The history of the French Manicure is thought to go back to the mid 1970's when a man named Jeff Pink, president of the popular manicure company Orly, attended a fashion show where he noticed several of the models were using a white pencil to whiten the tips of their fingernails. He immediately realized this could be major fashion trend and brainstormed a way to recreate the look. The result was a kit that contained two shades of polish; a light pink base and white polish to paint the tips of the fingernails. He also included adhesive strips to place at the baseline of the nail so that women could effortlessly create a stunning, perfect look when applying the white paint.
French manicures are still sold in this form today, but have varied slightly since their beginning. Today you can choose from a classic light pink shade, a nude base, or you could even choose a pearl-based shade to add a bit of glamour to this classic manicure. Several kits contain jewels or other accents to add to your newly manicured nails if you are looking to "kick it up" a notch or two. Of course these kits are meant to be applied at home, but if you'd rather head to a salon, you'll find French Manicures to be a popular choice among salon clients.
Sometimes nail technicians at salons will use acrylic tips when providing a French Manicure. This is usually done when the actual nails are not long enough to get the stunning white tip look. The technician will place long tips on your fingernails, cut them down to your requested size, and sand them down so that tip blends with your actual nail. They will then apply an acrylic foundation that hardens your nails to make it smooth and even, then proceed with the French Manicure techniques. After painting your nails with a base shade, the technician will then add the white paint to your faux tips and finish them off with a drying spray.
For a French Manicure without acrylic tips, prices usually range from $10-$15. You can expect to pay around $30 at a salon for a French Manicure using the tips. The kits to do it yourself at home are sold at any drug or department store for around $8. If you decide to go to a salon, you can rest assured that nearly any nail salon will be trained in the French Manicure application.