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It’s important in the entertainment industry to maintain your appearance and take care of yourself and something that usually goes neglected unless you get your nails done every week is your nail shape. This can help your hands to look longer, shorter etc. and completely change the look of your hands (for all you hand models reading). It’s also just good to have a shape that works for your nail type for an everyday look that flatters. Here are all the different nail shapes, how to get them and what nail types they look good on.

Oval:

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.

Square:

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.

Square Oval (Squoval):

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.

Round:

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.

Almond/Point:

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.

Deciding Your Shape:

How do you decide which nail shape is right for you? If your nail beds are wide, try a squoval shape. If they’re narrow, try a sharp square shape to widen and strengthen. If you keep short nails, a rounded shape is your best bet for low-maintenance style. You can also look at the lunula (the half-moon shape on your nail bed) for nail-shaping guidance. If it’s more curved, try oval or rounded shapes. If it’s flat, you’re better off shaping your nails square or squoval.

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