Switch Up Your Go-To Manicure With An Inverted French Mani Look

In case you haven’t noticed, the French manicure is back in a big way. Traditionally, a classic French mani features a neutral or pale pink colored base with a white tip, but we’re seeing many nail artists get creative by inverting that popular design to make it something totally fresh.

The inverted French mani — also known as a cuticle cuff — is when a nail artist swaps out the typical white tip for a design painted along the cuticle. This gives an unexpected pop of interest to the nails. The beauty of this new trend is you can go as subtle or bold as you wish. If you love to wear a minimalist manicure you can opt for a subtle cuff with just a hint of color, or if you’re someone who is always experimenting with their nail art, you can choose bright colors or even glitter. This is a manicure that also looks amazing on all nail lengths and shapes.

Thinking about giving this look a try? Here is some inspiration to check out before you book your next nail appointment.

Lovely lavender

One of our favorite celebrity manicurists, Betina Goldstein, shows just how stunning the reverse French manicure can be with this lovely lavender cuff painted on natural, short nails. This is perfect for those who love a minimalist manicure with just a hint of color. Try matching it to your accessories for a fun coordinated look.

Orange you glad?

Brighten things up a bit with a pastel orange stripe along the cuticle. This soft and pretty shade brightens up a naturally nude base color, elevating this clean and basic manicure. This is a color that would look awesome in the spring or summer months, or anytime you need to add a bit of sunshine to your day.

Get artsy

Throw out the rule book and get creative with your next reverse French manicure! We love how this nail artist incorporated leaves at the cuticle instead of painting the typical line of polish. This is a great way to embrace the trend while making it your own and experimenting with something totally unique.

Glitter cuff

If you love the look of a typical inverted French manicure but you want to add a touch of glitter, this is the look for you! These reflective glitter cuffs painted on a pale, pink base may be soft but they’re anything but simple. This is the understated glamorous manicure you’ve been looking for.

Gold chrome

This look is a showstopper. This reverse French manicure features a gold chrome twist that is the perfect accent on these long, almond-shaped nails. This is a manicure that is simple enough for everyday wear yet striking enough for an evening out. Pairing it with gold jewelry only helps these nails make even more of a statement.

Black and silver

The French manicure is more popular now than ever before thanks to the countless different polish combinations you can try. So it comes as no surprise that people are experimenting with different color combos with the reverse French as well. We love how this bold black manicure is perfectly accented with a silver glitter cuff.

Coral and gold

Nothing screams tropical vacation vibes more than this stunning manicure. The coral polish is gorgeous on its own but pairing it with a gold cuticle cuff just makes this look stand out in a crowd. We love how the nail artist went a bit thicker with the gold polish to really give a contrast between the two colors.

Multi-colored cuffs

There are no rules when it comes to creating your own reverse French manicure. This nail artist used three different polish colors to create this look: two different shades of blue polish layered over the cuticle and a peachy pink on the base. The square tips provide a nice contrast to the arch of the cuticle cuff.

Rainbow cuffs

We love a white nail on anyone. According to Urban Dictionary, wearing white polish is supposed to signify you are single and available (via Orly). Regardless of your relationship status, though, adding these rainbow-colored cuffs on top of a bright white nail is sure to get you some attention.

Go matte

A reverse French manicure doesn’t just look amazing, but it’s also a great way to camouflage a gel manicure that’s grown out. This nail artist added a thick silver cuff to this stunning matte black polish to extend the life of this look. What a great way to make the most out of your manicure!

Pale perfection

Lighten things up a bit with this pretty reverse French manicure. Those who love a minimalist manicure will love these nails, featuring just a hint of pale blue polish at the cuticle. The micro stripe adds just a touch of color on an otherwise neutral nail that is subtle enough to not overpower the finished product.

Simple and sexy

What we love about a classic French manicure is how understated yet elegant it is, and this twist shows the reverse French can be the same. A simple yet sexy glitter cuff on long, square-shaped nails is perfection. This is a look that would be ideal for a red carpet event or night on the town.

Autumn vibes

Doesn’t this manicure give you autumn vibes? The muted green cuticle cuff is the perfect accent to these milky white nails. And there’s something about how the nail artist added just a touch of gold leaf that makes us think of drinking a pumpkin spice latte while we go apple picking.


Your inverted French manicure doesn’t have to be so serious! If you want to add some color and a bit of fun to your nails, use your polish to add some glitter or embellishments in addition to the cuticle cuff. This nail artist used a confetti glitter polish and hand-painted the reverse French cuff for a different vibe.

Cotton candy

These nails are just pretty in pink! Pale pink is a standard polish color used often in French manicures, but it gets an update by adding in a hot pink polish to accent the cuticle. These medium-length square nails are soft and feminine and remind us of cotton candy.

All that glitters

This is definitely a case of less being more. This neutral manicure is totally transformed by the addition of an embossed gold line along the cuticle. Much more subtle than a traditional swipe of polish, this still gives the look of an inverted French manicure with a fun and interesting twist.

Classic French with a twist

We’ve seen endless variations of the classic French manicure and the inverted French manicure, but there’s nothing quite like the original. Using the traditional polish colors on short, neat nails, this look reminds us why this trend will never go out of style. It is simply sophisticated perfection.

Glazed with a cuff

Who doesn’t love it when two trends collide? These white glazed donut nails – one of the best winter nail trends — really make this manicure stand out, but the addition of a white cuff just adds a bit more depth to this look. Sometimes combining two different nail trends can be a lot, but these two complement each other beautifully.

Cuffs and tips

This manicure proves you don’t have to choose between the classic French or the inverted French, because you can have both! Use two complementary colors, like purple and pink, to create a unique look. A micro tip works best for a look like this so the two polishes don’t overpower the final product.

Tiffany blue and rose gold

Be still our hearts! If you’re looking for a manicure that screams romance, this Tiffany blue polish with a rose gold glitter cuff is it. These long, almond-shaped nails highlight this gorgeous combination of colors while the rose gold glitter provides just the right amount of sparkle.

Polka dots

Your inverted French manicure doesn’t have to consist of a line of polish at the cuticle. We love how this nail artist created tiny polka dots at the cuticle of just two accent nails for this look. The gold polish is a rich contrast to the creamy pink base coat.

Simple and sophisticated

Pale pink is such an iconic nail color because of its simplicity and femininity. Add a rose gold glitter cuff on every other nail and you have the perfect manicure for any special event. The colors are similar enough that this still gives off minimalist vibes while adding a bit of sparkle.

Feeling blue

You won’t be feeling blue with this stunning manicure. You don’t need to add glitter, sparkles, or embellishments if you want to go bold with your nail polish. Adding a cornflower blue cuticle cuff to a cobalt blue base on just two accent nails makes this manicure a bit more interesting than a solid color polish.

Nearly nude

If you love a nude nail (and who doesn’t, really?), but want to elevate your manicure for a special occasion, try a gold cuticle cuff. You can go as thick or thin as you want with the gold polish, depending on how much sparkle you want on your nails.

Serious sparkle

Wowza! These are some seriously stunning nails that are sure to have everyone talking. The black cuticle cuff carries up the side of the nail and acts as an outline, perfectly contrasting with the base silver glitter polish. This sparkling manicure is definitely worthy of a night on the town!

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