How to Shape your Nails - Nail Designers

How to Shape your Nails

May 12, 2011 Nail Care

How do I achieve the right shape for my nails?

You must assess the shape of the natural nail bed and fingers before you decide which shape is best for a client. If they are short and fat, you should shape the nail oval with a medium length. If the client has long slender nail beds, they can be longer and square or squoval. Remember, the nails should be an extension of the fingers and the shape should complement the hands. It is easier to build the nails square and try different shapes until
you find the best shape for that client.

Is there a system to shaping?

Yes, and it is yours to devise, as long as you are consistent. Here is an example of my system: With a 100 grit file I shape one nail at a time. I shape the parameter first by shaping the left side then the right side, and then the tip. I file the entire top of the nail and then fine tune the cuticle. Then I move on to the next nail and file with the same system. After I file all 10 nails I go over each one with a 180 or softer fie before I buff them. This way I get a second look, file things I have missed, and stay with a structured system, which in the long run saves time.

What files should I use?

Start with a coarse, 100 grit file, graduate to a 180 then move on to a 240 or 28f0il e or block to smooth the nails.

HOW do I get my filing and shaping smooth?

If you graduate the coarseness properly, you can get a nice finish. If you go from a 100 grit to a white block (approximately 280 grit), you will only
soften the finish on the surface of the nail, never buffing out the deep scratches the 100 grit file made. You must graduate your grits in small amounts such as: 100 to 180 to 240 or 280 to a white block. If you go from a 100 to a 240 you will never get a high shine.

Should I measure my nails?

Always. Keep the index, ring and middle nails approximately the same length. Measure
ring to ring, middle to middle and index to index. The thumbs and pinkies should be the same length
as each other but in proportion to the others.

Should I measure the nails from the underside or the top side?

Always topside from the cuticle to the tip. Not all nail beds are created equal and
you cannot depend on them to be exactly even.

HOW do I get my nails a consistent shape?

With practice and a consistent filing system. If you are all over the place when filing, the nails will have an “all over the place” inconsistent look.

Is there a way of checking my filing?

Yes, here are three basic guidelines for you to follow.

Top View

  • Check the overall consistency so the nails match.
  • Check the shape of the tips.
  • Measure the nails for consistent length.

Both Side Views

  • Look for straight edges from all nail grooves on all sides.
  • Are the sides even?
  • Do the sides have a finished quality about them?
  • Is the arch consistently located over the stress area?
  • Is the high point too close to the cuticle?
  • Is the tip too heavy?

Down the Barrel of the Nail

  • Look at the quality of the c-curve.
  • Is the concave or convex even?
  • Is the tip too thick or too thin?
  • Did the form fit tightly under the free edge?
  • Is the tip on straight?
  • Is there glue residue underneath?
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