French tips are one of the most classic nail styles out there. They're simple, beautiful, and will never go out of style. But that doesn't mean they have to be boring; it's fun to spice them up with more out-of-the-box shades and accents. "Nail tip designs are a cool, modern twist on the French manicure," says celebrity manicurist Brittney Boyce. "While French manicures have been popular for years, nowadays, we see people adding their own personal flair with a variety of designs!"
Mabelyn Alva explains that there are many ways to get imaginative with nail tip designs. "Adding crystals, gems, and metallic accents is a great way to make your tips sparkle without overwhelming the nail design," says Alva. "Graphic designs with elevated color pairings are also really popular." And another thing to remember: If you're working with a base that matches your natural nail color, [French tips give you a cleaner] look when your nails grow out," says Boyce. And who doesn't want to prolong their manicure?
Meet Our Expert
Brittney Boyce is a celebrity manicurist whose clients include Megan Fox and Kim Kardashian.
Mabelyn Alva is a manicurist and the creative director at Paintbox,
Get inspired by browsing 30 stunning nail tip designs below.
“My favorite go-to is a chrome French,” says Boyce. “It offers a cool and edgy look while remaining within most people's comfort zones." This look was painted on Aprés Nail Gel-X Tips.
Boyce made this look with Aprés Nail’s Gel-X Tips and polish in the shade in Pucker Up ($15). “I love hand-painted designs,” says Boyce. “The flame tip isn’t for everyone, but I’m obsessed. If you can pull it off, it’s FIRE!”
Create this look on your own or buy it in press-on form from Paintbox. The Twosome Press-Ons ($28) feature a geometric nude and coral design. It's one of the brand's latest designs.
Negative Space Tips
This nail tip design features two curvilinear lines with negative space between them. It's a nice way to inject subtle color into your manicure.
Tortoiseshell nails are inherently glamorous, and having them in tip form just ups the chic factor.
Although these heart tips are perfect for Valentine's Day, you can get away with wearing them year-round for a simple and sweet pop of red.
If you don't have the patience to create a crisp, rounded tip, you can apply glitter to your tips and brush it down to ombré effect. Minimal effort maximum impact!
Florals can be a sweet take on tips. This design keeps things delicate and beautiful, exclusively using white flowers and leaves.
Instead of concentrating color just on the tips, this design makes use of the entire border of the nail with razor-thin lines swooping down into the bottom half-moons. It's a minimal, but elevated look.
With nail polish and a makeup sponge, you can make ombré tips with ease. This look fades a bright yellow into a neutral milky beige.
Brighten your spirits with this look, which adorns yellow tips with pink tropical flowers. It was created using polishes from The Gel Bottle Inc.
This look takes a simple brown tip to the next level with wavy blue and beige additions.
Several shades of cool blue were used to create this gradient double-tip look. It was created on top of Aprés Nail Natural Stiletto Short ($17) gel tips.
Boyce made this look using all Aprés Nail green polishes, including Kung Fu Tortoise ($15), Lime Pop ($15), Gen X Slime ($15), and Luna Luna ($15). “Multicolored nails are super fun and easy to get done,” says Boyce. “You don’t have to search for the perfect nail artist to achieve this look.”
Outside the Lines
This look is a really playful take on nail tip designs. The tips themselves are abstract and accented by hot pink squiggles.
This ornate seashell-inspired pink nail tip design emulates line drawings with thin black outlines separating the ridges of the shell.
This colorful look features a different shade on each nail using Gel Care polishes in the shades Granite Purple ($20), Barbara Pink ($20), Kelly Green ($20), Cornflower Blue ($20), Corallium ($20), and Rose BB Cream ($20). Each nail is finished with a matching heart gem from Deco Beauty Jewels Stickers ($10).
This monochrome chocolate brown ombré design creates a bit of an optical illusion.
The ultimate Christmas manicure, this design features small green wreaths with red ribbons as the tips of a few nails. The red ribbon is enhanced by the addition of two solid red nails.
This reptilian look features a mix of bright, punchy colors painted on top of the Aprés Sculpted Stiletto Long ($17) gel tips.
This chic look features black wavy tips, and the matte top coat ups the cool factor!
This celestial design features onyx tips accented with pretty gold stars..
This design features thin, baby blue French tips and a little lemon, daisy, and gold leaf accent at the base of the nail.
These tips get trippy and wavy with a stack of vibrant colors. Although there's a lot going on, each tip follows a similar wave pattern, so the look isn't overwhelming.
Adding a thin white line to these French blue tips gives this look a really nice anchor.
Thanks to the use of muted retro shades of blue and brown, this look is graphic yet subtle. The black outlines add to the graphic effect.
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