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Nails - all shapes and sizes

Over the years one of my favourite ways to relax has been to watch a movie (or reruns of Friends) while painting my nails. These days I'm still painting my nails but I've upgraded from drugstore polish to CND shellac (and now I'm binge watching the latest comedy or drama series - thank you Netflix - now I never turn off the TV).

My love of doing nails has naturally passed over into my job as a makeup artist and I often get asked to do nails as well to complete the whole look. There are of course so many trends out there and you've probably been asked at your nail salon what type of nail shape you would like. Today there are many new popular shapes out there (not just the usual round or square that we've been used to). If you want to try something different keep reading for some fresh ideas for your next manicure.

The Stiletto

This shape is an edgy take on the almond shape as it is filed down on the sides and has a more pointy end. Think 50s/60s glam meets Jimmy Choo meets Kylie Jenner. If you have weaker nails the best way to ensure your nail stays strong is to get a nail enhancement underneath. I recommend acrylic or polygel as it will strengthen the nail and ensure a smooth finish to your nail bed.

The Round

The most requested shape over the years has undoubtedly been the Round. It is flattering to most hands and it is easy to maintain while still looking polished. I love this in darker colours like dark red, purple or black. It also looks great with a matte finish.

You can keep nails short for this one so it's practical for those wearers who are tough on their nails (like me!). This look is also flattering for those with long and slender fingers.

The Almond

This shape is similar to the Stiletto but with a softer edge and less filing down of the sides. It is also a little wider on the sides and if you can imagine an almond lying flat - that's the shape your nail would like look. This shape makes your hands look elongated and slender.

The look on the right is the popular french fade look which is super popular at the moment.

If you want to see this in action check out this nail tutorial to see how it's created with polygel.

The Squoval

As you guessed it, this shape is right in the middle between square and oval shape. This shape is achieved by creating a square straight edge and then slightly rounding the edges. It makes this shape a little easier to wear as it keeps the strength of the square shape but also rounds the edges so you are less likely to stab yourself on the edge (I've totally done that a few times!).

The Oval

This shape is very similar to the round nail just slightly longer. So the width from the base to the tip of the nail is the same. This shape is flattering for those who want to make their fingers look longer and slimmer.

Because the width is the same as the base you keep the strength in the nails too so it's not necessary to have an enhancement underneath. I love this shiny grey Marc Jacobs colour.

The Coffin

A similar shape to Stiletto this look has been popularised by Kylie Jenner and other celebrities in recent years and understandably so. It has the same tapered edge as the Stiletto but the nail tip is filed straight and depending on how long the nail, can look like a coffin or ballerina slipper (Ballerina is another name used for this shape).

I've worn this nail shape a few times and definitely recommend having an enhancement underneath. Due to the length and how much the sides are filed you lose quite a lot of strength in the nail and it becomes easier for your nail to break. Plus having an enhancement like gel or acrylic underneath means you can get a lot more done without having to worry that your nails will chip or break. Great for those of us (me included!) that use your hands a lot for work or at home.

Which one of these nail shapes do you prefer?

Let me know in the comments section below!

Sarah xx

Images: Pinterest

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