Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The French Manicure

Pale pink or beige, natural-looking and white-tipped, the French manicure has been a classic nail design on offer at the most expensive salon, or sold on the shelves of your local pharmacist. But what is it and where did it come from?

The origins of this particular design are hard to trace. Whereas the manicure for female fingernails has been around for a good 5,000 years, this design's origins are a little muddled. There are some who claim that an early French manicure was invented by Max Factor for the fashionistas of Paris in the 1930s, who desired a clean yet polished look for their over-moisturised hands. There are others who claim that the word 'French' when applied to anything can make that particular product sound chic and sophisticated. Certainly, the term 'Original French Manicure' was trademarked in 1978 by the cosmetics company Orly for the first home French manicure kit.
At the time, Hollywood starlets were looking for a nail lacquer that would give their fans, the paparazzi and their ever-critical peers an effortlessly groomed look which would fit all wardrobe changes. The buff or pale translucent pink base and the whitened tip filled the market niche perfectly.
Fast forwarding to the present day, the 'frenchie' is still one of the most requested nail designs in nail bars across the world.


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