall Mood but with the main color of Rimmel in Stiletto Red. Here I made my tips a bit thicker than in the previous mani, so that the Fall Mood was more visible. This is a great new nail polish, by the way. Very dense, sparkly, luminous color–only one coat covers most of the nail, though I’d recommend two for best results.
Blue and Black
I really love how my third attempt of this look turned out. I did a strict French manicure, no accent nail, and I paired two unlikely colors: China Glaze in Man Hunt (main color) and China Glaze in Liquid Leather (tip color). These are my first China Glaze polishes, and I was very impressed. The blue is a rich, dark hue that applied smoothly and opaquely. The black also was opaque with one coat which is pretty rare for a black nail polish.
Gray and Navy
Here I’m wearing one of my favorite polishes for the main color, Rimmel in Steel Grey. This is a really attractive grey hue–oftentimes the grey polishes out there make your hand look washed out and corpse-like, but this has just a hint of lilac in it for a beautiful fall color. For the tip color, I used L’Oreal Colour Riche in After Hours. I’ve had this polish for awhile and it’s a bit finicky when placed on the entire nail–sort of runny and requiring many coats. But it worked well just just at the tips of my nails.
Ahhh, a teachable moment, as Oprah would say. See the streaking on the close-up of my ring finger here? This is called “Beth got impatient and applied a clear top coat before the blue was dry.” No good. May this be a lesson to you all.