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If Emily Ratajkowski's Instagram Stories today are anything to go by, after a decade of experimenting with nail art, piercings and extreme lengths à la the Kardashians, it would seem we are returning to a more classic approach.

Emily Ratajkowski shows off her French manicure © Instagram / @emilyratajkowski
Emily Ratajkowski posted a throwback snap of her French manicure

Beyoncé, Reese Witherspoon and Victoria Beckham are also fans of the manicure, which involves the tips of the nails being painted white, whilst the rest of the nail is painted a pale pink or nude colour - it is also a perfect choice for anyone aiming to raise their clean girl aesthetic, this spring.

A model backstage at Dior with clean girl nails
A model backstage at Dior with clean girl nails

Like the French Fries, it isn’t actually French

This trend that some might say is the first example of nail art, dates back to 1970s Hollywood. Manicurist Jeff Pink dreamt up the concept for its versatility - as the natural look went with each outfit change during filming. 

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But it was back in the late 90s and early 00s that French nail tips became hugely popular, and when they were first on my radar. My teenage self wasn't patient enough to allow the tips to dry thoroughly, resulting in blobby, smudged ends. And, along with my school friends, I did on occasion experiment with Tipp-Ex - but the less said about that, the better. Of course, perfect application is no longer a problem thanks to quick-dry gel polishes that can be thinly polished onto the tips, leaving plenty of ways to experiment. 

Victoria Beckham shows off her ring and French manicure in 2005© Getty
Victoria Beckham shows off her ring and French manicure in 2005

The Modern French

Zazie Beetz sports a black French at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards © Getty
Zazie Beetz sports a black French at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards

If the classic French mani is too tame for you, try experimenting with different tips: ergo the metallic, glitter, two-tone, rainbow, swirly, ombre and black French. The possibilities really are endless. 

Although I’m open to welcoming this nail renaissance, I must confess, I harbour some reservations about its distant cousin, the French pedicure. 

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The mere mention of a French pedicure conjures images of a gaggle of bridesmaids wearing viscose dresses circa 2004, their toes adorned with shiny white tips - that were, let's face it, a tad too long for comfort. 

For me these pedicures belong in the past, along with low-rise jeans and butterfly clips. So I’ll be leaving those to the Gen-Zers, who missed out on those trends the first time around.