The French Manicure: An American Invention

By Noreen Farooqui

Square Nail ManicureManicures have been around for over 5,000 years and were initially intended for the elite classes of society as a sign of wealth and prosperity.

In Latin, the word “manus” means hand and “cura” translates to care. Literally, a manicure is hand care. At Aroma Wellness Clinic & Spa, we care for your hands as well as your nails with moisturizing and massage for your hands andnail care that includes buffing, filing and polish removal and application.

When you think of the French Manicure, the image of cool, classic sophistication with simplistic style and design such as that of Coco Chanel comes to mind.

The French Manicure is not a French invention, but an American one. Adding the term “French” gives the nail technique a more cultured, elegant, polished and refined image, one that American culture is not known for.


The Origins of the French Manicure

In 1927, cosmetician Max Factor created two pots of colours: a rose-coloured cream called Society Nail Tint and a chalky white named Society Nail White. The pale pink created a natural and subtle shade while the white, when applied to tips created a sophisticated, ladylike and super chic look.


The 1970s: The French Manicure’s Rise in Popularity

Orly nail care founder Jeff Pink popularized the French Manicure in acting when he provided a solution to the dilemma of nail colour matching actresses’ outfits.

When Pink brought the au natural nail to the runways of France, the trend took off and the term “French Manicure” was born.


The 2010s: Playful takes on the Traditional

Today, the “Reverse French” and “Moonicure” have come into style. These nails are a play on the traditional French Manicure.

The Reverse French is the flipside of the Traditional French Manicure with the line painted at the base of the nail.

Reverse French Manicure

Moons carved out at the base of the nails is another upside down nod to the Traditional French Manicure.



Interested in trying out a traditional French Manicure or a version of it? Book an appointment at Aroma Wellness Clinic & Spa today!



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