You know, the French fry isn’t French at all. Could the same be said of the French manicure? We went to Lynn Hayes Granger, vice president of marketing and advertising for Orly International, to find out the truth. Granger says the concept of the French manicure did indeed originate in France by models at haute couture runway shows.

“During these hectic and fast-paced shows,” she explains, “models typically change from daywear to evening wear and also present a varied color palette. In order to not take the emphasis away from the clothes and to complement each outfit, the models used to highlight the tips of their nails with white pencil. This elegant, simple, and classic look then migrated to the society ladies, who could afford the clothes, and the look slowly worked its way down to the masses. Then nail technicians tried to duplicate the look in the U.S. using polish.” According to Granger, the first American manufacturer to package coordinated polishes under the name “French manicure” was Jeff Pink, founder and CEO of Orly International.

Next we’ll tackle the question: Is the French kiss really French?

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