How to Shape Coffin Nails – My Easy Guide to Achieving the Perfect Shape

If you long for fabulously glamorous nails, but want to avoid the edgy danger of stiletto nails, coffin nails are the ones for you. Super stylish, you couldn’t avoid them on this season’s catwalk fashion shows, and every celeb has been rocking the look.

What are coffin nails?

Coffin nails are a popular nail shape worn by countless of celebrities. The coffin nail shape is long and flat at the tip. Unless you opt for acrylics, a coffin manicure, also known as ballerina nails, requires you to grow your own nails pretty long, and unless they are ultra-strong, I would always recommend using acrylic or gel to build up the length and durability you need to carry this style off, or just head straight in using coffin-shaped false nails, which is my chosen method.

How to get the perfect coffin nails?

The best way to create elegant coffin nails is to aim for a stiletto shape, before squaring it off, and this works if using natural nails, gel build up, or false acrylic nails.

  1. Start by lightly marking the center of your nail by placing a tiny dot of polish on the raw edge.
  2. Then very carefully, little by little, clip into a rough almond nail shape, always noting where the center is. Don’t make the nail too narrow yet, and keep both sides as even as possible.
  3. After you have an approximate shape, start gently filing the sidewalls straight out from the nail.
  4. File up and over the sidewall, towards the center on both sides evenly, using your marker as a guide.
  5. Once the sides are tapered evenly, and you have a good centered point, take the clippers and cut straight across at the length you want.
  6. Carefully file the raw edge, whilst maintaining the crisp, sharp edges that make coffin nails so eye catching.

Then comes the fun bit – adding color and any art designs. Coffin nails are ideally suited to creating fabulous nail art as the nail is large enough to really go wild with.

Do coffin nails break easily?

While coffin nails look super fierce, they are actually quite prone to breakage because of their length and their flat tips. If you’re going for this look, you should probably get it done at a professional nail salon using acrylics.

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