“Skinny French manicures are the understated nail trend I’m seeing everywhere right now”

Like to keep things simple when it comes to your nails? The skinny French manicure could be just the ticket. Here’s all of the inspiration you need.

After spending most of the pandemic experimenting with various at-home nail art designs and bright statement colours, it’s totally understandable that this spring, we want to take things back to basics with our manicures. While negative space nails, abstract nail designs and gradient nails gave us whole-body joy, it’s expertly executed, simple designs that are reigning supreme on Instagram right now.

Having a real moment is the skinny French manicure. Made famous by celebrity manicuristHarriet Westmoreland (she’s Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s go-to), the skinny (or micro) French manicure, features a natural-looking base, with a neat, super-fine tip – and we can’t get enough of it. 

However, just because it’s pared-back and simple doesn’t mean it’s an easy look to achieve. In fact, the sleek finish and fine detail mean there is little room for mistakes. In a bid to get to the bottom of what makes the perfect skinny French mani, we reached out to Westmoreland herself.

“The skinny French is just a modern take on the traditional French style. The main difference, of course, is just the thickness of the tip,” says Westmoreland. Its popularity is not only down to its almost impossibly chic aesthetic, but the fact any grow-out is well disguised too. “My clients wear a skinny French week after week because it’s so complementary to the natural nail,” she adds.

The secret to a flawless skinny French? It’s all in the base and the brush. “First of all, the brush you use to paint the tip needs to be very thin. Secondly, you need to spend some time choosing the correct base for your skin tone. Have a play with different shades. Look for sheer browns, pinks and nudes and see which one you like best,” advises Westmoreland.

Her go-to? “I absolutely adore the Dior manicure range. They have three base coats: Dior Base Coat Abricot, Diorlisse Abricot 500 and Diorlisse Abricot 800. I love layering and mixing between them to achieve the perfect base colour.”

The best part is, you can jazz up your manicure with a plethora of different coloured tips and the results all look equally as chic. If the skinny French sounds like something you could get on board with, we’ve rounded up some of the best inspiration out there.

Skinny French manicure inspiration

  • Classic skinny French

    For a polished, simple finish, keep things classic with white tips.

  • Square skinny French

    This style works for any and every nail shape. Plus, we love this summery lilac polish.

  • Mirrored skinny French manicure

    Who’s to say this design has to be kept solely to the tip of the nail? A delicate link of colour at the top and bottom of the nail creates yet another aesthetic riff on the classic style.

  • Midnight skinny French

    For an understated look that’s a little more glam, go for a dark polish with a swipe of glitter over the top.

  • Melting skinny French manicure

    An organic, slightly-abstract shape, carry the colourful tip down and along the outer edge of the nail for a dripping, fluid design.

  • Skinny French with pearls

    Accent your micro-French manicure with small, luminescent pearls. It creates a 3D effect on the nail and pairs perfectly with the classic neutral shades of nudes, pinks, browns and white.

  • Gold skinny French

    If you’re feeling confident in the skills of your manicurist, create gold accent tips.

  • Reverse skinny French

    Spin the skinny French on its head and take your colour along the nail bed for a fresh take on the classic style.

  • Rainbow skinny French

    Why stick to just one shade of polish when you can go for them all?

  • Silver skinny French

    This futuristic silver look is minimalist but punchy. 

Main image: Harriet Westmoreland

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