Almond shaped nails can look edgy, chic, or a combination of both. And the cool thing about this particular nail shape, unlike stiletto, ballerina, or coffin shapes which generally work better with long nails, is they’re easy to do on both long and short nails and still look great. In this article, we’ll show you how to shape the perfect almond nail and show you 10 beautiful designs for almond shaped nails to get you inspired.
Almond Shape Nails
Imagine an actual almond, the kind you eat. Almond shaped nails are based on this shape.
A few things to know about almond shape nails
- They create the illusion of longer fingers
- Almonds are a finger-slimming nail shape
- Long or medium nails are best for almond shapes
- Although, they can work on short nails too
- Not too round and not too pointy, they’re perfect
You can think of almond shaped nails as the middle ground between oval and stiletto nails.
Almond Nail Shape
An almond nail shape starts wide at the base of the nail and then tapers into a soft peak. The only requirement for creating an almond nail shape on natural nails is having nails that go at least slightly over the tip of the finger. That way you’re able to taper the edge of the nail correctly into a smooth tip. Let’s put the almond nail shape into perspective.
While oval nails have a round tip and stiletto nails have an exaggerated pointed tip, an almond nail shape is pointier than an oval but not as pointy or as long as a stiletto. So, in trying to decide which manicure to get, when oval nails feel too bland, and stiletto nails feel too extra, almond shaped nails are a happy compromise.
Because of the wider base of the almond nail shape, almond shaped nails tend to work best on fingers with wide nail plates. But those who have narrow nail plates shouldn’t feel discouraged about sporting almond shaped nails because you can create a wider-looking nail with a few tricks. It’s all about proportion.
Short Almond Nails
Generally, nails tend to look wider when they are shorter than the width of the nail plate. So, when you have a naturally narrow nail plate, try short almond nails to create balance and proportion. For those who have naturally wide nail plates, try almond shaped nails that are a bit longer. Short almond nails can have a softly rounded tip, but sometimes a more defined point can make short almond nails stand out.
Long Almond Nails
Imagine a really long almond. That, in a nutshell, is a long almond nail. Like short almond nails, long almond shaped nails have a wide base, and the edges curve slightly and then meet at a softly pointed tip. Similar to stiletto nails in that way, except unlike stilettos which are normally skinny, long almond nails still retain a wider base and edges that curve slightly.
How To Shape Almond Nails
When learning how to shape almond nails, it helps to know what type of shaping tools to use followed by shaping techniques. The goal is to create a pretty almond silhouette.
Shaping almond nails is a breeze. Just keep a few things in mind.
- Be mindful of symmetry as you’re shaping to avoid uneven almond nails.
- Take care not to clip away too much from each side, or you’ll end up with pine nuts instead of almonds 😉
A perfect almond nail shape will look just like an almond. Check out the table below to see how to shape almond nails and which tools to use to make your life easier.
|Nail Tools||How To Shape Almond Nails|
|Almond||Use an almond (real or a drawing) for reference!|
|Pencil, toothpick + polish, or nail art pen||Draw a thin line down the center of the nail plate. That will help you clip, file, and round out the free edges evenly. Use nail polish remover to wipe it off when you’re finished.|
|Curved Edge Nail Clippers||Using curved nail clippers, clip the sides of the free edge at a very slight angle and avoid clipping too close to the sidewalls. The rounded clippers will help you create that gentle almond curve from the get-go. Fine-tune the edges later using a nail file.|
|A Good Eye||Check your work. Ensure that the most narrow part of the nail, the point, aligns nicely with the line you drew down the middle of the nail plate.|
|Nail File||Start at the “corner” where the rounded edge begins on the side of the nails, which should be just far enough from where the skin meets the nail bed (don’t file into the skin, aka side walls!). File upwards to round out each side. Then gently file the tip into a softly curved point (like an almond!).|
To double-check that your almond nails are straight, flip your hands over (palms-up) and see how even the shape appears from the underside. That eliminates any tricks your eyes might play, seeing the nails from the top.
Here are a few more helpful tips for shaping a lovely almond nail shape.
- Try nail nippers for precision: Nippers, or cuticle clippers, are a type of nail clipping tool shaped a bit like mini pliers. The mouth is curved, and you can detail the curvy part of almond shaped nails with more finesse if you need to.
- Know when to push back cuticles: It depends on whether you’re shaping your natural nails into almonds or sculpting almond shaped nails with nail enhancements. Nail products are made to bond to the nail plate, not the skin. So, if you’re using gel to sculpt and shape almond tip nails, for instance, and the gel is set on cuticle skin because the cuticles weren’t pushed back, your pretty gel almond nails may lift sooner than they should. Otherwise, some technicians feel it’s best to leave cuticles alone,
- Finally, choose the right nail file for your almond nail shaping needs: A coarser nail file, one that feels more abrasive to the touch, has less surface grit, and therefore is most suitable for shaping fake nails like acrylics or gels. A smoother file is less abrasive and, therefore, ideal for shaping natural almond nails with less risk of damage.
Avoid cutting the cuticles, push them back instead. Like cutting or trimming, pushing the cuticles back exposes more of the nail plate, except safely. Cutting risks of exposure to bacteria.
Almond Shape Nail Designs
There are a plethora of almond shape nail designs to choose from. Almond shape nail designs look amazing in a variety of almond styles including
- Short or long
- Very short natural
- Gel extensions
We have almond shape winter nails ideas and when you want a classy look to wear all year round. So let’s go!
Natural Short Almond Nails
For a simple look, natural short almond nails are seriously the way to go. While round nail shapes may seem a tad dull even if you’re going for a no-fuss look, natural short almond nails look stylish because they have a pointed tip. It’s that small detail that makes almond shaped nails special.
Almond Tip Nails
Almond tip nails are also popular around valentines day because the shape works well with a heart design. The tip of the almond nail becomes the bottom of the heart. Almond tip nails also work great with a french tip nail design.
Long Almond Acrylic Nails
Long almond acrylic nails are versatile and look amazing in bold colors, especially matte black. They also offer a perfectly roomy canvas for delicate nail art. Try a clear base coat with a pretty floral design.
Glitter Almond Nails
Glitter almond nails look great with a solid white base coat or over a clear base coat. Gold or multicolored glitter almond nails are also stunning and elegant for a pretty end-of-the-year look. It’s fun to wear glitter to bring in the new year. You can try a sheer coat of almond glitter to get a subtle sparkle, or go for glitter that’s painted thick right on the tips for a stylish alternative to french tip nails. Black almond nails with glitter that’s silver or gold are an alluring look for New Year’s Eve.
Pointy Almond Nails
Similar to a stiletto nail shape, pointy almond nails will have a very defined tip. However, unlike stilettos which are more tapered all the way up to the tip, pointy almond nails will still ultimately still have three parts. Gently rounded edges and a slight taper to a point.
Almond Gel Nails
Gel nails are super versatile. For strength, shine, and durability, you can add a pretty gel top coat to naturally shaped almond nails. Or, you can build almond gel nails from hard gel when your natural nails aren’t long enough to shape into almonds.
If you like using gel polish often, consider getting a pair of UV gloves like MelodySusie UV gloves. They’re fingerless gloves with a cute starry night design, and they’ll protect your hands (and wrists!) from wrinkles and dark spots, the damaging effects of UV rays emitted from curing lamps (UV and LED lamps both emit UV rays).
Very Short Almond Nails
For very short almond nails, you still want the sides to have a gentle curve. The taper should be just far enough away from where the free edge meets the nail plate so you can still see the almond shape. For very short almond nails, you can opt to go for a more defined point to add extra charm.
Winter Almond Nails
Maybe it’s the name, but winter and almond nails just seem to go together. Plus, winter almond nails are just paving the way for all sorts of fun Christmas manicures. In other words, it’s open season for wintery silver and gold glitter, snowflake nail decals, and lit nails that shine like Rudolph’s big red nose.
For fun winter almond nails, try 5D white snowflake embossed nail stickers by DiueWow. You get 4 sheets of winter-themed decals like snowflakes and snow-covered trees. Try them on a dark blue or black painted background, and they really pop.
Classy Almond Nails
We have the news at our fingertips today more than ever before but don’t toss that newspaper away just yet (or go pick one up) because yesterday’s news is today’s classy almond nails. They’re called newspaper nails. These classy almond nails are as satisfying as a Monday crossword puzzle and even easier to DIY. Here’s how.
What you need:
- Clear base coat
- Light gray or white nail polish (like a newspaper)
- Rubbing alcohol (90-99%)
- One or two pieces of paper towel
- Fast dry top coat
- Matte-dry top coat (optional)
|Step 1 Prep||Prep by washing hands and clearing nails of dirt and oil by wiping them down with 90-99% alcohol.|
|Step 2 Base Coat||Apply a base coat to help protect nails. This also helps make the light gray or white polish look brighter and show up better. Let it dry.|
|Step 3 Cut up Newspaper||Cut or fold up approximately 1 in. wide strips of newspaper to make it easier to hold and press onto each nail.|
|Step 4 Wet the Newspaper||If you have a small spray bottle, you can add the alcohol and spray it directly on the newspaper strips. However, you can also pour a bit of alcohol into a bowl or small saucer and gently dip the newspaper strips into that. No need to soak them, just wet them enough to transfer the print.|
|Step 5 Transfer Print to Nails||Place the strip of damp newspaper on a piece of paper towel (printed side facing up) and lay your finger nail-side-down into the newspaper. Hold for a good 20-30 seconds to allow the print to transfer.|
|Step 6 Top Coat||Finish with a clear fast-dry top coat. You can opt to use a matte finishing top coat to resemble a newspaper instead.|
Gold Almond Nails
This is a great look for that time of the year, just before the holidays. Gold almond nails are great to wear during Thanksgiving or just before Christmas when the shelves start stocking up on Christmas goodies. A popular way to do gold almond nails is by painting just the tips of the nails a solid, shiny chrome gold color. Because almond nails are already pointy, the gold enhancement makes them catch the eye that much more.
How To Do Almond Shaped Nails
To do almond shaped nails consider your manicuring options.
Try natural almond shaped nails.
When you do natural almond shaped nails, you want to ensure they stay strong so opt for nail-strengthening products to minimize breakage. These products aren’t meant to add length. Rather they add a protective layer to natural almond shaped nails.
- Bio Gel: Bio gel, sometimes called builder gel, is a thinner form of hard gel. Technically, bio gel can be used to build long almond nails, but it isn’t ideal because of its thin consistency. That’s why bio gel is more often used as a clear base coat to give natural nails extra strength.
- Dip Powder: While it’s difficult to shape nails precisely using dip powder, it’s best used on natural nails that are already shaped. Dip powder adds a layer of strength to natural nails, and you can add layers to build thickness.
- Shellac: A gel and traditional polish combo, shellac gives nails gel-like strength yet is less damaging to natural nails.
Or, try almond shaped nail extensions.
Other ways to do almond shaped nails involve sculpting extensions or using fake tips instead of relying on natural nails. This is particularly helpful when you have very short nails that you aren’t able to shape.
- Acrylics: Good for adding length to your heart’s desire. You can do long or short almond nails using acrylics.
- Polygel: An acrylic and gel hybrid, polygel can be used to sculpt long or short almond shaped nails. It has the strength of acrylic but the flexibility of gel. It’s a win-win!
- Hard Gel: Hard gel is like gel polish in that it requires an LED light to cure. However, a hard gel is thicker and may be used to sculpt almond shaped nails.
How To File Nails Almond
It’s possible to learn how to file nails almond using nothing more than, yep, you guessed it, a nail file. Learn how to file almond nails below.
Step #1 Prep Nails
Clean nails and cuticles with alcohol to dry them out and wipe away any debris. The dry nail plate bonds better with polish and other nail enhancements.
Step #2 Draw a Line Down the Center
The easiest way to do this is by drawing a downward-facing arrow straight down the middle of your nail plate, starting from the cuticle and ending at the tip. The arrowhead should go all the way down to the tip of the nail. Then draw the arms of your arrow to touch the edges. The arms of the arrow show you where to clip, so you get curved sides and a slightly tapered tip.
Step #3 File the Free Edge
Choose the best nail file for your nails. A medium or fine-grit nail file isn’t too abrasive and won’t damage natural nails. If you’re filing nail enhancements, a coarser nail file works better (See the table below for more on types of nail files!). Then file along the arms of the arrow to shape down any sharp corners on both sides. Leaving a tip flat is okay because you’ll file it into a soft point later.
Step #4 File an Almond Nail Shape
On natural nails, file in one direction rather than back and forth. Holding the nail file at an angle, move from the side edge to the tip of the free edge in a consistent motion to create that slight curve. The idea is to maintain the same filing motion when you file each side, so you end up with the same shape on both sides. Then smooth the tip into a soft point. You’re almost done!
Step #5 Final Check
View your nails from various angles so you can see any uneven areas. This is the time to check for finishing details like rough edges or sharp corners that you want to file down. Dust away any excess dust, and that’s it!
Refer to the table below to help you choose the best filing tool for almond shaped nails, whether you’re filing your natural nails or filing nail enhancements.
|Nail File & Grit Number||When to Use It||When to Avoid It|
|Coarse Nail File (80-100)||Best when you have acrylic or gel nails, and you want to shape or file them down. You can use a coarse nail file to shape nail enhancements into almonds, make them shorter, or tone down the overall thickness. Also effective at removing residual product on thick nail enhancements.||Not suitable when filing or buffing natural nails|
|Medium Nail File (180-220)||Effective for buffing (lightly) nail enhancements, including acrylic, gel, and dip nails. You may also use it on natural nails but only when filing down the free edge.||Avoid buffing the tops of natural nails.|
|Fine Nail File (240-600)||Best for smoothing out finished manicures, including acrylic, gel, nail wraps, and dip powder. It may also be used to buff the top of natural nails lightly. Best for touch-ups.||Not recommended for initial shaping or filing down very long nails.|
|Extra Fine Nail File (600-2400)||Great for adding a high-shine finish to natural or enhanced nails. Also used to prep natural nails.||Not suitable for shaping or filing edges of natural nails or nail enhancements.|
Now you have everything you need to style some pretty cool almond shaped nails. You know how to shape them and what tools to use. So, how will you style them?