Beauty Nails

Nail Shapes & Shades for Summer 2016

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Gloves off! It’s all about keeping your nails super shapely this summer. Whether it’s the Almond, Ballerina, Stiletto or Squoval shape in a pastel  blue, neutral nude or a punky purple, our nail wish list  is filled with an array of different  nail shapes  and shades to suit every occasion.

With our SS16 nail-drobe inspired by soft pastels, bright pops of colours and catwalk trends favouring the coffin over square shape, having a manicure can leave you fraught with decisions. Courtney Fuhr, Brand Manager of South Africa’s biggest beauty brand, Sorbet Salons shared her expert advice with Eluxe to help you nail it when it comes to shapes and shades this summer. Of course, all the polishes recommended here are:  nature-based *  cruelty free *  gluten free *  fragrance free *  toxin free *  paraben free and  phthalate free.


The Almond  fcc0b93d-8bb6-45a6-9d1b-55b2a7baf314

A top pick for celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez, the Almond shape is slender on the side, wide at the cuticle and finishes with a soft oval at the nail tip. Courtney says:

“This is a flattering shape for the hands as it elongates the fingers creating a very feminine finish. If you have weak nails, but desire long nails then this is the shape for you! The Almond is easier to achieve with natural nails as the rounded edges provide less impact to the sides of the nails, preventing any splitting or damage. Remember to start short though, long nails require care and attention!”

The Perfect Shades for the Shape: A trend-setter with a feminine edge, pastel shades complement the Almond shape well. The feminine tones of pretty pinks and pistachios  subtly make the nails stand out without making too much of a statement.

Try:  We love the variety of beachy shades from Mavala – and as another bonus for us with this brand, the bottles are small enough to last a season, meaning less wastage. Or, Priti NYC’s Lampshade Poppy,  Pincushion Protea, Californian Bluebell, or Blue Candle Cactus    will make your tips look as sweet as sugared almonds!



The Stiletto  4df23d70-5784-461f-9ff2-57c9087cf795

Love it or hate it, the Stiletto has well and truly confirmed its presence in the nail industry. Harsh and strong, the stiletto shape requires intense filing on either side of the nail to create a sharp and drastic point.

“This is not a shape that can be achieved without the help of acrylic tips as our natural nails just don’t have the strength to hold the point.” Says Courtney. Acrylic tips aren’t exactly eco-friendly, so we’d recommend rounding the tip off a bit if you want to do this with your own nails instead. You’ll also need to have pretty long nails to do this right. Here are few tips on how to grow your nails fast:

The Perfect Shade for the Shape: Loud and proud, the Stiletto nail is not shy, so why hold back on your colour choice?  Butter London’s Rather Red Patent Shine reminds of a Louboutin Stiletto, and kdkdkd

Just be sure that the dark shades don’t discolour your nails! If your polish does make your tips the colour of dog pee, use a  hydrogen peroxide solution, lemon juice, baking soda paste, or whitening toothpaste are ideal to safely whiten them.  

Using an acetone nail polish remover is a known culprit in exacerbating the yellow tint, so always opt for a non-acetone nail polish remover like Treat Collection’s wipes  when taking off your colour, and don’t forget that often, staining from colour polishes is caused by not using a clear base coat, so don’t forget to use one. We like this duo very much.


As for colour, the stiletto requires drama! Butter London’s Art of Alchemy Collection  is about as dramatic as you get. It includes stark white Cotton Buds, glittery Brown Sugar, their classic Pillar Box Red, Chocka, the dark, Gothic Chocka  and Full Steam Ahead shades, as well as a Dotter Tool and Cleanup Brush. Prefer bright over bold? Go  crazy and experiment with a Crayon box of bright shades, like the Maven collection from Julep, below. Every month you can choose two of whichever shades you like, along with other natural beauty treats.





The Ballerina  a3de0899-5508-4008-bc49-c86f7ecf9ede

A  similar shape to the Stiletto, but here the tip of the nail is squared off in a shape that is reminiscent of a ballet slipper.  The Ballerina is an edgy style and great for those looking for something a little different. It has the bold appearance of the Stiletto yet is subtly understated with its square tip, giving it that edgy and on-trend look. Also referred to as the ‘coffin’ or ‘Bullet’ shape, this one is a lot more life-friendly than the Stiletto as it is less likely to catch on pieces of clothing.

The Perfect Shade for the Shape: A feminine, high fashion and pristinely polished nail shape, the Ballerina shape looks great with pastel shades you’d associate with the ballet.  Try Zoya’s Whispers Collection, which features everything from totally naked nudes and luscious lilacs to olive green and sky blue. Prefer a metallic shine to your pastels? Then you’ll love FNUG’s Summer ’16 collection, below!



The Squoval  8cefdb9f-41c4-4e34-868e-2eb132c66909

A more natural and feminine shape, the Squoval puts a rounded touch on the traditional square shaped manicure.

“With softer edges, the Squoval is a great shape to maintain on shorter nails which suffer with weakness. The Squoval is also a very convenient and sensible shape for those who work in an office environment or are still at school. You can’t go wrong with this classic!”

The Perfect Shade for the Shape: Understated and practical, the Squoval  provides the perfect shape for just about any colour. You can play with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic’s Plastic Passion collection, which has a neon finish that’s perfect for  summer, or go for the timelessly elegant colours of  Zoya’s classic Transitional Naturel Deux Collection, below. Includes toast, chocolate, rose and plum shades.



Zoya_Nail_Polish_Naturel 2 Group_spill_RGB  OCCplasticpassionNP-14

Make sure you paint your nails perfectly, like a pro! It may be something you’ve been doing since you were a kid, but you could always brush up your technique, right?

Main image: Treat Collection

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

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