This colorful nail design is the 2020 way to wear a French manicure. 

By Erin Lukas
Updated May 27, 2020 @ 3:30 pm
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After swapping out the chunky knit sweaters in your closet for breezy dresses, and opting for a lightweight gel moisturizer over a thick cream, getting a colorful manicure is your next move when it comes to easing into summer.

However, with nail salons still closed across the country, summer 2020 is going to be the year you break out of your coral and nude polish comfort zone and finally master DIY nail art. Because, hey, the methodic act of getting a manicure is the bit of relaxation we could all use right now, even if you have to do it yourself.

Don't worry if you can barely paint your nails a solid color without messing them up, one of this summer's trending manicures is a 2020 spin on a historically easy nail art design.

Enter the rainbow French manicure.

Instead of painting your tips opaque white, this manicure features colorful tips. On top of being ridiculously easy, the beauty of the rainbow French manicure is that it's completely customizable. Follow a classic ROYGBIV color scheme or create an ombré effect with five shades in the same color family — the choice is yours.

And let's be honest, it's impossible not to smile when you look down to admire your rainbow finger tips.

Sarah Gibson Tuttle, founder of Olive & June agrees. "Looking at a rainbow French mani instantly lifts your spirits," she shares. "French manis have been popular all year, and putting a rainbow color palette twist on a classic makes it feel fun."

Nailing this color nail design starts off just like any other manicure: shape your nails with a file, buff away any ridges and dead skin, and run nail polish remover on each nail to prep them for painting.

When it comes to the design itself, you won't need any fancy tools, either. Instead, you can use the polish's built-in brush to paint the tip. "Once you've selected your shades, apply a coat of your first color to the tip of your nail using the side of the brush to sketch out the shape," says Gibson Tuttle. "You'll be able to clean it up later."

Repeat this step on all five nails, then go in with a second coat to enhance the colors. Next, it's time for clean up. Dip a nail clean up brush into a bottle of nail polish remover and shape each tip by gently pushing it back before it fully dries. The last step is a high-shine top coat to protect all of your hard work from chips.

Now that you know how to do the nail art, you'll probably need a little inspiration to create your own design.

Keep scrolling for some of our favorite takes on this summer's trending rainbow French manicure.

This joyful edition of the classic French manicure was created with Olive & June's summer nail polish collection, a collaboration with Zeba, a lifestyle brand by beauty activist Nabela. If you're new to a French or colorful manicures in general, this take on the trend is a good starting point.

You've mastered the basic rainbow French manicure, now level up with this swirly double French by nail artist Hang Nguyen.

This clean design combines two 2020 nail trends in a single manicure: gradient nails and the rainbow French.

Melanie, aka overglowedit on Instagram, used Orosa's desert-inspired nail polish shades to create this take on the rainbow French manicure, which features both bold and pastel shades.

Let fashion influencer Camila Coelho show you how the ombré rainbow French manicure is done.

Kyle Jenner showed off her simple quarantine rainbow French manicure before she went for a casual joyride in her Lamborghini. She went with super-thin colorful tips painted onto a neutral base.

Don't have the patience to DIY a rainbow French manicure? That's why press-on nails exist. This set by L.A.-based nail artist Rico Nails is a chic reverse French manicure with multicolor triangles instead of half moons.

This is Winging It, where we're helping you master your favorite salon treatments and looks without having to leave the house.