Summer's Biggest Nail Trends All Elevate the French Manicure

One standout style is inspired by an It-shoe.

mary jane french mani
(Image credit: Launchmetrics)

Summer manicures are typically pretty consistent. We swap our black and navy polishes for summer nail colors like pink, white, and pastels. We’ll throw a little flower design onto the pointer finger. Maybe we’ll even toss a neon tone in the mix. But 2024's summer nail trends resurrect a nail design that seems to have nine lives. The French manicure—yes, the one that comes in variations of pale pink and gets topped off with a white tip—is back again with many a modern twist.

The half-moon shape at the tippy top is the French manicure’s hallmark, with roots going back a century. But with endless colors, appliqués, and finishes having entered the never-ending selection of nail art, celebrating the natural shape has become a conduit for style expression. “I think of the French manicure as the nail design gift that keeps on giving—it’s nail art’s immortality,” says celebrity nail artist Miss Pop. “No matter what you do with it, it’s not obtuse. It’s easy to understand. We all expect to see a highlighted nail tip.”

You could take a page out of Kylie Jenner’s playbook and opt for a classic color combination. Add some bling to your French à la Sabrina Carpenter and Cardi B. Or, play with an ombre finish, a favorite technique of Jennifer Lopez’s nail artist, Tom Bachik.

To get more inspo on how to make summer’s biggest French manicure trends your own, scroll ahead.

The Mary Jane French Manicure Trend

a woman holds up a mary jane manicure in an illustration of summer's nail trends

Two little lines are very much so reminiscent of the classic flat.

(Image credit: Launchmetrics)

Perhaps my personal favorite of the French manicure iterations, this cutesy design is rising in popularity alongside its footwear counterpart: the Mary Jane shoe.

“It’s not just the summer’s most popular shoe, but also a choice nail look,” says Miss Pop. “To get this look, you can use French tip sticker guides and a striper brush.” Opt for whatever color your heart desires, but might I suggest a classic red?

The Floral French Manicure Trend

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Hailey Bieber has already declared floral stickers have a place on summer nails. Take her affinity for the dainty accent a step further by stacking your stickers along the top arch of your nail for floral French tip. “I’ve been really into replacing the white tip with a bunch of white daisies,” suggests Miss Pop.

The French Manicure Trend—With Some Charm

kerry washington oscars manicure

Kerry Washington's manicure was encrusted with Rhinestones for the 2024 Oscars.

(Image credit: Instagram/NailsbyDiem)

If you track the evolution of Cardi B’s manicures (I do!), you know she’s been in the mood for French tips. She’s currently opting for a classic pink-and-white on her long nails, but don’t be surprised if you see some rhinestones and charms creep up in the coming weeks—it’s her nail artist Jenny Bui’s preferred French iteration. “Longer nails allow you to do a lot more with your design and adding bling and charms is going to be so popular,” Bui shares.

The Psychedelic French Manicure Trend

“Psychedelic swirl tips have transfixed me,” says Miss Pop. The color choice is your own, and it’s actually a pretty easy DIY option. Just dab on dollops of polish and swirl them with a toothpick. Miss Pop suggests a paintbrush dipped in nail polish remover if you need to do some cleanup after the fact.

The Classic French Manicure Trend

We simply cannot have a French manicure trends list without paying homage to the original. Even without the extra pops of color or fancy designs, the classic French has seen a spike, appearing on everyone from Kylie Jenner to Rihanna this summer. “The French manicure has nine lives because it is a classic,” adds Biu.

If you want to stay true to the OG colorway while adding excitement to your nails, consider a chrome topper to polish it off.

The Neon French Manicure Trend

Take it from Bui: “Neon color is making a comeback—especially in the summer.” Neon oranges, pinks, and yellows will always be among the most popular summer nail polish colors. This season, pick one of the boldest shades and swipe it along the tips of your nails. If you want to turn things up yet another notch, trade in your clear base for a neon hue as well.

The Color-Blocked French Manicure Trend

Play into color theory and select two different shades from the same family. Think: powder blue with cobalt; pale pink with a hot fuschia; butter yellow and a stripe of neon. You can mix and match too—it’s really a French mani of your own making.

The Ombré French Manicure Trend

ombre french nails at fe noel fashion show

Ombré French nails are an easy at-home option—they don't have to have a defined line, so you can blend out mistakes.

(Image credit: Launchmetrics)

A favorite of Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez, a light ombré French manicure is rising in popularity. You’ll want to stick to light coverage pinks and nudes to let the white of your nails shine through. Use a lighter shade towards the tip and diffuse it into a sheerer option. To get this look at home, use a sponge to blend the two colors in between.

Shop Summer Nail Essentials

Meet the Experts

Miss Pop

New York City-based Editorial Nail Artist

Jenny Bui

Jenny Bui is a Cambodian-American nail artist known for her crystal-studded creations. She was named Nail Artist Influencer of the Year in 2019 and is known as "The Queen of Bling." 

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.