One of the most popular nail looks is the French manicure. Have you heard of the other version of this nail design called the American manicure? Yes, that’s right, there are two ways to wear this chic look. So what is the difference? Well you will find lots of different answers to this as everyone has their own opinion. However, we are here to make it easy for you and here are the main differences between the two.
French vs American Manicure
American nails use subtler and more natural colors. So, instead of the striking white and pink that you will see with French nails, the American version will use nudes and off white tones.The tip in French nails is very bright and the shape of the tip is usually quite statement making too. With an American manicure, the tips should look more natural. This is why you will see smaller tips, more blended tips and some opt for a rounder nail shape as well.The overall difference is that generally the nails look more natural and low-key compared to the French version. However, you can still wear the design for classic events like weddings and even decorate the nails with funky art too.
Now that you know the difference let’s take a look at 23 stunning versions of the American manicure.
1. Classic American Mani
First up we have this classic American mani. So, the nails are about mid length and have that subtle base color with the soft tips. As you can see, it is such a chic and easy to wear nail design. Nails like these will look amazing on everyone. You can wear this version on shorter and longer nails too.
2. Nude Nail Color and Floral Art
As we mentioned earlier, American manicures can have nude tips too. This next idea shows a beautiful way to wear the different tone tips. As you can see, the nails are two different natural shades but there is a subtle difference to create the tip. One nail on each hand is also decorated with a pretty purple flower. You can see how elegant the nude tip color looks and the flower just adds a pop of color. Recreate this look or you can try the nude nails without the flower. Different flowers can be used too.
3. Shimmery Nail Design
With an American manicure, you can still use soft pink tones for the base like you would with French but you should avoid the brilliant white tip. Choose a more neutral tip color if you are wearing pink. You can create something like this. Here we have a very light pink nails with a natural off white tip. Each nail is also covered in Born Pretty Flakies which gives that shimmery look. This is a pretty and magical mani that will suit everyone.
4. Short and Easy to Wear Nails
If your nails just need a spruce up but you don’t want nails that are bold and long, then this is for you. Here we have stylish and short nails. Each nail is painted with a light base color with a soft cream white tip. This is a versatile manicure that will keep you looking chic for any occasion. It is perfect for busy ladies on the go that just need pretty and simple nails.
5. American Mani with a Rhinestone Accent Nail
You can decorate your American mani just like you can with the French nails. Embellishments like rhinestones look amazing with these nails too. Here is a great example. These nails have that subtler tip color but one accent nail has been adorned with rhinestones. As you can see, the sparkly gems look gorgeous! Nails like these will be perfect for a special occasion or wedding.
6. Wild Leopard Mani with Nude Tips
If you like to add cool nail art to your French mani, then we have good news – you can wear it with your American nails too! Here we have nude nails with natural colored tips and each nail has a leopard print design. We love this trendy and unique version. You can recreate this or just put the leopard print on one nail.
7. Cute Flower Nail Art
Next, we have another pretty nail art idea to show you. For this, the nails have that more natural look and white and yellow flowers have been painted on the nails too. The flowers look so cute and they really jazz up the classic mani. You can hand-paint the flowers or use stencils. This would be a beautiful mani for the spring and summer.
8. Long and Stylish Nails
This next nail idea has that chic look of the French mani. However, as you can see, the tips are not as bright white as you would usually see. So, you get that softer American look. This is a very pretty, easy to wear and versatile mani. You can recreate these nails or choose a more round nail shape, that would also look stunning.
9. American Mani with Bling
Like the rhinestone nail designs? If so, you need to take a look at this! Here we have nails with a round shape, nude color and soft white tips. Some believe that an American mani should have a round shape compared to the French square but many choose whatever shape they like. If you do like rounder shape, then give this a try. One nail is also decorated with one large gemstone. This is a pretty and glam look. Recreate this or you can make the tip even softer.
10. Simple American Manicure
The next mani is another simple and elegant one. This time the nails have a pretty white tip with a soft and light nude base color. We love this version because it shows how stylish this type of nail art looks with natural nude colors. You can recreate this look or go for an even warmer nude shade.
11. Chic Nail Design With a Pearl Effect
Another popular French mani design is French ombre. With this art, the same colors are used but the colors are blended together to create trendy ombre. The same can be done for an American mani. This time though you will use the more natural looking shades. Here is a super stylish example. This is an American ombre design with a pearl effect over the top. As you can see, it looks gorgeous and modern. Nails like these would be perfect for a party.
12. Glam Stiletto Nails
Next, we have another American mani with a blend of color between the base color and tip. These glam stiletto shaped nails have a soft white tip with a light nude shade. One nail on each hand is also decorated with rhinestones too. It is a stunning design and this can be worn for special events, nights out and even weddings. Recreate this look or try the same design but with a more visible tip.
13. Subtle American Manicure
Looking for a more subtle mani? Then this could be perfect. Here we have short nails with a nude base color and barely there white tips. It is a chic, stylish, elegant and easy to wear mani. Keep it simple and short like this or try the design on a longer shape. We love this manicure, it looks effortlessly beautiful.
14. Classic Mani With Nude Tips
Earlier in the post we featured an American manicure with nude tips. If you liked that idea, then you should take a look at this one too. Here we have a short version. The nails have a nude base color with natural nude tips. It is so stylish and elegant. Recreate this mani if you don’t like long nails, but these nude colors will look amazing on longer nail shapes too.
15. Elegant and Trendy Nail Art
If you like modern and trendy nail art, then this idea is perfect for you. Again, the nails have the light base color with the round tips. Three nails have the classic look but two have unique white and sparkly nail art. We love this design and think it is so glam and statement making. You can recreate this mani or just use one design on all nails. For some, the white may be too bright but this mani would look just as amazing with a more off white.
16. Bold Accent Nail Idea
Another must-have look is to have a bold accent nail with your French mani. Well, you can do it with the American version too. Here is a statement making example. Most of the nails have the American nail art while one is red with sparkly stripes. The bold colors look stunning with the subtler American colors. Recreate this or choose your own vibrant accent nail.
17. Long Nails with Glitzy Embellishments
Want a mani that will wow? If so, this is for you! Here we have long nails with a very light base color and tips. Two nails have also been decorated with glitzy embellishments. As you can see, the gems and gold really glam up this mani. This is another nail design that would be perfect for an event where you want to dress to impress.
18. Short and Stylish Nails
Next, we have another short and cute look. This the time the nails are very short and easy to wear. Each one is painted with those low-key colors. It is a stylish and stunning mani. That is what we love about the American manicure design, it looks just as amazing on short nails as it does on long.
19. Chic Mani with a Floral Accent Nail
Love floral nail designs? If so, take a look at this. Here we have glam nails with a floral accent nail. The accent nail features two 3D flowers with gems. It is a beautiful and bold look. You can recreate this pretty floral mani or you can hand-paint the flowers or use flower stickers. Any color flower can be chosen.
20. Stunning and Simple Nails
The next nail design is so beautiful and stylish. Here we have mid length nails with a light pink base color and an ivory white tip color. This mani was created with Sally Hensen Maximum Growth Base Coat, Floramar Turkiye Nail Enamel in Snow White, Farmasi Nail Enamel no.12 and Essence Cosmetics Gel Look Top Coat.
21. Soft American Mani With Rhinestones
If you love the American ombre look, then this is for you. These nails feature a soft American ombre and one nail is also decorated with rhinestones. It is such a light, pretty and elegant look. This mani would be perfect for brides and bridesmaids. The ombre would look amazing with the rounder nail shapes too.
22. Cute Nail Idea
Next, we have a cute nail idea to show you. The nails have the beautiful and easy to wear tips. There is also one accent nail with a pretty black dragonfly design. You can recreate this kind of mani with a nail stencil or nail stickers which can be bought online. Recreate the dragonfly or choose an animal of your choice.
23. American Mani With Glitter and Chrome
The last nail idea that we have to show you is trendy, modern and statement making. Some nails have the classic American mani art and there are also two accent nails. One accent nail is sparkly and the other is covered in chrome. It is a fun, bold and unique mani. Try this if you want your nails to stand out from the crowd.
We hope you have been inspired by these nail ideas.