In case you’ve ever wondered, the French manicure is indeed actually French. Tracing back to Paris in the 1930s, its traditional nude or beige base with a white tip became popular in the United States in the 1970s. Fast forward to today though, and it seems less Saint Tropez, and more Jersey Shore. Thus a French manicure isn’t usually my first choice, but last week that all changed.

Paris Rendez-vous

Mid Fashion Week, a day off to get my nails done with my sister was just what the doctor ordered. I heard Paintbox in Soho was the place for a high fashion manicure, a bright idea to infuse a bit of glam into my otherwise down played work wardrobe (juggling cameras backstage and running about town between shows isn’t conducive to dressing up this week). Once inside, Paintbox felt more like a boutique or chic restaurant. With an iced coffee (on the house!) in hand, we browsed the menu of looks to find the French manicure reinvented in the studio’s FW14 collection.

I wanted to use my new Amethyste Brune vernis from Lancôme’s fall color collection, and Paintbox’s founder Eleanor Langston, a former beauty editor, told me how to complete the look…

“There are a dozen ways to modernize a French manicure. When you say, ‘French manicure’ many people think of thick lines and acrylic nails. But adding a chic swipe of metallic at the tips, like Lancôme’s Golden Riviera, is one of our most popular manicure looks.”


• Use colors that contrast for the look to stand out.
• For short nails, keep a square shape. For longer nails, try a round silhouette.
• Keep the tip thin and dainty.

Feeling a bit more bold? Add a half moon to your French mani like my sister did with Lancôme’s Beige Dentelle.

Et voilà! The French manicure is chic and French again. So we did as the French would do and popped into the newly imported Ladurée down the street to show off our manicures and enjoy some fine pâtisseries. The perfect Parisian afternoon for any New York lady without even needing your passport!

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