Industry News

NAIL KNOW-HOW: Deciding on Nail Shape from Morgan Taylor

Anne Moratto | February 16, 2015 | 2:49 PM
The Morgan Taylor Spring Collection is inspired by the new Disney film, Cinderella

The nail care and color category of professional beauty has grown hand over fist—or foot. Manicures and pedicures are considered maintenance, not luxury, services. That said, clients have spaced out appointments to save money during economic woes so wooing them back to a more frequent schedule means knowing how to entice them with must-have colors, product systems and know-how. We talked to nail industry trailblazers and leaders and asked them to share some nail inspiration for salon pros to pass on to their clients or to put a spring into their own manicures.

What should a manicurist consider when deciding on nail shape for their client and what sort of questions should they ask their client to help determine this?

“There are many things to consider when determining the shape of a client’s nails. Things like natural nail vs enhancements, lifestyle of the client, what is involved in maintaining the shape, length of the nail bed/plate and the shape of the natural cuticle line all affect the choice.  And let us not forget the wishes of the client as well. Sometimes a client will request a shape that just isn’t practical for their lifestyle or would not be complimentary to their hands. It’s our job as the technician to help guide our clients to smart and beautiful choices.

“Always start with a consultation. Ask what they do for a living, what are their hobbies, are they involved in sport activities, do they garden, work in a warehouse or office. This is important because if they have an active lifestyle or job that requires manual labor, longer more stylized nail shapes might not be the best choice. Ask your client what they like and don’t like about the appearance of their hands. This helps the nail stylist recommend nail shapes that either flatter or minimize features. Does the client want enhancements or will it be natural nails? Enhancements will give them more choices as far as shape goes because you can create the length necessary for some styles, however maintaining enhancements, especially if they are stiletto or almond shape, is more time consuming and costly.

“Then inspect the natural nails and hands. Are the nails flat or do they have a high C-curve and arch? Are the nail beds short or long?  Are the fingers long or short?   Longer nail beds that have a good C-curve and arch look great in square or almond shape. With flatter/wider nails, avoid the square! Almond or Oval shape visually elongates fingers and is considered a more ‘feminine’ look.

“When working on natural nails that are shorter in length I suggest having the free edge shape match the cuticle line shape, so for a flatter cuticle line I would do a soft square shape, for a deeper cuticle line a more round or oval shape. Don’t use the natural smile line (the line created where the nail plate leaves the nail bed to create free edge) as a reference for nail shape. Smile lines are often crooked and don’t match from finger to finger.” 

--Danielle Candido, Morgan Taylor’s Northeast Regional Manager of Education.


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