Forget your cheekbones, nail contouring is now a thing

This is the easiest way to achieve longer looking nails

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / May 25 2017

Contouring has become one of the most popular beauty trends across the globe (largely thanks to the Kardashian clan). Proven to be a flattering makeup technique for accentuating cheekbones, nose, jawlines and chest, its no surprise that nail contouring is now a thing too.

To find out more about the trend and technique, we spoke to Sally Hansens Nail Expert, Alison Bowhill-Hayes who filled us in on how the process works and how to achieve the look for ourselves.

Nail contouring actually isn’t a new technique, according to Bowhill-Hayes. “In the past I have contoured nails without actually calling it contouring. It’s a common trick I use on people with short or stumpy nails,” she said.

The process works “by applying colour to the centre of the nail plate and not sweeping it to the sides,” she elaborated. This gives the illusion that nails are longer and thinner by changing the perception and tricking the eye. She also mentioned that whilst you can “leave the sides of the nail completely naked of colour, you can also paint the entire nail in white, nude or beige before painting one dark sweep through the centre.”

If you’re looking to contour your nails for yourself, Bowhill-Hayes says it’s important to make sure you “always file the nail edge, buff away the shine and apply a thick base coat so the manicure lasts.” Next, “paint nails completely nude; two coats are best. When this is dry, paint a centre line in black, navy or plum. Seal with a top coat and voila! You are ready for the compliments,” she says.

Her personal favourite colour combination for this look is a beige or gold shade with navy, but she also notes a nude and red combo is a standout for any skin colour.

Want more information? Check out how to choose the perfect nude polish for your skin tone and the tricks you need to know before applying dark polish.

Image credit: Getty; @jinsoon

Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.