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What Are Stiletto Nails?

Stiletto nails take after another long, pointy fashion staple: stiletto heels. So what are stiletto nails exactly? They’re basically nails that have been filed or sculpted to a smooth, thin point. A lot of Internet nail-lovers rock almond, coffin (ballerina), or similarly pointy nails and call them stiletto nails in error.

In fact, (and I speak from experience here) if you ask your nail tech for stiletto nails, don’t be surprised if she asks you if you’re sure, and instead suggests an almond or oval shape. And that’s because true stiletto nails are pointy. I mean really pointy. That’s part of their appeal. Like stiletto heels, they’re fierce, they stand out, and they command attention. They don’t even need a lot of polish or nail art to stand out, although they’re even more dramatic that way.

One main tip to keep in mind is that you need some length to pull off a stiletto. If you have really short nails and you file them into a point, this look won’t look quite right. The nails themselves, if they’re too short, will look like claws, and not in a good way. Think more like wicked witch than sexy cat. (Are cats ever sexy? Weird.).

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