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.

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