If there’s one type of manicure that screams “I’m such a badass,” this is it. Stiletto nails are bold and fierce and they look gorgeous; plus, they can instantly give you a confidence boost and help you turn more heads at a party. Rihanna loves them. Beyonce loves them. Lana Del Rey loves them. Every nail salon ever posts flawless stiletto nail pics on Facebook and we can’t help but gush over them. And yet, despite the fact that they’re so amazing and feminine, they’re completely impractical.
You’ve heard us: get stiletto news and you will struggle to type and text. Picking up flat objects will suddenly become more difficult. Applying makeup won’t be as easy as running your finger over your eyelid anymore. You will miss those simpler times when you were able to double tap shots on Instagram in a jiffy. Not to mention that you will constantly need to be careful not to harm yourself – like when you shower or remove make-up after a long day. And all in the name of a stylish manicure.That being said, they’re also devilishly stylish, so we have some tips you should keep in mind if they win you over. Read on.
What exactly are stiletto nails?
Let’s start with the easy part: stiletto nails are long, oval shaped nails more pointed than rounded at the tip. Due to their length, they’re almost always fake. Stiletto nails are also known sometimes as cat claws, because of their appearance and the fact that they can actually cause injuries if you’re not careful. So wanting to be called “Catwoman” isn’t reason enough to get them, just FYI. However, this type of nails is quite extreme, and is usually embraced by women who love to stand out from the crowd and truly make an impression. Moreover, long nails provide more surface room, so you will be able to choose absolutely any design you’d like – now’s the time to be creative.
Stiletto nails have been embraced by celebrities in recent years. From Zendaya to Amber Rose, a lot of our favorite A-list stars have been seen sporting long, funky nails. Lady Gaga made a splash with her manicure back when she released “Born This Way,” while Rihanna is known to have a preference for this type of nail art. Also, women have become eager to experiment with their manicure ever since we expanded the color palette for our nails, while advances in nail products made it easier to keep nails healthy and long. Besides, the growth of nail art made it possible for us to express our personality through our nails even more, so there’s no wonder stiletto nails are still a popular choice for women everywhere. It’s a trend that’s here to stay, one that gives the appearance of elongating the finger for a feminine and eye-catching effect.
On a similar note, a manicure is now so much more than just a manicure. Our fingernails have become fashion accessories, ones that are accessible for women, regardless of budget. It’s now easy to match your nails to your outfit or your mood, and it’s not a permanent change that can affect you in the long-term, like getting a tattoo. Basically, our nails are now a canvas through which we can express your feelings or make a powerful statement for the whole world to see. Last but not least, manicures are pretty, and stiletto nails look hella elegant.
What about nail trends?
When it comes to nail trends, they tend to change fairly often. For fall 2015, for instance, nail artists are embracing darker colors and promoting a shorter, more natural-looking manicure. That shouldn’t stop you from getting stiletto nails though. There’s no such thing as beauty rules – they’re only trends that match your routine and your personal preferences.
When it comes to makeup, hair, or nails, anything is fair game, as long as you stay true to who you are; because at the end of the day, beauty is all about having fun. You wouldn’t opt for a foundation that doesn’t match your skin tone just because it’s trendy, right? Then why should you keep your nails short if you’re dreaming about rocking a stiletto manicure? As long as you can function with long stiletto nails, do whatever you please.
How will stiletto nails affect you?
Well, they will practically change your entire routine. As we’ve stated before, everyday tasks will become more difficult, especially if you’re not used to having long nails. Do you wear contacts? Taking them out will become a struggle. Does your career rely on typing? Prepare for a drop in productivity and a lot of typos. Long nails take some getting used to, so make sure you are patient enough to deal with them before making a decision. Your new nails will be very high-maintenance, so it’s never good to get them in a whim. Think about the choice for a few days and only head to the salon once you’re positive you can maintain such a manicure.
Here are a few things that will be trickier once you get stiletto nails: texting, gardening, washing your hair, scratching, applying makeup, gripping things. You should also consider the upkeep, which can get expensive if you plan on keeping your new, shiny nails for more than a few weeks. Frequent visits to the salon will become a must. And, since it takes time to adjust to the new length, it’s probably best to start off a bit shorter and grow into the stiletto. This way, the change won’t feel so overwhelming.
How to care for stiletto nails
The first thing you should worry about is hygiene. Bacteria can easily get caught underneath the length of you badass stiletto nails, so keeping your new talons clean is a must. You can clean the undersides of your nails with a toothbrush dipped in peroxide, as some manicurists suggest. Hand sanitizer also works well, especially when you’re in a hurry.
You should avoid getting makeup crammed into your manicure – again, bacteria are so uncool. When applying makeup, use brushes or your favorite sponge; if you’re moisturizing, scoop the products with a small spatula. For showering, use a loofah or wash cloth (this will minimize the risk of injuring yourself). Also, be wary of hand movements, since nail accidents happen more often than you’d think. You probably know what it’s like to break a nail; well, breaking a stiletto nail can be even more painful. Even if you only get superficial cracks, they don’t look pretty.
How can you get them?
The simplest way to get stiletto nails is to go to a salon. Even if you have to save up for the experience for a while, it’s worth it, since your manicure will look polished and professional. Not to mention the fact that the nail artist will be able to give you some useful advice about how to care for your new nails, how to keep them from breaking, and when to return for a follow-up visit to make sure your manicure stays in top shape. They know what they are doing and they will be able to come up with a design based on your suggestions.
Alternatively, you can take the matter into your own hands, so to speak. If you want to them yourself, you will need a fake nail kit, already in the oval shape. Start by filing the nails to the length you want – pointed or rounded – and use the glue to stick them to your natural nails. Then, file them again to make sure their match and that you’re comfortable to the length. After that, go crazy – paint them or add any embellishments you want. And keep in mind that just because stiletto nails are popular for being super-long, you can adjust the length to match your lifestyle and personal preference. You can still have dramatic nails without the insane length, as long as you play around with nail colors.
What about designs?
Here’s where the fun truly begins. Since you have a lot of nail surface to play with, you can do pretty much any crazy design you have in mind. You can keep things simple and opt for a solid color (the shape and length of stiletto nails accentuates them), you can opt for French tips if you want a more elegant look, or you can use two colors, for an even more powerful effect – one for the nail and one for the underside. A popular choice: black stiletto nails with red undersides. The splash of color will certainly result in some compliments coming your way.
Eager for even more ideas? Polka dots and stripes are extremely fashionable any time of the year. Floral prints are awesome in any context. Add gold or silver tips to a solid color. Try a different design on each nail, but match the entire thing in some way – like choosing a theme or color scheme. On a similar note, you can pick only one or two nails from each hand for a design, and keep the other ones simple. The possibilities are endless.
How about accessories? Rhinestones are pretty chic – you can use them on top of your stiletto nails, or come up with some sort of pattern. Use nail stickers to create a 3D effect and turn heads. Experiment with different lines. Now’s the perfect time to use your imagination.
Not feeling particularly inspired as to what kind of stiletto nails would suit you best? We’ve gathered a few designs to stimulate your creativity.
A simple, but extremely effective design. The pale pink is extremely elegant, while the subtle design gives the manicure a bit of an edge. The fact that the design is only present on a single nail makes things even more interesting. Fair warning: Instagramming your nails might become a daily occurrence.
Who doesn’t love a splash of red at their fingertips? These hearts look adorable, and the manicure as a whole is extremely stylish and feminine. If you want to go for something that symbolizes love and passion, these are the stiletto nails you should get.
The length and shape of the nails help showcase this flawless solid color. We’re big fans of Navy blue, so we wholeheartedly approve. The nails are even more eye-catching than the gorgeous lighter pattern, don’t you agree? Keeping things simple was a wise choice in this particular circumstance.
Did we mention that men are somewhat fascinated by stiletto nails? You should add this to the pro column if you consider opting for such a daring manicure. As we’ve already mentioned, solid colors go well with the length of these nails, so they are a safe bet.
Black is the new black. It’s simple, it’s stylish, and it goes with absolutely everything. What more could you wish for? Just make sure that you pick a quality nail polish, and the color will be vibrant and eye-catching for days.
Here’s the perfect example of a basic, but effective nail design. Baby blue as a base color, and three black dots on each nail to truly catch the attention of those around. Not only is this design lovely, it’s also easy to make, so you can do it yourself if you don’t feel like heading out to the salon.
Blue and red is a classy combination, and choosing only one nail to paint a different color is an awesome way to add a splash of color to what would otherwise be a pretty classic manicure. We’re also big fans of the ring and the interesting shape of the watch.
This manicure showcases all: nail design, rhinestones, and pretty colors. We can’t see the thumb nail, but we can only assume that it’s just as perfect. Here’s an additional tip: don’t forget to add top coat after painting your nails, to make sure your manicure will last longer.
Here’s another great instance when paying special attention to only one nail pays off. You end up with a classy and elegant manicure, perfect for a wedding or a more special event. Not to mention the fact that adding rhinestones to only one nail makes day-to-day life easier to navigate.
If you’re bold and really want to make a statement through your nail, this is the way to do it. As the saying goes, go big or go home. The owner of this flawless manicure obviously chose the first option, with great results. More rhinestones, more fun?
Fewer rhinestones, but the same spectacular end result. The nail artist surely spent some serious time coming up with that interesting rhinestone pattern. As for the base color, we’re in awe. It’s feminine and shiny, and it makes us think of the beach. Which is never a bad thing.
Choosing a less daring manicure and opting for nude colors is a good idea if you have a job that requires you to interact with clients or business associates on a daring basis. It goes well in an office environment, whereas a bolder one might attract some negative attention from your supervisors or co-workers.
Pairing your accessories with your manicure isn’t as daunting when you opt for gold nail. This manicure made us think of Beyonce – doesn’t it look like the kind she would wear flawlessly?
As we’ve already said, nude colors are your best friend when you need to look professional. They still allow you to showcase your feminine side and help your stiletto nails shine, even if you don’t use any other type of embellishments.
Another type of design that has it all: rhinestones, nail art, and solid colors. So if you can’t decide on a single trend to embrace, you don’t have to. Women have been stretching beauty rules for centuries now. Do whatever you want to do.
Black and red, with just enough gold to grab your attention. Are you just as in love with this design as we are? Moreover, is not even that complicated to do it yourself. The perfect manicure for a night out with your friends.
So polished, so glam, so simple. And can we take a minute to talk about those pants? We want them in our closets like yesterday. Did you notice how the manicure matches the nails perfectly? We’re sure that’s no mistake.
Matching your mani with your phone case can be fun, and it surely makes for a great Instagram. Another cool example of how to mix different trends and end up with a gorgeous manicure that will definitely turn heads.
Black tips are a great way to add some variation to a classic manicure. Plus, the shape of the tips only highlights the shape of the stiletto nails. It makes your nails look even longer than what they really are.
That shade is to die for, and the simplicity of the design won us over at first glance. The gold skull in the background and the ring skull are also all kinds of awesome. We can’t stop obsessing over this pic.
Black and pink is a daring combination, and it looks even better with that subtle pattern that helps the manicure stand out even more. It’s bold, interesting, and elegant, don’t you agree? We would totally ask for the name of the nail artist.
A more artsy design and an even classier combination: black and white. You can’t go wrong with this design. It’s timeless and wonderful and perfect.
Since the photo is b/w we can’t tell what the color of the nail actually is, but we can appreciate the use of a dark, solid color and praise the perfect shape of the stiletto nails. Plus, this is a very sexy shot, we’ll give you that.
The owner of this manicure surely enjoys standing out from the crowd. At least that’s what we think based on the bright colors and crazy pattern she chose for her stiletto nails. As you can see though, even though the design looks random, there’s clearly a color scheme here, so it doesn’t look out of place at all.
Another elegant mani that would be perfect for a special event. Pair it with a little black dress and a pair of black pumps and you will dazzle your friends with your attention to details. We especially like the use of polka dots here.
If you don’t go crazy at Halloween, when else? That special time of year when we can wear wacky outfits and accessories without any fear of being judged. And this manicure would definitely go well with any kind of Halloween costume – it’s pretty, it’s festive, it’s themed. What more could you wish for?
We’re not big fans of the crosses, but we do believe that the manicure looks good as a whole. Plus, we included this pic to show you that stiletto nails don’t need to be too pointed to create that dramatic effect. This shape is just as glam, and considerably more practical.
A manicure worthy of a princess. The pinks are wonderful, the rhinestones are just the perfect amount, and the white gives the whole manicure kind of a royal feel. Styling each nail differently may take some time but, as you can see, it can be totally worth the hassle.
We’re purple lovers, so we couldn’t help but gush over these stiletto nails. Purple is very rare in nature, and it’s also the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow. How could we not be fans? The tattoos are interesting as well – we would love to find out their meaning.
Adding just a bit of sparkle to your manicure is enough for a spectacular effect. And black and gold together? They go so well there’s even a song called Black and Gold. This argument should be enough.
Simple and perfect for those hot days of summer when you can’t wait to hit the beach. Blue nails + sand = Instagram perfection.
If Frozen would be remade as a live-action movie, we’re pretty sure this is how Elsa’s manicure would look like. The flowers are gorgeous, the base color is perfection, and the rhinestones are worthy of a princess.
A fierce manicure for a badass lady. The red showcases your passion, while the pattern showcases your playful side. Wear it on a date and you will conquer your partner with the simple combination of feminine hair strokes and strategical hand touches.
The black and gold manicure makes another special appearance, and we’re still in awe. A great way to showcase your love for black and highlight its versatility. Plus, next time someone tells you black is boring, show them this pic. They will surely reconsider.
We have subtle colors, polka dots, patterns and rhinestone here. A bit chaotic but, although it shouldn’t work in theory (we can’t seem to find a theme or color scheme here), you can’t deny it looks good. Just some additional proof that beauty rules are made to be broken.
We’re completely in love with that writing, and the fact that the owner manicure decided to apply in one a single nail makes it even more special. Overall, an extremely classy manicure – the ideal choice for a bride, maybe? It will definitely go well with a wedding dress.
If you’re always in a party mood, these are the stiletto nails you should get. They’re colorful, fun, and they cheer you up in a jiffy. The gold lines are particularly compelling here.
Black and yellow – another color combination with its own tune, and for good reason. These nails look glamorous and on fleek; we’re in love with the smooshed pattern!
These bright colors stole our hearts from the first minute we lay eyes on them. They complement each other perfectly, and the ombre effect is to die for. We’re going to hang this on our inspiration board for eternity.
Another great manicure for a bride – the colors are subtle and classy, and the nail art will go perfectly with any type of white gown.
Crazy rhinestones, a dash of blue, and a whole lot of black? We approve. This is the type of manicure that we believe would look extremely well with a dramatic dress a la Lady Gaga. If you’re looking for a bold look, look no further than Gaga for some inspiration.
This manicure is likely homemade (the transition between colors isn’t quite perfect), proof that you can achieve spectacular results without the help of a nail artist. All you need is some quality nail polish and some free time on your hands.
A stiletto spin on the classic French manicure? Why not. It’s classy and dramatic at the same time. Plus, it’s pretty easy to achieve even on your own.
Nude colors and limited rhinestones make for a pretty gorgeous combination.
Last but not least, solid colors make another flawless appearance.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways in which you can experiment with stiletto nails. They may be impractical, but they’re gorgeous. As long as you’re certain you can navigate life and be your best self with long nail, there’s no reason not to go for them. Have you picked a favorite design yet?