Don't call it a comeback—the French manicure has been here for years, but the 2015 version is a far cry from the thick, acrylic-tipped look you wore to senior prom. Backstage at Altuzarra's fall show in February, lead manicurist Julie Kandalec confirmed that the trend was experiencing somewhat of renaissance, but with a softer, less-obvious appearance. "French is back, which is really hard for me to say out loud, but it's different," she says. "We're not forcing a tip or doing a color or anything like that. We're just doing one coat of Essie's Adore-a-Ball ($9; ulta.com), which is pretty sheer."
Kandalec recommends using just one coat, and working with your natural nail shape instead of adding extensions or tips, which wouldn't look natural. "The important thing is to allow the natural free edge to show through, we're not forcing that," she advises. It's definitely a more low-maintenance alternative that even the shorter lengths can get in on, not to mention, is much more subtle. There's just one caveat... "You can only wear this if you've stopped wearing the traditional French manicures for at least five years," Kandalec adds, laughing.