The most popular manicure on Instagram

Here’s the situation. You know (well you’re pretty sure) that if all goes to plan your significant other is going to be popping the question this Valentine’s Day!

So if you think you know, this gives you a huge advantage in the manicure stakes - you can sort your nails well ahead of those engagement photos and seriously up that social media ante!

After flicking through the celebrity gossip magazines and scrolling through Instagram, we are also pretty sure that we have the ultimate engagement manicure look - and that is - drumroll please - the French manicure! Appearing on the fingertips of every celebrity and influencer alike, the French manicure is back in business and it's more eye-catching than ever before. Forget that classic French manicure look that pervaded the 90s and noughties with lengthy Tippex looking tips! No, the French manicure is back and it has been given a makeover in favour of softer and subtle designs, bold strips of colour and eye-catching designs.

Take Ariana Grande's recent engagement pictures - oh yes the ring was bling, but look at that modern French manicure iteration. Just get a load of this:

Photo: Instagram @arianagrande

The new-gen French manicure trend has quickly become one of top looks to be gracing Instagram with its presence. But with salons and nail bars temporarily closed and looking like the situation will remain that way for a while, here are our top tips for creating a modern take on the French manicure just in time for those engagement photos….

Step 1: Base

For a smooth finish, start with nails free of old polish or lotion. Sweep a thin coat of clear base polish along the top third of your nail. This will act as the base for your tip, so don't worry about covering your whole nail at this point.

As for the base colour - fair skinned people should opt for cool tones of nude and those with darker skin to use a warmed-up version.

Apply some Vaseline on the skin around your nail so that any nail polish spill over can be removed easily.

Step 2: White Tip Magic

When creating the white tip decant a small amount of white polish onto a mixing palette or piece of tin foil, dip a thin liner brush into this and paint from the free edge of the nail.

A thin white tip is the absolute key to keeping a French manicure current and modern. Keep the coat thin and even for smoother results. Sweep the white polish along the free, trimmed edge of your nail as well to make the colour last longer. Allow the first coat to set for a couple of minutes and follow up with a second coat.

Swap out the classic French manicure with an edgy variation using the same tip-painting techniques. Shades of dark pink, sparkly gold or even black reinvent a basic manicure. Check out Melanie of @overglowedit Instagram account fame and her DIY take on a modern French manicure, and scroll further down for even more inspiration.

Step 3: Clean It Up

Pour a couple tablespoons of nail polish remover into a small glass or bowl. Dip a small, clean, stiff-bristled makeup or art brush into the nail polish. Sweep the brush along the bottom of the white strip you applied, using soft, smooth motions to create a tidy line. Dip the brush into the remover as needed, and keep removing the bottom edge of the white polish until you achieve the width of tip you desire. Allow the tip to set for about five minutes.

Step 4: Pretty in Pink

Apply a fresh coat of clear base polish over your entire nail, including the tip. Allow it to set for a few minutes. Follow up with a sheer, very light pink or nude shade. Sweep an even, thin layer of polish over the whole nail to achieve the French manicure. Apply a second coat and allow it to set for a few minutes.

Step 5: Final Coat

Finish the manicure with a final application of clear top coat to seal in the color and make the look last. Remember to sweep a little top coat along the top edge of each nail.

Step 6: Maintain

Hand care is essential to get the most from any manicure, you need to keep the nails and skin hydrated and exfoliated. We recommend Bella Forever Coconut & Lemonade Hand & Body Lotion and an application of cuticle oil.