What shape would you like?
For clients, choosing their colour isn’t the only decision they need to make at the salon. When you first ask your clients what shape would they like, some will likely know exactly what they want and others will look at you with a puzzled look on their face. Either way, you may need to steer them in the right direction to make a decision that both suits their nail beds and fingers as well as their lifestyle.
Nail shapes tend to be cyclical and thanks to social media, are heavily influenced by actors, entertainers, celebrities and trendsetters. Rest assured though, there is a style to suit everyone.
In this article, we are going to discuss the top 7 most common nail shapes, how to shape them and who should/shouldn’t wear them.
(Image courtesy of Mashable)
- SQUARE: the name gives it all away - they are square. They are straight at the free edge with sharp corners and are straight along the side walls, neither flared or tapered. Square nails are the strongest of all the shapes, however, avoid this shape if your client has wide nails as the square edge makes the nail appear wider than it actually is.
- ROUND: classy, classic shape and perfect for those clients who prefer to keep their nails short. Like square nails, this round-shape starts off straight at the side walls then gently curves to follow the natural shape of the fingertip. The short, rounded style subtly elongates making it a great option for shorter fingers.
- SQUOVAL: somewhere between square and oval. Perfect for clients who like the straight free edge of the square but without the sharpness of square corners. Squoval has been referred to as a ‘universally flattering’ shape and is most likely the first shape you ever created when you began your training.
- OVAL: always a winner! Oval-shaped nails are classic and feminine as it helps to make wide fingers slimmer and short fingers longer. To shape an oval nail you’ll need to mirror the curve of the cuticle which (like the squoval) makes it the ideal nail style for everyone.
- ALMOND: beautiful on long nails! Almond-shaped nails are more tapered and more dramatic than the oval with the free edge ending in a round peak resembling the nut from which it borrows its name. Try this shape on clients with short, slim fingers and narrow nail beds.
- STILETTO: maximum impact! Stiletto nails takes its name from the stiletto heel making them a statement shape. Begin by shaping these dramatic nails just as you would the almond but be sure to make them SUPER long ending with a sharp point. While the majority of your clients won’t request stiletto they are certainly a fun shape for a special occasion/event and have serious elongating effects.
- COFFIN: made popular by beauty trendsetters such as Kylie Jenner. Side walls are tapered into a point (like stiletto) then the tip is squared off. Coffin nails are sometimes referred to as ballerina nails. Both shapes are essentially created the same way, however, coffin nails are generally much longer than ballerina. They’re called coffin and ballerina nails due to their shapes resembling a coffin and a ballerina slipper. Both the coffin and ballerina nails have become an incredibly popular shape in the past few years and are a great option for clients with short, wide fingers as they create the illusion of longer, more slender fingers.
So, what’s the easiest way to create these shapes on a fresh full set in the salon?
Fuzion forms arebeautiful long forms designed to sculpt anything from short to long square, almond, stiletto or coffin with a beautiful c-curve! Every single salon shape can be quickly and easily created using these forms. The guidelines for each shape are already mapped out for you within the grid lines on the form. It doesn’t get much simpler than that…..just follow the lines and you’re shape will be almost perfect therefore minimising your filing time (and who doesn’t want that??) and your overall service time. Win Win!
As nail techs, we all have our favourite, our strengths and our weaknesses when it comes to nail shapes. Some even have a ‘signature style’ that is so recognisable, when we’re scrolling through the pages of social media we immediately know whose work it is without even looking at the name!
So…..what shape would you like?