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Shaping is one of the more challenging steps in the mani and takes a little bit of practice.

If you're new to shaping, definitely start by getting a feel for the tools and work on cleaning up your natural nail shape.

We have two tools that we use to shape: the flat-edge nail clipper and the nail file. Our clipper is so named because the edge is flat. Most nail clippers we tried had rounded edges, which forced us into round shapes. We wanted everyone to be able to get every shape so we custom created this nail clipper.

The nail file is a dual-grit nail file using a salon-approved grit for best results. The "&" side is the softer grit. Stick to this side for shaping your nails. The "OLIVE YOUR MANI" side is a tougher grit - this side is great for removing gel polish, buffing off stickers, or pedicures.

Our philosophy with shaping is the 90/10 rule. Let the clipper do 90% of the work, and file the last 10%. The clipper should be doing all the major shape changing and length clipping. The last 10% with the nail file is all about smoothing the details.We don’t recommend shaping with the file because it’s so much harder and time consuming.

We always recommend shaping with our old polish on. The whites of our nails can often be uneven and misleading, and shaping with polish on our nails helps us see that final shape. This trick has totally changed our shaping game.

Our biggest tip for shaping is to always go slow. This helps you avoid taking off too much nail. 

We also recommend you always use your file in one direction. Sawing your nail file back and forth can cause uneven edges and your nails to peel.

Ready to learn more?

We've put together some additional articles to help you on your nail journey.