Confession time: whenever I go for a manicure and the manicurist asks what shape I would like for my nails, I feel like a fool. I am so incredibly clueless when it comes to nails, and usually end up sort of mumbling something along the lines of, "oh er, roundy squarey kind of shape please." With this in mind, I wanted to discover which nail shapes were the coolest and what I should be asking for come 2019. With interest in the search term 'almond nails' up 97% on Pinterest, I quickly realised that this was the look I should be going for. But what are almond nails and how can you achieve the shape yourself?
Almond nails are named as such due to their rounded off edges that resemble an almond nut. The nails come to a rounded point at the tip, and are smooth all the rest of the way round.
They are distinctly different from other shapes you may be aware of like round and square nails and are a popular style on Instagram and with some of your favourite celebrities, including the likes of Cardi B, who is known for sporting some seriously sparkly talons.
So how can you achieve them? Well, first things first: if you're going to shape your natural nails in an almond style, you're going to have to grow them first.
"You need a lot of nail length to achieve the look," Sally Hansen global color ambassador Madeline Poole told Elle. Because of this (and due to the fact that the tapered ends can be prone to breakage), it's often advisable to use acrylics to achieve an almond style.
While I'd recommend going to a professional manicurist (whether you want acrylics or just shape your natural nails into an almond style), there are ways to shape your nails at home, by yourself.
The best way to learn how to do this is (as ever) by referring to YouTube, where there are a ton of tutorials.
If you live in London, I'd recommend going to DryBy, Townhouse or Shoreditch Nails to have your nails done in this style.
There are so many different colours and nail art designs that look amazing on almond shaped nails. Poole advises opting for toned down shades: "Like the name, almond nails look lovely with neutral colours," she says.
However, I'm a huge fan of nail art and think most designs look best on an almond shaped nail, no matter how bright and bold. Basically, anything goes.
But what about if almond nails just aren't your thing? The good news is, these days there are so many shapes to choose from, including square, stiletto and ballerina.
If the thought of choosing one of these seems like a minefield, this easy guide from Sparks Salons' Instagram should help (even if you're as much of a clueless novice with nail shapes as I am). There are shapes for all nail lengths and tastes.
This past year saw the rise in longer, ballerina and stiletto shapes, so the almond nail is a refreshing stylish update for the new year.