Listening to our customers desires is crucial; without their input, we wouldn't have our nail businesses. However, a skilled nail technician needs to have a clear set of dos and don'ts in mind. This knowledge is essential for confidently advising when certain requests may not be feasible or advisable, especially for more complex shapes like the almond.

Fortunately, when it comes to the square nail shape, there are only a few key rules to follow. Whether your client desires a competition-style square nail or the popular 'soft square,' mastering these guidelines is essential.

Are you captivated by the color in the above image? That's 'Burlesque.' And for those interested in a step-by-step guide, we've got you covered! To watch this tutorial in video format, click here.

Key Guidelines for Crafting the Perfect Square Nail

The goal is to master the key aspects of shaping your gel nail enhancement into the desired square shape.

1. Focus on the Finger's Central Axis

Observe the part of the finger extending from the middle bending joint to the free edge. This perspective, rather than from the nail bed to the free edge, will help you find the true central point. Finding the central point will stop the nail from being wonky from the clients view.

2. Correctly Angle Your Nail File at the Free Edge

For a sharp square shape, it's crucial to avoid accidentally rounding the corners. Maintain your nail file at a precise 90-degree angle to the free edge, ensuring there are no gaps between the file and the nail tip during the filing process. If you can see a space between the file and free edge you have tilted the file too far!

3. File the Lateral Sides Accurately

Here, align your nail file with the natural nail's lateral axis to effectively shape the square, removing any "hips" from a top view. Be sure to stop at the growth point and avoid positioning your file underneath the nail while working on this area.

4. Remove Gel Product Bulk

You need to make sure you don't have too much product on the lateral sides of the nail which run alongside your central axis. This is important in order to minimise pressure onto the natural nail plate which is a common reason for development of various nail conditions and trauma. Using the curve of the nail file buff away in long , precise strokes the product excess.

5. Importance of Structural Stability

The tip of the nail (the free edge) should be aligned in a straight, parallel line with the sides of the nail bed (the lateral sides). This alignment is crucial for the aesthetic appeal of the nail shape and ensures structural stability.

Essentials for Square Nail Shapes


A fantastic gel for reinforcing and strengthening the free edge for a strong square or for fixing any structural issue as highlighted in point number 5.


HALF MOON ECO NAIL FILE 100/180 (6 pack) - £6.10

A multifunctional, slim design nail file that allows you to reach tighter areas without nicks and cuts.


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