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The difference between a French manicure and American manicure

What’s the difference between a French and American manicure? The fundamental difference between a French manicure and an American one is to do with the color and in several nail salons the shape of the finished nails might be also somewhat different.

A typical French manicure uses a pink tone clear base all over the nail and then a thick white tip is painted across the ends.

An American manicure has the same look but varies in color using a creamy colored base, similar to a flesh tone, finishing off the tips with a touch of pink or even red in certain circumstances – still keeping it quite natural.

Sometimes the shape of the nail may change, with the American favoring a square shape nail rather than slightly rounded tips.

Again using the same format as the French with a pink clear base to start, you then take the white paint and paint on the tip of the nail an upside down V shape.

In the center of the V is placed a small rhinestone for extra sparkle. It looks great, especially if you are a bit of a disco diva!


  1. The French manicure has a white tip with a pink base. In contrast, the American manicure comes with a white tip, except its base is light beige.
  2. While the American manicure uses creamier colors, the French manicure uses stark white colors.
  3. Unlike the French manicure style, the American manicure is believed to have a more natural look, which gives nails a pristine look.
  4. The French manicures mostly use Orly White or Alpine Snow. On the other hand, Swedish Nude and Kyoto Pearl are used for American manicures.
  5. For the American manicures, squarer nails are usually preferred, where somewhat rounded nails are preferred in French manicures.

The American Manicure

American manicures at a nail salon or at home

What makes a manicure American? With delicate tones and light colors the American Manicure give nails a natural, soft look. Differing from the French Manicure, the American Manicure has the white tip of the nail coated first with the neutral tone painted over the whole nail. This manicure can be performed at home or in a salon and spa. The American Manicure is also easy to fix if you had a manicure or chips need to be re-coated.

Buying a professional American Manicure more often include a hand massage, cuticle care, and other nail care services to preserve the quality of the nails and hands.

An American Manicure can be performed at home by purchasing an American Manicure kit. You can buy it at your local drug store or beauty salon. In place of an American Manicure kit, you can buy an opaque or light color of nail polish and a neutral pink tone. For best results cuticle cutters, a high-quality emery board, and deep moisturizing oil will give the at-home manicure a look of professional quality.

Once the nails have soaked in warm water and the nails are free from any polish it can be filed and shaped into the preferred look. Once the nails are all set for painting a base coat will prep the nails to maintain the top coat of color for a longer time. After the base coat is done, a stencil or similar tool can be used as a frame to help outline the opaque white or light color of nail polish for defining the tip. Once the nail tips are done the layer of pale pink or neutral tone nail polish is applied to give the tips a soft, natural look. To complete the manicure and maintain the nail polish intact a top coat of clear nail polish is recommended to also strengthen the nails. After the old polish is removed and before new coats are applied professional salons and spas will give hand massage with moisturizing cream. Nevertheless, the fact is American Manicure give nails a stunning, stylish look that will never go out of style.

Let’s find out what is a French Manicure?