There are some nail services that are trickier to do at home, such as perfecting a gel manicure that doesn’t bubble or recreating one of Betina Goldstein’s breathtaking designs. But achieving the basics, like knowing how to shape nails, is nearly foolproof — as long as you have some expert guidance. Soon enough you’ll be shaping like the pros at home. After all, doing your nails should be a fun and true expression of yourself.
“Manicures are a form of self-expression, and I think that regardless of having long nails or short nails, there’s something that can work and compliment you,” Iram Shelton, celebrity and editorial nail artist who has worked on projects for Gucci, Richard Malone, and Mulberry, tells TZR. “Since the pandemic, there had been a huge shift from the long talons to a shorter, natural nail look as people were unable to visit salons. I think this has then encouraged people to try and paint their nails at home, which I think is great — it’s a form of self-care, and I personally find it quite therapeutic.”
That being said, where do you begin when it comes to knowing how to shape your nails? “Examine your hands, fingers, and nails to get an idea about their relative proportions, then choose the nail shape that suits you best,” Jin Soon Choi, celebrity manicurist and founder of JINsoon nail salon in New York, tells TZR. She says you’ll position the nail file at a different angle according to the nail shape you’re hoping to achieve. “I like to file the tip of the nail first for square and squoval, and from side to side for round, oval, and pointed shapes to balance the shape better.”
For your tools, all you need is a sharp nail clipper and good nail file, according to Chelsea King, celebrity and editorial manicurist who works with stars like Sam Smith and Taraji P. Henson. “Nail clippers come in different shapes, straight or curved edges, and it’s all a matter of preference,” King says. If you like your nails super square, she suggests using a straight edge clipper. Otherwise, a curved edge will suffice. “As for nail files, I like to stick to around a 180 or 240 grit — the higher the grit, the smoother the file,” King says. “If it’s too rough, it will tear the nail and can cause future breakage.”
When it comes to current nail trends, nail artist Aistė Plechaviciute, known as @heygreatnails on Instagram, tells TZR that simpler and smaller nails are in. “Oval, short, and extra-short square nails are going to be very popular in 2022, as well as almond shape,” Plechaviciute says. “Minimalistic designs, classy and simple artwork, [and] chic and good old French manicures are making strong comebacks.”
Whatever nail shape speaks to you and your personal style best, be your own nail tech by following the steps for shaping nails below. Have a pretty polish nearby and ready to go.
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Almond Shaped Nails
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