OK...the time has come. Today I'm going to show you how you can quickly fake the look of a longer nail bed. This only really works with specific manicures and the best example is a french. What you're looking at now is my bare nails. Notice that the free edges are not all the same length. This happens when the beds on some nails are longer than others and it's pretty common. When my nails are polished, you don't notice the difference and they all appear uniform. There are ways to change that too, at least to some extent but it's also why some people choose to file their nails with polish on. I don't recommend that but filing is not the topic of the day so let's focus instead on how we can polish these in a way that makes them all uniform and also long and slim. In this next picture, I have polished my nails with a series of different French tones.
From left to right I have used: Sheer Nude, Bare Rose, Beverly Hills Plum and then a clear coat for the base polish. These are all by Orly (except the clear which is just Seche Vite). I used Zoya Purity to do the tips. There is nothing special going on here. I just did a standard French following my natural free edge. To make them appear a bit more uniform, I've drawn the white line down a bit on some nails. If you have longer nail beds that's not going to be an issue for you but to create a larger free edge is suicide for shorter nails. You're only increasing the shortness of the bed. So what can you do? Here's a trick that pro's use...
Start by polishing your nails with an opaque but flesh toned polish. I've used Zoya Avery here and it looks much closer to my skin tone in real life than in this picture. You may have to do some digging around to find a good tone to match your skin. I really recommend checking out the Zoya nude tones first because they have several really great ones that should fit anyone. (I picked up Kennedy first but she was too pink for me). Once you have your base down, polish a regular French manicure on. Just for thoroughness I have used the same combination of French tones OVER the nude color for this manicure. Again from left to right we have: Sheer Nude, Bare Rose, Beverly Hills Plum and then a clear coat. You can see that it affects the color of the base just as it did my natural nail bed. Now I want you to notice what I've done with the white line. On my index and pinky nail, the bed is exactly the length it was above. I haven't extended the bed or the free edge, I simply polished along my natural line. Now look at my ring finger. Here I've extended the free edge (the white line) to make my nail appear longer but my bed appear shorter. This trick works well for longer beds because it can make your nails appear longer without stunting a short bed. You can see that because my beds are longer, it didn't make them particularly wide or short looking, rather it just gives the appearance of a longer free edge. Now look at my middle finger. Here I've shortened the free edge dramatically. now my nail looks shorter, however, my nail bed looks longer. See how easy it is? Those with shorter nail beds can use this trick to lengthen them while those with longer nail beds can use it to lengthen the free edge in just a few minutes! Try this trick with your own nails and experiment with different sizes of white and nude to see what works best for you! :)
*Note: this trick is intended to give the appearance of a slightly longer nail bed or free edge. It does not change the actual length of your nails and should not be used to drastically increase these proportions.