The Story Behind the French Manicure

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Ever wonder if the French Manicure is really French? Well, we found out!

Though Jeff Pink, founder of the nail polish brand Orly, is credited with branding the term "French Manicure" when he created an at-home kit in the late 1970's, the French Manicure is believed to go much further back than that.

The origins of this particular manicure are difficult to trace, but manicures in general have been around for thousands of years. The term comes from the Latin words "manus" and "cura" – meaning "hand" and "care." Maybe that's why a good manicurist gives you a hand massage along with painting those lovely nails – you're quite literally getting care for your hands!

As far as the French mani, some claim that it was indeed created in France – Paris, to be exact – for the fashionistas of the 1930's. (Others speculate the word "French" was added because it makes anything seem stylish and chic.) When it became popular in the United States, Hollywood starlets of the 70's loved it because it was a clean look that was incredibly versatile to an ever-changing schedule (on and off the screen!).

The white-tipped look with a pink or nude overlay seems to be an everlasting trend, with women still constantly requesting it in salons. If you want to look effortlessly, naturally put together, it really is a great look for you.

What manicure do you usually ask for when you visit a salon? This editor happens to have about 30 shades of polish at home (guilty pleasure, admittedly!), but white and nudes/pinks are certainly part of that collection. We think a "frenchie" is always a good option!

Click through the gallery above for a step-by-step how-to to do a French for yourself!

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