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.