This modern twist on the French tip is the subtle spring-to-summer mani we've been waiting for

Melding springtime pastels with a timeless design, French tip ombre nails are the fresh mani we're loving for *now*...

A close up of a hand with subtle French tip nails by nail artist @gel.bymegan/ in a cream and beige gradient template
(Image credit: @gel.bymegan)

Looking for a fresh but versatile manicure to carry you through until summer arrives? French tip ombre nails, with their subtle pastel gradient, are the perfect choice - and they just so happen to be trending...

While the 2024 nail trends have offered a wealth of spring designs, as the days pass, we're finding ourselves more and more drawn to summer shades - and yet, the weather is not playing ball. Thus, we're instead turning to transitional nail styles to bridge the divide and one design, in particular, is proving very popular for the here and now: French tip ombre nails. Offering a visual representation of this spring-to-summer limbo we're currently [not] enjoying, this trend marries a soft pastel gradient with a classic French tip nail look, resulting in a luxe but perfectly versatile look.

So, for anyone in need of a subtle mani that also lends itself perfectly for both occasion and summer styling, here's why ombre nails, with a French tip, are our pick - and how to achieve the look at home...

Why you should request French ombre nails at your next mani

For anyone unversed, ombre nails involve a soft gradient being applied to the nails, typically getting darker towards the tip and involving two (or sometimes more) colours. French tips, on the other hand, feature a nude or pink base coat, topped with a white polish just at the very edge of your nail - to accentuate your nail's natural tip. Now, combine the two and you get 'French ombre nails', which see the iconic French tip diffused and blended with the base coat, to create that characteristic ombre gradient.

A post shared by Jess Maynard

A photo posted by jessmaynard_nails on

The design is very versatile and can be adapted to suit your preferred nail shape and colour preferences, however, right now it seems pink and white - the colourway synonymous with Frenchies - is the go-to. We're also seeing the trend predeminately on longer almond and square shapes, for an elegant finish.

We would recommend sticking with the pink and white look because as mentioned, it blends pastels, which are perfect with spring aswell as summer, with a timeless design, making them perfect for now - and every day thereafter.

How to do ombre French tips

If you're planning to recreate the nail look at home but are slightly intimidated by the smooth gradient, fear not. Learning how to do ombre nails is surprisingly easy to master.

All you need is your two chosen shades, preferably a light and darker colour that complement each other. Then grab a humble sponge - and don't forget a clear top coat, to add a high-shine finish.

Now, you can either paint both of your colours - one above the other - on your sponge and dab it over your nail or, apply your base colour first, to the entirety of your nail. Then add a dot of your tip shade towards the end of your nail and gently diffuse it with your sponge.

Our French ombre nail staples

And in case you're lacking in any French ombre nail essentials, we've rounded up a few must-have...

The 5 French tip ombre nails we're loving

Now onto the fun part, we've rounded up five stylish options to consider this spring-almost-summer season...

1. Classic French tip ombre nails

A post shared by Julia Diogo

A photo posted by paintedbyjools on

Almond styles have been dubbed among the trendiest nail shapes for spring and when paired with a French ombre, the effect is as luxe-looking as it is timeless. It's subtle but fresh, making it the perfect choice for both spring and summer - and everything in between.

2. Glazed French tip ombre nails

A post shared by GEL X NAILS - MENIFEE, CA

A photo posted by nailslpc.xo on

When in doubt, a glazed nail look never fails. These French ombre nails with chrome look so expensive and yet are simple and can be easily adapted to suit brighter summer nails shades, when the time comes.

3. Square French ombre nails

A post shared by Bara Hoyle

A photo posted by bara.hoyle on

Ombre isn't just for longer, almond nail shapes. If you're a lover of short French tip nails or prefer square shapes, the look can be easily adapted to suit - though bear in mind, longer nails do give you more room to blend. But if you're looking for a more understated gradient, short and square shapes are ideal.

4. Minimalistic French ombre nails

A post shared by Fliss Alton

A photo posted by gelsbyfliss on

For our neutral nail and minimalistic nail lovers, a very subtle gradient is also achievable. For this sort of look, we'd recommend opting for a pink-nude base colour and either a very sheer, milky white or a cream, to achieve this very soft blend.

5. Pink ombre French tip nails

A post shared by The Nail Bar💅

A photo posted by thenailbarofficial on

And for those who are looking to add a pop of summer colour (despite the grey weather) we'd recommend a pink. This shade, in particular, contrasts the milkier base coat perfectly, creating a bold but stylish finish.

Naomi Jamieson
Digital Beauty Writer

Naomi is a Digital Beauty Writer from woman&home, where she covers everything from skincare to fragrance but specialises, particularly, in makeup and nail trends. Through her work, Naomi gets to share her trend expertise and share her own shopping recommendations and product reviews. Previously, she worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. 

Before that, Naomi split her time between both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing. Now, when she isn’t reporting on the best perfumes and latest beauty releases, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping...