The basis of the perfect manicure. How to choose the right nail shape

Your nail shape can make or break a manicure. A good shape can highlight the beauty of your whole hand, in addition, complement your chosen colour or design. This is why choosing the best shape for your nails is something you should not ignore.

Nail art can be tricky, but with the right tips and a little practice, you'll make an amazing manicure on your own. To create perfect nails you have to choose the right nail shape based on your finger shape and nail bed form. You should also keep in mind that certain shapes only work well with long nails.

The basic nail shaping styles

nails shape

If you do not file your nails, they will grow into inverted triangles, which is ugly and unflattering. This happens when your nail grows too long and widens your fingers. You can fix this by filing down the edges. If you're not sure what shape to choose, you can start by viewing a few natural fingernail shapes. 

There are six types of natural nail shapes. All of them have their own advantages: 

  1. Round is a classic shape. It suits well for short nails manicure. This shape follows the natural curve of the nail and is the easiest to achieve. Round nails can visually narrow the nail bed.
  2. The oval shape looks natural. It is perfect for medium-length nails. The oval shape also looks great on people with wide nails.
  3. Almond is a slightly pointed shape with chamfered edges, that remind of an almond nut. It suits well for short nail beds to make them look longer.
  4. The square shape looks great with long, narrow fingernails. It can look beautiful on short fingernails. Squire is one of the most popular shapes for an everyday manicure. 
  5. The squoval shape is similar to the square one but slightly more rounded edges. If you want a simple, yet stylish nail design, you can opt for a squoval style. This nail type is perfect for people who hate sharp corners.
  6. The coffin or ballerina is a square design that tapers to the tip. This style is great for long nails.

You can also use other shapes to make them more unique. For example, you can choose a stiletto or lipstick shape. But keep in mind that modifying your nail's shape can make a big difference in the overall manicure's mood.

What nail shape should I get?

nails shaping

The first step to perfect nail mani is to know the shape of your finger. Your natural finger shape determines the shape of nails you'll want to achieve. You can always go to a nail technician if you're unsure of the exact manicure design you want to get.

Nail shape for short fingers

If your nails are shorter than you wish, you might want to go for an oval shape for them. The oval shape is practical and easy to maintain. Rounded edges of nails make your fingers look elongated. If you have short fingers, long nails are the best choice. It also suits a wide variety of polishes.

Nail shape for chubby fingers

For big fingers, elongated tapering nails are needed to make them look thinner. Almond or ballerina might work well. The last years’ trendy shape is the almond. With a pointed tip, the almond shape makes your fat finger look long and slim. 

Nail shape for long fingers

A square shape is popular among people with long fingers, as it can make your fingers look more stumpy. The advantage is that the square shape will also make your manicure last longer. However, if you have naturally long and thin fingers, not only a square-shaped nail can look good on you. Oval and squoval style will look great also. 

Nail shape for wide nail beds

If we are talking about short-nail manicures, a round nail shape is able to make wide nail beds appear thinner. Tapered or chopped off at the tip nail is a popular option for long-nail manicures. A coffin nail is a perfect choice for those who want a nail to look thinner. The coffin or ballerina will look great with a variety of colours. If you want to make your nails slimmer, opt for a ballerina style.

Nail shape for small nail beds

If you have small nail beds, you can try the squoval nail shape. It is an intermediate choice between square and oval and is great for those who want to make their nails bigger. This shape does not narrow the nail to the edge and at the same time slightly lengthens it due to the slope. You can achieve this shape by filing it straight across and rounding the corners.

Timeless manicure ideas for different nail shapes

nail ideas

Different styles of manicures will suit a variety of occasions. If you're going to a party, long bright nails with exotic nail art can be a great adorn for your hands. At the same time, a corporate party is more likely to require a more restrained manicure from you, although it allows you to have long, well-shaped nails. Everyday manicure should be comfortable for performing many tasks with your hands, so it's better when the nails are short and neutral-coloured.

There are many styles of manicures for different occasions, such as spring nails, vacation nails, job interview nails, or everyday nails. Certain ideas for manicures remain in trend from year to year. Some of them are:

  • A French manicure can help if you want your nails to look longer. For a classic French manicure, square, oval and squoval-shaped nails are well suited. And it is better to avoid it with round or almond nails. 
  • Ombre, a colour gradient manicure is perfect for long nails and looks attractive. Ballerina, almond and oval-shaped nails will look great with this style.
  • Matte nails are stylish and restrained. In matte nail design, the best shape is square or round. For an evening event, choose dark tones a muted ones for your everyday look.
  • Glitter or glossy nails add more festive and fun to your look. Be careful using glitter on long nails, as it can feel overwhelming. However, single glossy nails or glitter details will look brilliant.
  • A dotted manicure. Dots will smooth out rounded nail shapes and vice versa will well emphasize square, ballerina or almond nails
  • Striped and geometric manicures. Stripes tend to lengthen the nail if placed lengthwise and wider when placed across. You can use lines and geometry on any round shape and it will look great. At the same time, elongated, such as almond nails with geometry will look too sharpened.
  • Floral nails. bright colours of flower manicure will suit any style. There are a large number of options for what floral nail art to do. So it will be relevant regardless of the length or shape of your nails. On a short manicure, you can apply minimal floral art, while long nails allow you to use huge options of leaves, flowers and patterns. It's up to you!
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