This month we asked nail techs: Do you think French-style nails are outdated for bridal, and if so, what’s a nice alternative?
Crystal Jones George
I think traditional French-style nails are outdated for bridal occasions. The brides of today are aiming for everything but traditional, and nails are no exception. Great alternatives to nail styles that I have done recently range from using a pop of color that goes with the wedding colors such as crimsons and corals, and adding rhinestones or glitter accents on the ring finger. I even had one bride daring enough to put their monogram on her ring fingers and big toes because everything else at the wedding was going to have a monogram — napkins, chair covers, tablecloths, cake topper — everything! Crystal Jones George, Nails By Crystal, Birmingham, Ala.
French is absolutely not dated! French style nails are your “all-time classic” nails for brides of any age, and they look awesome! French-style nails will never go out of style because not only are they traditional, but they are also safe. After the wedding is over and the bride and groom are off on their honeymoon she is “safe” to wear any color with no worries of making sure her nails complement the colors she’s wearing for the day. The French nail complements all styles of clothing — whether she’s relaxing on a white sand island beach or at the slots in Vegas. Loretta Edwards, Artistic Nail Design Educator/Scholar Educator, Polish Me Nail Studio, St. Georges, Del.
Although French is always a classic for any bride, I see more brides doing fun things to personalize their special day, everything from gel-polish with a little sparkle and shine of glitter and rhinestones, to embedding white lace and dried flowers under acrylics. Instead of doing French, I might suggest doing a sleek almond shape with a pretty nude, cream, or soft white gel-polish for color, and faded with a similar colored glitter to add some glam. One of the cutest things I have done with brides and bridesmaids is Rock Star toes in their wedding colors. This looks super cute in the wedding photos. Sheera Gersh, Addicted to Nails, Tempe, Ariz.
I like to believe that French is a classic. You can dress it up and you can dress it down. It looks fabulous with a pair of jeans or a beautiful evening gown. However, I do find brides are stepping outside of the classic French. I’ve had quite a few clients lean more toward a nude or baby pink. I also find they want some form of bling. So whether it’s a light dusting of sparkles to add some elegant sass or some Swarovski crystals, brides-to-be everywhere are changing from the timeless French to something a little more chic. Beth Albrecht, Nails by Beth, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Valerie Ann Williams
Nail services provided today to brides are as diverse as the brides themselves. The traditional bride may request a traditional French manicure, then there are other brides who may want to create their own unique style, straying from anything remotely related to tradition. One bride asked for something blue. I polished all ten nails in OPI’s No Room For The Blues. The color was as fun as the bride. With a bride having that type of confidence and boldness, I am certain she and her groom will live happily ever after! Valerie Ann Williams, Atlanta, Ga.
I feel that a bride can never go wrong when choosing to wear a classic French style nail for her wedding. There has probably never been a bride who has looked back on her wedding photos and thought, "What was I thinking when I chose those French nails?" Cindy Kirkpatrick, Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada
French is still the most highly sought-after nail design for brides because the South loves its traditions…sweet tea, corn bread, and crisp, white French manicures! Now that I think of it, I don’t ever recall doing a bride’s nails in anything other than a French manicure! Jill Wright, Event Coordinator and Nail Tech, Nail Tech Event of the Smokies, LLC
The French Style nail is a classic in bridal wear. I believe it never goes out of style, especially for a memorable and special event. However, for those who are into something unique and different, an accent nail or "something blue," as the saying goes, would be an alternative as well. I think the most important thing is to love what you are wearing on your special day! Danalynn Stockwood, Genesis Salon, Fitchburg, Mass.
Maile A. Chambers
I recently did a wedding set that were glitter faded from white to silver to light pink: the bride's wedding colors. The saying, "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" was incorporated in her nails. On The bride's ring finger was a 3-d acrylic heart filled in with baby blue pearls — the perfect edition with a different touch. Maile A. Chambers, Maile's Mani's, Ukiah, CA
I am doing French on a bride in July; however, I am going to add a twist to it by creating an inlay design of glitter and confetti in her wedding colors of red and black, accented with Swarovski crystals. It's easier for brides to choose French, but to give someone the option of enhancing it with a little a twist makes French even more fabulous. Kenyetta Coaxum, Kenya Nail Creations, Bronx, N.Y.
French for a bridal is nice, but I think taking it up a notch or two is the new thing! Depending on skin tone, a full-coverage color would be nice, anything from nudes to pink shades and a little bling, depending on what the client wants. April Abeyta, The Mix Salon and Spa, El Paso,Tex
Jennifer and JoAnna Sciarrino
We don’t think French nails are outdated, but a nice alternative would be Romantique by CND. This is the perfect pink for a bride on her special day! Depending on the bride, she can either choose Vinylux or Shellac. Jennifer and JoAnna Sciarrino, Derma Glow Spa, North Salem, NY
I don't think French style nails are outdated; they will forever be classic. But I do see brides choosing pale pinks and lighter shades with a little bling on the ring finger, or a nice dainty design with white and their wedding color. The great thing is women are being more open to other options, but French style nails will always look fabulous with the dress! Nicole J., educator for Artistic Nail Design, Nails By Nicole J., Philadelphia, Pa.
I think French for weddings is very demographically specific. For example, a small town bride may be more inclined to have a classic French, while Las Vegas brides Vegas can go for anything: bling, 3-D, even neon! Shannon Rooney, Seriously Nails, Las Vegas
French most likely will always be a classic look, but honestly, it almost seems too plain for a bride. With the endless number of options for creativity with nails, plain pink and whites don't make the cut quite like they used to. Nails, in my opinion, should say something about yourself or show a hint of your personality. A bride I recently had did not want French, so I did a simple nude with a lightly dusted holographic silver glitter fade on her ring finger. The effect was gorgeous. When she moved her fingers, her subtle feature nails sparkled and caught the gleam of her gorgeous ring. This created a personalized look that showed a bit of herself, while still staying neutral and classic for her wedding. I think you can still have equally classic nails by stepping out of the comfort zone of French. Even if that's switching out the white for a color. With all the wonderful colors, designs, and glitters available that easily can match the theme of the wedding or dress, French shouldn't be the first go-to look. The amount of detail that goes into color-coordinating a wedding should also be applied right down to the nails because the possibilities are endless. Cynthia Mckenzie-Cook, Modish Nails by Cynthia, Vancouver, BC Canada
NEXT QUESTION: Do you use e-files? Why/why not? [Answers will be printed in the September 2014 issue.]
Share your opinion on the topic by e-mailing your response by April 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include your name, salon, city and state, and a high-resolution headshot with your response.
You Might Also Like: Crowdsourcing: Social Media