Shapes of nails, or how to file them
Nail Technique

Shapes of nails, or how to file them

by Indigo Nails
6 min. reading

Seasonal colour changes and various trends go hand in hand with the promotion of specific shapes of nails. Nail designs with pointed claws used to “rule” only a few seasons ago, but almond shaped nails are now much more popular. No matter what nail shape you choose, after reading this article you will learn how to file nails to get the affect you want.

When choosing the shape of nails, it is worth taking into consideration the shape and look of your hands and fingers to find out which shape will bring out what’s most beautiful in them. The general rule is quite simple: women with slender hands and long fingers should decide on wider and angular finished nails. If you have shorter fingers and a little chubbier hands you should choose shapes that will optically lengthen your fingers and give your hands a slender look. Much also depends on the natural shape of the nail – if your nails are fairly wide by nature, it may not be the best idea to file their tips strenuously.

Nail filing technique

The key lies in magical tricks, but you don’t need to learn any spells – you just have to know how to make optics work in your favour.

The most important rules of filing nails are as follows:

  1. Never file nails in the air – make sure that your hand has a stable support, e.g. table top.
  2. Make sure the nails are dry before you start filing them.
  3. Choose the right file – adjust the degree of gradation to the condition of the plate and whether or not it is natural or e.g. coated by gel.

Please read the following article to learn more: Which nail file to choose?

Get to know the most popular nail shapes and how to achieve them?

There are many shape variations to choose from. The number of decorations that can be made and used is even greater. However, before you go “crazy”, learn how to get a specific shape of the nail plate. Our tutorial will certainly help you accomplish that.

1. Oval nails – how to get them?

paznokieć o kształcie owalnym

Characteristics: This is the most universal shape, which will work well for people whose nails are exposed to mechanical damage. Rounded nails allow you to minimise the risk of breaking. Of course, the shape itself is not a guarantee of durability – the condition of the plate and external factors, i.e. the type of work performed, play the greatest role.

In order to obtain oval nails, it’s necessary to file them according to the shape of the finger tips. Initially, they will be very short, but as they grow, you’ll be able to enjoy their perfectly oval shape.

2. Square nails – how to get them?

paznokieć o kształcie kwadratu

Characteristics: The geometric shape of square nails are best for medium or long nails of people with slender and long fingers. Due to the “hard” edges, the shape is more prone to breaking, damage or splitting, but it beautifully underlines the nail design which – in the case of this nail plate type – can cover more space.

The easiest way to achieve square nails is by filing them with the hand firmly resting on, for example, the table top and holding the file perpendicularly to the finger. Remember not to shorten the nail plate too much – greater length will make your nail design look even more striking.

3. Square rounded nails – how to get them?

paznokieć o kształcie zaokrąglonego kwadratu

Characteristics: Just like in the case of square nails, they will work best on medium or long nails, but they will look subtler thanks to their rounded edges.

To achieve this effect, follow the same procedure as for square nails – remember about the appropriate support and keep the file at 90 degrees to the fingertip. Create the target shape of the square, then file and round off the sharp edges.

4. Pointed nails – how to get them?

paznokieć o kształcie szpicu

Characteristics: A very impressive shape but can be difficult to obtain on the natural nail plate when performing a manicure at home. It’s best to have it done by a professional. 

To achieve this, the nail must be impressively long, which is really difficult to achieve without the use of gel or acrylic and the skilled hand of a nail artist.

Pointed nails look best on fingernails that are at least 2.5 cm long. Before filing, mark the point that will be the tip of the pointed nail, and then file the plate symmetrically on both sides until the desired sharp end is achieved.

5. “Ballerina” shaped nails – how to get them?

Paznokcie w kształcie „Ballerina”

Characteristics: This shape of nails was popularized by American celebrity Kylie Jenner.

These nails are extremely popular on Instagram and are considered a serious competition for almond shaped nails. This nail shape is characterized by a truncated end that deceptively resembles a ballet shoe, which is where it gets its name.

During the first stages of the shaping process follow the same steps as for almond shaped nails: mark the middle point, file the sides at an angle of 45%, but instead of rounding, set the file perpendicularly to the nail and file “straight”.

6. Almond shaped nails – how to get them?

paznokcie w kształcie migdałów

Characteristics: Almond shaped nails are a fashion hit in recent months, but also an excellent way to optically slim down and lengthen your hands. The name of the shape refers, of course, to an oval nut.

To get almond shaped nails, start by marking the middle point, which will be your base point for filing. File side edges of the nail at an angle of 45 degrees and then slightly round off the tip. Make sure that the nail doesn’t remain sharpened and at the same time its shape is not too oval.

We’re very curious what shape and nail design you’ll choose. Let us know by adding the hashtag #indigonails on your social media. If needed, write to us – we’re here to help! Good luck in exploring the secrets of nail art!

Curing time of hybrid and gel nail polish

Curing time of hybrid and gel nail polish

Matte hybrid manicure - step by step

Matte hybrid manicure - step by step