The Secret to Short Nails: Italian Manicures


| LAST UPDATE 06/30/2022

By Lia Thomson
italian manicure nail inspo
@thehotblend via Instagram

We all know how annoying it can be when we spent weeks growing out our nails just for one of them to chip! Luckily, there is a specific type of manicure that helps short nails look amazing by tricking the eye into thinking they are longer than they are. Here's everything you need to know about an Italian manicure.

The way the nails are painted in an Italian manicure gives the illusion that the nail bed is longer than it really is. “It is used predominantly with classic full colour manicures or painted tips,” explained nail artist, Alex Teleki. “You want to get as close as possible to the cuticles without touching the skin, then paint a vertical line up the nail, leaving a small gap between the edge of the nail wall and the gel.”

long nails italian manicure
@paintedbyjools_ via Instagram
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This hack can also work for those who want to do two colors - similar to the French look. The difference is that in a French manicure the tip is in a crescent shape and begins closer to the sides of the nail but for the Italian “starts around half way up the nail on both the left and right sides to form more of a ‘U’ shape”, explained Teleki. This is yet another way this nail design elongated the nail.

The nail artist admitted her clients have been requesting this manicure a lot recently since people are trying to avoid using acrylics as they can damage and weaken the nail. She did say that it's more than just how the polish is applied, “I combine it with other methods, such as pushing up the cuticles and removing excess skin, to elongate the nails,” Teleki added. “Plus the shape of the nail is key to make wide, short nail beds look longer.” The best outcome of this technique occurs when the nail is a short and square or "squoval" shape (half-square half oval). Unfortunately, Teleski confessed that those who have long, almond-shaped, or coffin-shaped nail beds should probably opt for different manicures as the Italian one will just make the nail look narrower. Check out Telekis's Instagram, The Hot Blend, for more nail tips!

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