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Beauty 101: Shaping Your Fingernails

Women with fashionable nails

One of the hardest parts of doing at-home manicures can be deciding on the shape of your nail. Not all shapes flatter every finger and hand, so sometimes it can be difficult if you are inexperienced. It can also affect the durability of the nail itself. It’s the foundation of all manicures, because if you choose a difficult or unflattering shape, it can affect the way the entire hand looks. There are four basic shapes, not including some of the trendy shapes that have been cropping up.

  • Round – The smooth rounded tip of this choice is perfect for weaker or shorter nails. Some people do find this particular shape to be a little outdated though.
  • Square – A very classic and extremely popular look, especially for artificial nails. It looks better on medium to long nails, but the edges can chip easily.
  • Almond – These have extremely filed-down sides to achieve the look which can significantly weaken the nail. It does make your fingers look long and elegant if your nails are strong enough to withstand the filing.
  • Oval – This is usually a good blend of almond, square, and round; with the side straight and the tips or free edges slightly rounded to soften the look. It is almost universally flattering on medium and long nails, and very feminine looking.
  • Pointed – Personally, these are just scary. The ‘stiletto’ and the ‘lipstick’ are the most common with this extreme choice.

One of the best tips to choosing your best shape is to mirror the shape of the half-moon at the base of your nail. Likewise, certain shapes flatter certain finger shapes. For example, square nails look great on long narrow fingers while round is wonderfully suited for short nails. Oval is the universal especially for shorter wider fingers.

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