Whether you choose your nail shape according to what’s trending or what’s practical, it’s just as important as the colour. From statement styles to looks that complement your fingers, read on to discover SensatioNail’s ultimate nail-shape guide.
Round nails are one of the easiest shapes to create and maintain – they’re short, tidy and look gorgeous with bright colours. They’re also a good idea for those who can’t grow their nails long.
Get the look: shape the end of the nail into a semi-circle, then flatten the middle. Go steady on the sides – they don’t need much filing at all.
Square nails are a dream for narrow fingers – the shape gives the illusion of more width. This style is ideal if you’re looking to get creative with your nail art, as you have a bigger area to work with. Win-win.
Get the look: leave the sides of your nails as they are and file gently across the tip. Move horizontally from each side until the edge is completely flat, then run the file once over the corners so they’re not too sharp. Simple.
The oval nail is great for elongating – a must-try if you have short fingers or short nail beds – and looks great paired with nude shades or a strong red. And that’s not all: French tips and accent nails look great on this shape, too.
Get the look: file each side slightly inwards, then shape into a semi-circle at the tip.
A wonderfully made-up name, the squoval shape is exactly what it suggests: halfway between square and oval. This modern style suits most hand shapes and is a natural and low-maintenance look.
Get the look: to perfect this style, follow the steps for square nails, but then gently round off the corners. See – that wasn’t so difficult!
This is a timeless shape and a match made in heaven for wider hands or shorter fingers, as it lengthens fingers in a flash. Pair with a white or metallic polish for a chic finish.
Get the look: nail the look by filing the sides of your nails slightly inwards so they’re slimmer than the base. Complete the almond shape by rounding off the tip – et voilà!
The stiletto is a long and pointy style that’s fierce and sophisticated, like a pair of killer heels. It adds length to short, wide fingers and looks even better teamed with a shiny chrome or bright red polish.
Get the look: you’ll need super-long nails – natural or false – for this look. File each side so the nail gets gradually narrower towards the tip, then file the tip into a sharp point.
Known as the coffin, this style needs plenty of length (hello, falsie friends). The high-maintenance style (getting the kind of length you need here is no mean feat) lengthens the look of shorter fingers and works well with pinks, nudes and blacks.
Get the look: follow the directions for a stiletto nail. Then, either clip off the very end of the tip, or file straight across the edge of the nail until the end looks blunt, like a ballet pointe shoe (hence the name).
The first rule of nail filing? Never file in a ‘sawing’ motion – this can fray and weaken the edges of your nail. Eek! Move from the side to the centre – it’s better for your nail and gives you more control over the shape.
While filing, focus on one side at a time and lift your file away from the nail between strokes. Once you’re happy with the shape, clean under your nail with a cuticle stick or the metal nail cleaner on your nail clippers.
To master your at-home mani, you need the right kit. The following tools will help you get a salon-standard finish:
Cuticle stick or pusher
Before you add polish, make sure they’re squeaky clean and bone dry. Our hack? Clean them with washing up liquid instead of hand soap. Traditional soaps contain moisturisers, which are great for skin but prevent your polish from sticking.
Although it’s tempting, try to hold off from applying any hand cream or cuticle oil until after you’ve completed your manicure.
All that’s left to do is add a touch of colour to those flawless nails. Check out the SensatioNail range and get creative!