The Vanilla French Nails Trend That Will Level Up Your Basic Manicure

In the last few years, French manicures have evolved to take on many different looks, ranging from eye-catching glass Frenchies to colorful inverted French manicures. While we love seeing all the vibrancy and innovation these trends have brought to the classic mani; sometimes we find ourselves reaching for something more subdued.

Luckily, the trendy vanilla French manicure is perfect for elevating the original design while maintaining a soft look. The term "vanilla French manicure" was coined by celebrity nail artist Zola Ganzorigt. If you recognize this name, it might be because this manicurist is also responsible for kicking off the glazed donut nail trend with Hailey Bieber's iconic set.

Ganzorigt debuted the vanilla look on Instagram, but many celebs have also been sporting the subtle French. For example, UK-based nail artist Robbie Tomkins put his own spin on the look for Frankie Bridge, while manicurist Tom Bachik executed a similarly soft mani for Jennifer Lopez. So, what exactly are vanilla French nails, and how can you recreate them at home?

How vanilla French nails differ from the classic mani

If you've seen a set of vanilla French nails, you may wonder how they differ from the classic French. The essence of this trend lies in its soft coloring, which contrasts the stark white and pink colors seen in original renditions.

As celebrity manicurist Robbie Tomkins tells Vogue, "This new subtle look is similar to the classic American French manicure, but with a twist. The tip is slightly hazed out to create a softer, peachier look, as opposed to the usual pink and bright white colors we associate with a French manicure."

Nail shape is another notable difference between the vanilla French and its classic counterpart. Though nail shape can be played around with regardless of what style you're going for, French manicures are traditionally square-shaped, while the vanilla version really shines on almond sets. Both its subdued coloring and softened shape work to create a more low-key but equally glamorous alternative to the timeless French tips.

How to achieve the vanilla look yourself

For those wanting the vanilla French look for themselves, this is definitely something you can take to the salon. Such a look would be priced similarly to a classic French manicure, which typically ranges from $25 to $75 in price. Of course, this depends on nail length, manicure type, and salon cost. Otherwise, the vanilla French manicure can be easily recreated at home.

If you want to color-match Zola Ganzorigt's original look, you can use OPI's Funny Bunny for your off-white tips and Put It In Neutral as the nude-y base color. However, it's recommended that you customize your base color to suit your specific skin tone. Ganzorigt mentions OPI's Bubble Bath as great for pink undertones and Bare My Soul as another shade for yellow undertones (per Glamour). If you don't have these exact colors, then there's no need to worry. Soft nude and beige tones will work great for the vanilla French's base coat, while creamy off-whites are well-suited for the crescent tips.

For the actual manicure process, you can apply two coats of your base color after nail prepping. Once that dries, go in with a layer of your tip color, keeping it light-handed for a soft effect. If you're not comfortable fully free-handing it here, nail tape and cotton swabs are great tools for achieving your desired French tips. Then, all you need to do is apply your top coat, and you've easily recreated the vanilla French manicure.