When selecting a nail shape, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with the different options available. Although there are many silhouettes and variations on offer, there are five key shapes you should know. Square, squoval, round, almond, and stiletto are essential forms. To precisely determine which style is best for your client, you will need to take into consideration their finger shape, nail bed width, and nail length.
Combining the elegance of the oval with the strength of the square, the squoval is a popular nail shape for most fingers. First begin with a square with straight and even side walls. File the corners until your free edge is rounded and beveled. Remember, you still want strong side supports – don’t go too file-happy.
As one of the most conservative shapes of the bunch, the round shape is ideal for men and those who like to maintain short nails. This shape is flattering for wide nails, and gives the illusion of a thinner nail bed. File the side walls straight like a square, then round the free edge into that perfect swooping circle.
The pointed nail is a popular style for acrylic and nail art designs, especially in Eastern Europe and Asia. This avant-garde shape is popular among celebrities – Fergie and Lady Gaga are always rocking it! And while it’s not favored for the everyday look, this extreme shape can actually slenderize and lengthen the fingers. File the side walls evenly and taper until you’ve reached the desired tip.
The tapered side walls of the oval create an elegant shape for women. Oval shapes flatter both wide and narrow nail beds, and add length with a graceful tip. To achieve the perfect oval shape, file side walls straight to make sure they’re even. Then, shape the side walls into a rounded oval, making sure the angles are even on each side.
With strong side walls and sharp or rounded tips, this shape is classic French. The square is ideal for a bigger nail bed (it tends to make smaller nail beds look shorter and wider). To create this timeless shape, file the side walls straight and make sure they’re perpendicular to the free edge of the nail. Once you’ve got the perfect square, angle your emery board and bevel the nail.
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