As a beauty writer, I naturally follow a lot of beauty profiles on Instagram, and every now and then I get some page suggestions that are a bit, shall we say, alternative. Some of the left-of-centre suggestions I’ve been getting more and more of lately are for pages dedicated to long natural nails, and they have me feeling all sorts of ways.

Loving ’em long

Long nails are pretty trendy. From celebs to our co-workers, everyone is sporting them, but they are generally fake and worn for short periods of time – not a part of everyday life. Side note: did you know that Kylie Jenner‘s assistants have to help her zip her pants up so she doesn’t damage her nails? That’s an indignity (or luxury) most of us live without.

So imagine, if you will, having to negotiate zips, the dishes or typing messages with long nails all the time. That’s exactly what people who belong to the long natural nails movement have to deal with on the daily.

When one of the accounts dedicated to this trend popped up in my news feed, I did some investigating and found that long natural nails are actually a thing. But how long, exactly, is long? It varies, but it seems as though the more hard bits of keratin you have protruding out of your finger tips, the better.

Personally, I like my nails short, but I can definitely appreciate the longer, fake variety as well. Long natural ones, however, make me slightly uncomfortable. While it is definitely impressive that people are this committed to the upkeep of their extreme talons, they seem impractical and prone not only to snagging on every jersey but also to turning an unflattering shade of yellow over time.

Devotees of this trend also file their nails into various shapes, just as a manicurist would do with a fake set. Whether you like ’em squared off at the tips or sharp, pointy and potentially dangerous, the options are endless, and all it takes is a quick browse through social media to get your fill of inspiration. It may leave you feeling all kinds of weird too.

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