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The Italian Manicure: A New Trick to Make Your Nails Look Longer Instantly

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@elleindia / Instagram

Gone are the days when a classic French manicure was the expected style to show your nail tech. Bold prints and bright nail colors have dominated the nail space in recent years, along with different textures— like gel nails and dip manicures. Remember back in the day when we lived for acrylics? Well, fast-forward to 2022, and even the basic mani has taken on new form. Case in point: the Italian Manicure. While beauty trends and nail trends come and go, we expect this to become a mainstay.

The technique, coined on TikTok (of course) by manicurist Alexandra Teleki, gives a way for short nails and short nail beds to appear longer. Teleki recommends applying this method on squoval nails (that’s square-oval). What’s even better is that the look is totally doable at home (nail artists need not apply!) and you can do it with a gel manicure or a pedicure. We chatted with Morgan Taylor Lacquer’s Morgan Haile, who breaks down the process and why she’s a fan. For starters, save time and money by avoiding the nail salon. Keep reading to learn more about the Italian Manicure, and why it’s about to become your nail polishes’ best friend.


About the Expert:

Morgan Haile is the spokesperson and half of the namesake behind Morgan Taylor Lacquer. The Los Angeles-based nail pro’s brand is best known for its partnership with Gelish.

What Is the Italian Manicure?

The Italian Manicure is a specific way of painting any color onto the nails that creates the illusion of length. “I love this trend,” Haile says. “I have petite fingers, so this really helps my nails and fingers look more elongated.”

How Does It Make Short Nails Look Longer?

“When painting a full color, you want to get as close as possible to the cuticles without touching the skin,” says the TikTok that started it all. “Then paint a vertical line and leave a small gap between the nail bed and the gel.” Basically, the sides of the nail should be left bare. The original creator did use gel polish, but as we mentioned above, it isn’t necessary to complete the look. Keep some nail polish remover on hand regardless, in case you go over an area you wanted to avoid.

For added bonus, Haile says, “Applying a nail design like stripes tricks your eye into giving the illusion your nails are longer without adding extensions.”

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Are There Any Downsides to the Italian Manicure?

The manicure itself is foolproof if painted correctly. But as Haile points out, “Its application is a pretty meticulous process, so if you’re doing it yourself, go slow and steady.”

Can I Do an Italian Manicure At Home?

If you choose to go the standard color route, the process is pretty straightforward. That said, “You’ll always want to opt for a high-pigmented polish,” Haile advises. “This avoids having to complete too many coats. Opt for two solid coats and a top coat, and you should be good.”

But if you decide to add stripes or another DIY design to further elongate the look, you may need a little help. Haile suggests using tape or a nail art brush to successfully conquer those meticulous designs.

Whether nails are your passion or you’re more into skincare and makeup, get all the goods in our IPSY Glam Bags. Start by taking our Beauty Quiz now! Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram @IPSY.

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About the author
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira is a Los Angeles-based beauty writer, who has a passion for hair, makeup, and skincare. She contributes regularly to Mane Addicts and her blog, Skyelyfe. Her work has also appeared on Glossy, People, E!, Sweety High and more.
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Article Last Updated November 16, 2022 12:00 AM