Pastel French Tips Are The Minimalist Way To Embrace Spring Colors

A French manicure never really goes out of style, but just like any other nail look, its popularity waxes and wanes. While the classic French mani is timeless, new iterations find their way into our hearts from time to time. One updated twist on the classic French manicure that we can't get enough of is pastel French tips.

This nail style uses pastel colors — think pale pink, baby blue, creamy yellow, minty green, and muted lilac — to kick your classic French tip up a notch. These dreamy hues are perfect for spring and summer. Plus, they're not too bold or bright, so they're a subtle way to add more color to your warm-weather look. Classy but also playful and fun, pastel French tips are the nail look to try for spring.

Just like the classic French manicure, the pastel versions can look clean and refined. Subtle variations are suitable for all occasions, from an everyday nail look to a wedding day manicure. There's plenty of room for creativity and more eye-catching styles as well, with fun and funky patterns, color combinations, and designs that can take your pastel French tips to the next level. We've rounded up some delightful pastel French tip ideas to use as inspiration for your next manicure.

Timeless almond

Pastel French tips on almond-shaped nails are a fun play on two manicure classics. It's elegant and fun — really the two major benefits of this nail style. The almond shape gives you enough space to show off the pretty pastel colors while keeping a more manageable length for your day-to-day life. We can't fault the bit of glam feeling that an almond nail gives off, which is all the more elevated with pastel tips. 

Chic square-shaped nails

Square nails are clean and traditional, just like your usual French manicure. Mixing it up with some pastel Skittles nails takes it to the next level. A full coat of color can feel a bit too showy to some, especially since square nails already have a bold look. Pastel French tips are the perfect way to add color without overwhelming the look.

Long acrylics

If you want to give more space for captivating pastel hues, try this nail style on extra-long nails. The extra space makes the colors hard to miss. Maybe these nails aren't the most practical, but they sure are pretty — well worth the sacrifice if you love the glamorous look of long nails.

Short and sweet

Short nails don't get enough love. While we totally understand the appeal of a long, manicured nail look, this photo proves that short nails can look just as fabulous as their longer counterparts. There are several short nail designs that just work — this pastel French tip is one of them. On short nails, pastel French tips look clean and put-together, but best of all, they're still totally practical for those of us who need or want to keep our nails trimmed.

Pale yellow

Spring is coming, flowers are blooming, and the sun is coming out — match that sunny and optimistic feeling by getting yellow nails! If a full wash of yellow feels too much, this yellow French tip is a pretty alternative. Since it's a pastel shade, it also tones down the yellow just a bit while still capturing that bright and summery feeling. A couple of little nail gems add a nice finishing touch.

Strawberry milk

We love this ultra-pale pink that reminds us of strawberry milk. It's sweet, girly, and just the right shade of pink. This color is another one that invokes the feeling of spring and reminds us of blooming flowers. Pale pink is the closest pastel shade to your nail bed color, so this look feels a bit more natural than brighter colors like blue or yellow.

Muted pastels

Bright pastels are fun, but if you prefer a softer and more neutral tone, go for muted pastel colors. These nails are less in-your-face and have a pared-down look that is still technically pastel. This chic minimal nail design gives a soft finish, which makes it easier to incorporate into your style if you have a neutral-toned wardrobe.

Fresh green

Green is the color of spring — reminiscent of all the new growth and blooms to come. Pastel green is a gorgeous shade to add to your nails. This shade feels fresh and isn't overwhelmingly bright (though there's a time and place for lime green nails). Plus, it reminds us of the color of mint ice cream, so we think it will make your nails look delectable.

Subtle shades

We love this example of a subtle pastel French manicure. With one white nail — and other very light pastel shades — it's one of those looks that others might not even notice is pastel in passing. Subtle pastel is an excellent way to dip your toe (or, shall we say, nail) into this trend. It's also a lovely way to incorporate colorful nails for a big event, like a spring wedding nail look, particularly if you want your nails to be unique but still classic.

Heart designs

You can't go wrong with an adorable and simple nail art detail, especially when it comes to heart designs. With a few tried-and-true pastel colors, these nails feel flirtatious and playful. Plus, the pop of yellow alongside that gorgeous shade of blue is stunning. Whether for an everyday look or a special occasion, this is a versatile manicure we know you'll fall in love with too. 

Negative space nail art

This look adds a unique spin to the usual decorative nail heart, creating the heart out of negative space instead. It's still a romantic look, but when combined with the French tips, it feels more trendy and cool rather than cutesy. Pale pink is the perfect pastel shade for this love-inspired design.

Micro tips

This look is another subtle pastel manicure that you can easily miss in passing. It's perfect for those who want to try pastel French manicures in a very, very minimal way. The baby French tips are barely there and give your nails just the slightest peek of color. You can continue the line to your nail bed to incorporate a tad more pastel, or just stick to just painting your nail tip for the ultimate subtle look.

Fun flowers

Really lean into the spring theme by adding floral details to your pastel nails. We love how this look incorporates a different color for each hand, especially since the stunning green and lavender pairing reminds us of spring flowers. You can stick with the theme by using pastel colors for your flowers, go for brighter colors for a more stand-out look, or paint small white blooms for a toned-down floral nail.

Just one simple flower

A nail covered in flowers looks whimsical and cute, but if it feels like too much for you, tone it down a notch with a single flower instead. This accent nail still feels oh-so-spring, but the main focus is on the French tips rather than the flowery design. Plus, if you're doing your own manicure, it's easy to DIY your daisy-print nails: Just use a nail dotting tool to create the design.

Abstract waves

Inject funky fun into your nails with an abstract wavy design. This look starts with a pastel French manicure base, then adds some wavy details to take it from plain to groovy. Feel free to stick to just two simple colors, like the photo above, as too many colors might overwhelm this look. However, if you want a bold aesthetic, choose as many colors as you'd like! 

Can't pick just one color? Go for the rainbow

The attention to detail in this nail design is absolutely stunning. It takes a really steady hand to achieve such a smooth gradient. This French tip includes a rainbow of pastel colors on each nail, which is a fabulous choice for those who live by the mantra: "The more color, the better." 

Glittery accent

Just because you're going for pastel doesn't mean you can't have a pop of bold color! A glittery accent nail changes the vibe of this French mani entirely, incorporating so much fun and glam in simple detail. This nail look is the perfect glittery pick for special occasions or a big night out, like a bachelorette party or a fun trip to Las Vegas. 

Sparkle details

If you want to add sparkle without the glitter, go for a sparkle decal instead. This design is less flashy than using glitter but still has a glitzier feel than plain pastel French tips. The metallic gold polish gives these pastel-yellow nails a bit of a sheen that makes them even more eye-catching. For those who want a more subtle vibe, use white or a very pale pastel shade for the sparkle.

Hand-painted sparkles

When it comes to nail art, little hearts and flowers are common, but why not go for some itty-bitty sparkles instead? By just adding one or two, this nail look still looks low-key but has a charming surprise for those who look closer. If you want to recreate this look, get your manicurist to use an ultra-fine brush to recreate these delicate sparkle lines.

A little glimmer

Embrace the sophisticated naked glitter nail trend and incorporate sparkles in your top coat. This top coat has just a bit of glitter that is only really noticeable when you look closely or when your nails catch the light. This is a summery nail look to sport during the sunny seasons when there's plenty of light to set your nails sparkling.


Don't want to fully commit to a colorful French tip? Go for a two-toned look instead, using white and a pastel color. You can use one color on each hand, alternate colors nail by nail, or use both colors on each nail. Feel free to play with shape as well. The straight lines and overlap of the two colors make this design look geometric and more distinctive than the usual curved tip.

Wavy swirl accents

A French manicure might feel too plain for some, even when you add pastel colors. That's when it's time to add an accent design, like these retro-inspired abstract swirls. You can use several colors to lean into the colorful, nostalgic vibe, but sticking to shades of one color is the best way to achieve a very cohesive look, as shown in this pretty blue design.

Smiley face

If the arrival of spring has you grinning from ear to ear, show it on your nails. The addition of a tiny smiley face makes these nails look so cheerful. Just this one little addition can take your classic French manicure from plain to youthful. Best of all, it's easy to create this design on your own by using a nail dotting tool and a toothpick.

Playful decals

Nail stickers come in so many designs, from pretty florals and butterflies to little characters like these ones. Stickers have a level of detail that is hard to achieve by hand, and adding them to your manicure is a fabulous way to express your personality and interests. These cartoonish stickers are just too adorable not to love.

Solid accent nail

If you want to change up your nail look, an accent nail is one way to do so. The ring finger is the most popular choice for an accent nail, but you can really go with any finger you'd like. You can add some nail art or go very bold, like this solid multi-color accent nail that stands out amongst a French manicure. The stunning pastel rainbow effect makes this nail look extra dreamy.

Just one pastel

Dress up a traditional French manicure with just one pastel nail. If you're unsure if pastel French tips are right for you, this design is a good way to play with a drop of color without committing to the whole aesthetic. The cherry is also literally the cherry on top of this look — it's just plain adorable.

Half French tip

Another play on the classic French manicure design: a half-French tip. This design uses a diagonal line to create a partial tip instead of the usual horizontal edge-to-edge look. Especially with the square nail shape, this design plays with angles rather than curves. It's just another way to make your French mani look more interesting beyond using pastel colors.


If you feel torn between two colors, this is the design for you! This nail art is another two-toned look but split right down the middle. While this one uses two shades of purple to make the manicure look more cohesive, pretty much any pastel hue will look stunning in this design, so feel free to go for two completely different colors if you prefer. 

Geometric and structured

Go completely angular with this geometric French tip design, which does away with the usual French tip curves and uses straight lines instead. For best results, go for a coffin nail shape. The lines follow the outline of a coffin nail perfectly, but the slight curve of this shape keeps it from looking too sharp or boxy.

Pastel fade

The ombré French tips make these nails look positively dreamy. We love how the pastel color fades out into the natural nail color. You can leave it as-is for a faded French tip look, which gives a soft and dainty vibe. Or add an outline like in this inspo photo to give the design more delineation.

Plaid pastel

This plaid pastel look is one of the most detailed on this list. It's unconventional but very preppy, perfect for when you want a more posh look. This design uses pastel colors and white and colorful outlines to create a dapper plaid backdrop. You can leave it as-is, embracing the plaid in all its detailed glory, or you can follow this inspiration picture and add cute flowers or gems.

Ombré French tips

These nails are similar to the French rainbow tips — just toned down with only a few colors. To get this look, choose three colors for each nail and create an ombré effect by blending each color into the next. Choosing three colors gives enough space for each one to shine, but it looks more complex than it really is. To make the colors pop, you can put them on a neutral base like this one, giving you a uniform starting point for the French manicure.

Dotted French tip

This dotted French manicure look is a cheerful alternative to regular French tips. It's an easier way to incorporate multiple colors in each nail. A gradient or ombré design requires a really steady hand (you'll probably want to go to a nail artist for those options), whereas this design is totally doable at home with a nail dotting tool.

V-shaped French tip

Most pastel French manicures have a whimsical vibe. If that feels a bit too soft for you, opt for a v-shaped French tip. This sharp and bold design has a bit of edge but still looks feminine because of the pastel lavender shades. It looks fantastic on extra-long nails since they'll give you enough space for the design and offer this gorgeous elongated look.


Switch up your go-to manicure with an inverted French mani and add pastel shades to your nail bed, not just the tip of your nails. An outline along the other side of your nail is a way to add more color while keeping most of the nail bare. This negative space is key to the classy look of a French manicure. Using more than one color creates more dimension in this design.

Retro swirl tips

This pink design is another retro-inspired choice that allows you to bring several colors into each nail. Choose one base color to prevent the nail design from looking messy. Where the extra fun really comes in is the multi-color swirls. You can choose similar colors if you want to follow a color theme or include a few brighter shades (like the yellow and orange in this design) for a more colorful aesthetic.

Cow print accents

Use this quirky nail design as an inspiration picture for your next accent nail. Trendy and fun, the cow print is completely adorable. You can do a traditional ring finger accent nail or add your thumbnail to embrace the pattern fully. A pastel French tip is a charming pairing that brings elegance to this precious nail look.

Blue and lilac

Most pastel colors are complimentary, so you can choose almost any two hues to make a similar nail look — but this blue and lilac pairing is gorgeous! Layer the two sweeps of color on top of each other for a more refined aesthetic compared to a side-by-side split French tip design. The slightly asymmetrical curve makes this design unique.

Pretty pearls

Classy and beautiful, the pearl details make these nails look so sophisticated and chic. These are special-event-worthy nails; we can imagine them as a colorful wedding nail look. Pearls can go with any pastel color, but we think they look particularly lovely with pale purple. The purple gradient from thumb to pinky nail is another stunning detail of this set.

Floral French tip

This design gets creative with florals, using them to outline the French tip instead of going for the usual solid color. The flowers make the overall manicure look so feminine and delicate. You can create a floral pattern across all your nails or follow the design in this photo, opting for a classic French tip on some fingers with a couple of floral accents on others.