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The Early 2000s French Manicure Is Back

Let's get one thing out of the way: French manicures have never left. They are, after all, the grandmother of all those trendy negative space nail designs you double tap on Instagram. However, the early 2000s iteration we all wore way back when—square, thick white tip, most likely acrylic—have remained buried right alongside gel pens and Xanga. Until now, thanks to Bella Hadid.

The supermodel was on vacation recently, and I couldn't help but zoom in on her manicure: classic French tips!

Here's a close-up shot from her New York-based manicurist Mei Kawajiri—note the swirl detail.

Kawajiri also did a French manicure for Hadid's CFDA Awards look in June:

As someone who used tape to perfect DIY French manis from 2000-2004, I'm here for the retro look. Call them Basic, but I love the minimalist design. They're easy enough to execute at home, neutral enough to go with everything, and look flattering on both long and short nails.

It's no wonder other endorsers include Ariana Grande:

Bella's sister Gigi is also on board, wearing her French tips shorter (swipe).

Gigi also went to Kawajiri and had a daisy detail on hers:

Inspired by all of the above, I decided to test drive wearing a French manicure again over the weekend. In a time crunch before a party (and unsure of committing to the look just yet), I used Kiss Nails press-ons in a medium length.

Kiss Everlasting French Nail Kit Medium Infinite Nails, 28 Ea, 28 Count

Kiss target.com


The adhesive, flexible tabs took less than three minutes to apply on freshly cleaned nail beds. Let me tell you—they were a hit among my friends, who delighted over seeing the familiar nail art. Full disclosure: It was an early 2000s-themed party so they totally made sense to wear, but I fully plan to keep them on for the rest of the week even when I'm not in naughties cosplay.

image Wearing Kiss Press-On French Manicure.

Kristina Rodulfo

This resurrected trend gets two French manicured-thumbs up from me.

Kristina Rodulfo Senior Beauty Editor Kristina Rodulfo is the Senior Beauty Editor of ELLE.com—she oversees beauty across ELLE's digital media platforms and is an expert in product testing, identifying trends, and exploring the intersections of beauty, culture, and identity. Read More

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