Alyssa Tria
Alyssa Tria

Trend on Trial: Nail Contouring

Kim K can say she’s totally over contouring all she wants, but I rely on it way too much to ever give it up. It’s basically my makeup magic, instantly sculpting and enhancing my features. I’ve contoured my nose, my lips, my cheekbones and even my chest, when my push-up bra was in the wash.


I thought contouring was at its peak when I saw people contouring their legs, abs and butts on social media, but I was wrong. Enter nail contouring. Yup, there really is such a thing. It sounds a bit ridiculous, I know, but it’s actually just a simple polish application technique that fakes the look of longer nails.

To create the illusion, all you need is a clear or soft-coloured base coat and a deeper or bolder coloured polish to sweep a line down the centre of your nail. The negative spaces on the sides of the nail act as a highlighter to give the darker polish a sharper look, the way you would use a highlighter to complement the contouring on your cheekbones.


I first spotted nail contouring at the Vera Wang SS17 Show, where manicurist Jin Soon Choi put this genius nail hack to use, and instantly fell in love. So of course I had to try it out.


To recreate the look, I used Essie Fill In The Gap Treatment Base Coat and Essie Kimono-Over. Believe it or not, I didn’t require any nail art brushes, just the brush that comes with the polish. To finish, I used the Quo By Orly Matte Top Coat to soften the effect.