The 30 Best Colourful French-Manicure Ideas to Try Now

With spring 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.

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Keep scrolling for 30 of the best colourful French manicures to inspire your own summer nail looks.

The Best Colourful French Manicure Ideas

1. Tangerine Tops

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

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

2. Neutral Tones

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

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

3. Blue Moon

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(Image credit: @asos_lotte)

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

4. Monochrome Shimmer

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(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

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.

5. Pastel Points

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(Image credit: @imarninails)

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.

6. Metallic Touches

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(Image credit: @paragonnails)

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.

7. Micro French

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

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

8. Rainbow Twist

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

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

9. Reverse French

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(Image credit: @rochellehumes)

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

10. Oscillating French Tips

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(Image credit: @amy_lawrenson)

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

11. Abstract Tips

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(Image credit: @browngirlhands)

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

12. Pretty Pastels

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(Image credit: @imarninails)

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

13. Two-Tone

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(Image credit: @imarninails)

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

14. Golden Touch

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(Image credit: @hollyfalconenails)

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

15. Split Tips

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(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

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

16. Barely There

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(Image credit: @hollyfalconenails)

I love how delicate these pastel-blue nail tips are—it almost looks like a classic French manicure at first glance.

17. '70s Vibes

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(Image credit: @celmatique)

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

18. Lilac Gloss

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

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

19. 5-Shade Surprise

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(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

Go wild and pick a different shade for each tip for the ultimate 2024 take on the colourful French manicure.

20. Pink and Red

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(Image credit: @BUFFCS)

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

21. Heart-Shaped Tips

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(Image credit: @NAILARTBYQUEENIE)

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.

22. Pastel-Green Tips

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Neon shades are so much fun to experiment with in a French manicure. The slither of zesty pastel green on the tips makes this mani pop.

23. Reverse Orange

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(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie )

This reverse French in alternating citrus shades is so pretty.

24. Blue Double French

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Why not accentuate the tips and the half moons at the base of the nails?

25. Abstract Lilac French

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(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie )

Experiment with the placement of your French mani with diagonal shapes and contrasting accents with your nail art.

26. Neon-Orange French

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

This vibrant neon colour is the perfect hue to inject some fun into your regular French mani.

27. Pastel Rainbow

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Can't choose one colour? Select colours from the same colour family (such as pastels or neons) and you'll be on to a winning colour combo.

28. Matcha Tips

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(Image credit: @HARRIETWESTMORELAND)

Green is a big colour trend for 2024—from mint and pistachio to the famous Bottega-inspired emerald green, we've seen it all when it comes to green hues in nail art. Matcha is set to be the next big thing.

29. Cornflower Blue French Tips

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(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

These cornflower blue nails just scream spring and summer.

30. Multicoloured Pastel French

Multicoloured pastel French tips

(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Can't decide on just one colour? Why not pick a few from the same tonal colour palette?

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This story was previously published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Mica Ricketts