The 22 Best Colourful French-Manicure Ideas to Try Now

With summer well underway, I’ve noticed a shift in the types of manicures I’ve been spotting on Instagram lately. Sure, neutral, clean-girl nails are still doing the rounds, but there has been a major resurgence of cute nail art and pastel hues. As someone who always has a saved folder that’s bursting with nail designs, I have to say that I’m thrilled with this shift to embrace colour and pattern during the warmer months. That being said, I’m well aware that checkerboard nails and rainbow manis aren’t for everyone, which is why I’m so excited about this emerging nail trend, which I think even nail-art cynics will adore: the colourful French-tip manicure.

Embracing all of the fundamentals of the timeless French mani (glossy finishes, perfectly groomed nail beds and a neutral base), this modern twist gives those classic white tips a colourful makeover. I first spotted manicurist Harriet Westmoreland experimenting with tips slicked with shades of soft apricot and pretty lilac on her clients, and since then, I’ve seen the coolest girls sharing everything from cerulean blue–topped manicures to mix-and-match tips. Let’s just say I’m totally obsessed.

Keep scrolling for 22 of the best colourful French manicures to inspire your own summer nail looks.

This sunny orange shade is surprisingly neutral when nail tips are kept short and round. Perfect for summer.

If you’re not a fan of bright colours, then opt for a neutral shade that complements your skin tone.

Opt for a bold colour like blue to really show off those perfectly groomed nails.

I always think black nails look chic, but if you’re concerned about veering into ’90s-grunge territory, then dark nail tips with a hint of shimmer look so elegant.

Proving that a colourful French manicure doesn’t always have to feel pared back, this cool mani will turn heads with its graphic pastel points.

Metallics, glitters and holographic nail polishes tend to be relegated to the party season, but this silver-adorned French mani proves that they can actually work all year round.

Turning the classic French manicure totally on its head, this polished nail look forgoes those boring white tips in favour of shiny black ones. 

Multicoloured manicures are big news this year, but keeping the colour to just the tips of your nails means your mani looks subtly playful. 

Westmoreland calls this look the “reverse French,” adding a pop of colour close to the nail beds rather than at the tips. So cool.

Why not alternate the colour at your nail tips and your nail beds for a twist on the trend?

I love how these muted shades extend down the nail for more of a laid-back take on the French manicure.

Lilac, blush pink, coral and turquoise… This mani has all of this season’s biggest shades in one look.

Why opt for one nail-polish colour when these tips look so good with two?

A full gold manicure might feel a bit OTT, but these sleek tips look so expensive.

Take a half-and-half approach like this part red, part peach manicure. So cool. 

I love how delicately these pastel-blue nail tips have been painted on—it almost looks like a classic French manicure at first glance.

Unlike the mani above, it’s the bigger the better when it comes to the nail tips here. I love it.

Psychedelic patterns and all the colours of the rainbow mean this nail art will definitely turn heads. 

Seriously, how shiny are these nails? The soft lilac tips and oh-so glossy nails look simply stunning.

Go wild and pick a different shade for each tip for the ultimate 2022 take on the colourful French manicure.

Few colours go together better than pink and red, and the combination of this rosy-pink base and red-toned fuchsia tips proves it.

Have fun with the shape of your French tips, and try something different. These understated (but very pretty) hearts are going straight on my nails at my next nail appointment.

Next up, 25 simple (but effective) nail designs for people who just don’t want the fuss.

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