Your nail length & shape: how did you decide?

lvpiggy

feels like pigsomnia
O.G.
For those with natural nails, how did you decide on your regular length and tip shape? Are there any general guidelines that I should be following? Most of the online resources I viewed mention that nail shape should be decided based on the form of the hands & fingers, but then they don't tell you how to do it!

Since I'm desperately due for a polish change, I'm trying to decide whether my I should file my nails down a bit shorter. For the life of me, I can't tell if my hand shape calls for a short or long nail - all input will be greatly appreciated! (^(oo)^)



As for the tip shape, I have absolutely no say in the matter, as my nail beds are really bizarre, and completely preclude me from achieving oval or round tips. Even the squoval is challenging :P
 

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Sep 7, 2008
20,931
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33°53'S,151°10'E
I change the shape from time to time, depending on what I feel like. Ditto for you too, piggy, whatever you feel like, give it a go and see. Those "rules" about nail shape should be considered suggestions rather than rules.
 

BourgeoisStoner

Problem Child
Aug 19, 2010
2,495
1
Inagaddadavida
I keep mine short and square. I just like the way they look, especially with dark polish, which is what I gravitate towards.

I also work in an Emergency Room where acrylic and gels are forbidden and long nails are frowned upon.
 
Mar 5, 2008
20,636
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I try to go for the squoval, but I usually end up w/ square because it's easier. I think the squoval is the most universally flattering shape. I kind of want to try the stiletto someday, but I'm not sure if I could pull it off.

I personally think that because your nails seem very narrow they might look better if they were rounded or a bit shorter, but as always, it's just a matter of personal preference. They look great right now too. :yes:
 

ipudgybear

Member
Jan 23, 2010
2,700
18
I do the squoval shape as well because my hands are kind of awkward since some nails are more oval shape and others are square shaped. I think it shouldn't matter just what you think is best for your nails. I keep my nails medium length since I use my hands a lot for cleaning etc so they are more likely to break. You can always try a different length and just experiment :smile:
 

*Jem*

Lynnsanity
O.G.
May 7, 2006
2,493
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Dallas
Mine are fingertip length and I guess squoval shape. I chose this length because it is easy for me to type at work and function. I do have to clip my nails frequently though.
 

Code Blue

O.G.
Nov 23, 2008
3,090
1
My nails naturally grow round so I normally keep them that way.

I think your nails would look better if they were a little shorter and rounder, but I think they also look nice the way they are now. Maybe you can experiment with different shapes and lengths to find which one you like best. :smile:
 

tortoiseperson

ReMember
Jul 16, 2010
2,154
3
London-ish
Regarding tip shape, I read somewhere that it's most harmonious if the tip mirrors the shape of the nail bed so I file mine into a classic blunted oval. I find this flattering to my fingers - I have smallish chubby little paws (ring finger size N). I'm not keen on pointy nails as they remind me irrationally of claws and I don't like being able to feel the point.

I tend to keep my nails fairly short as I find long nails interfere with typing and needlework. My nails are quite strong but especially those on my index fingers have a weird tendency to start breaking below the free edge and once this happens, the irregularity will catch and rip off really painfully - I've found that keeping them relatively short helps stop this happening. I have a fairly low key personal style and superlong nails wouldn't be in keeping with this.

I also have a weird almost phobia of long thumb nails. I get a "chalk on blackboard" shudder if I feel my thumb nail digging into the pad of my other fingers - so I keep thumb nails as short as possible.
 

lvpiggy

feels like pigsomnia
O.G.
OK, how the heck do you get them to be rounder? Either I'm a total dimwit, or my nails just are not suitable for rounding without basically removing about a quarter of the nail from the sides . . . (*(oo)*)

For those who wear their nails round, may I ask if your nail bed is relatively flat, or does it have some noticeable curvature to it?
 

lvpiggy

feels like pigsomnia
O.G.
Regarding tip shape, I read somewhere that it's most harmonious if the tip mirrors the shape of the nail bed so I file mine into a classic blunted oval. I find this flattering to my fingers - I have smallish chubby little paws (ring finger size N). I'm not keen on pointy nails as they remind me irrationally of claws and I don't like being able to feel the point.

I tend to keep my nails fairly short as I find long nails interfere with typing and needlework. My nails are quite strong but especially those on my index fingers have a weird tendency to start breaking below the free edge and once this happens, the irregularity will catch and rip off really painfully - I've found that keeping them relatively short helps stop this happening. I have a fairly low key personal style and superlong nails wouldn't be in keeping with this.

I also have a weird almost phobia of long thumb nails. I get a "chalk on blackboard" shudder if I feel my thumb nail digging into the pad of my other fingers - so I keep thumb nails as short as possible.
OH brilliant!! That helps a lot - I shall stop attempting to file my nails round then, as my actual nail beds go straight across! So hopefully that means I can leave my nails squared off as well? (^(oo)^)

ETA: found a (very old & poorly manicured) picture:
 

lvpiggy

feels like pigsomnia
O.G.
So here's why I think I always have trouble rounding off my nails, especially once they grow to any kind of meaningful length . . .

Here's my nail, viewed from the top - looks fairly normal, IPHO:


This is the side view - I don't know if I have bizarrely cylindrical fingers or what, but I feel like my nail beds come a *lot* further down the sides of my fingers than they're supposed to:


As a result, when my nails grow, the tips are not flat or gently curved. They almost look like those fake acrylic tips that people put on - the cross section is a tight semicircle, much smaller than the size of my finger:


So the difficulty I'm having is, what looks like the "corner" of my nail when viewed from the top is not the corner at all; it's just the part where the curvature of my nail goes vertical and starts to tuck under. So in order to make the "corners" look round, I feel like I have to remove the entire chunk of my nail that curves underneath, in order to get at the part that looks like the side of my nail, when viewed from the top . . .

am I just going about this the wrong way? I would like to be able to at least achieve a squoval, but if I do it the way I described above, I find it makes my nails a lot weaker, whereas if I keep them squared off, and don't take any off the sides, they're practically indestructible (^(oo)^)
 

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tortoiseperson

ReMember
Jul 16, 2010
2,154
3
London-ish
To illustrate, these are mine - excuse the bare nails.

My "favourite" nail is on the index finger, as it's the most classic almond shape - I wish they were all like that. The middle fingernail is much blunter and a bit assymetrical. So I try to achieve a shape that's averaged out which looks better when there's polish on, so you don't see that the white free edges aren't even.



ETA I see what you mean Piggy and is this almost a conical rather than cylindrical effect? that if you let them grow to the ultimate length the sides would touch? it's exacerbated by the fact that your fingers are very slim and so your nails are much narrower than mine, for example.

It seems as if you'd only really be able to achieve an oval if you kept them quite short. The trick will be to find the middle way which allows you elegant length but with a slightly more almond shape.
 
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lvpiggy

feels like pigsomnia
O.G.
To illustrate, these are mine - excuse the bare nails.

My "favourite" nail is on the index finger, as it's the most classic almond shape - I wish they were all like that. The middle fingernail is much blunter and a bit assymetrical. So I try to achieve a shape that's averaged out which looks better when there's polish on, so you don't see that the white free edges aren't even.



ETA I see what you mean Piggy and is this almost a conical rather than cylindrical effect? that if you let them grow to the ultimate length the sides would touch? it's exacerbated by the fact that your fingers are very slim and so your nails are much narrower than mine, for example.

It seems as if you'd only really be able to achieve an oval if you kept them quite short. The trick will be to find the middle way which allows you elegant length but with a slightly more almond shape.
Yes, that's exactly the issue! You can even see in the first photo I posted, they get narrower and narrower the further out they get from my finger. . . is this normal fingernail behaviour? :thinking: