Wear those nails short and neutral, unless you are willing to experiment. Then, we say, go long.

The trendlet

The stiletto nail - ranging from midi to lengthy and coming to a triangular point - is bringing attention to our fingertips. Variations of the pointy nail like the ballerina (it has a blunt tip like the toe shoe) and the almond nail (this is rounder) are making manicures this holiday season interesting.

Where's it come from?

In the 17th century, well-to-do Chinese women liked to wear nails super-long and pointy to show their status. After all, housework is impossible with those claws.

The shape came to be called the filbert. And women painted them reds and pinks using powder until the 19th century. During the 1800s, Queen Victoria - the same diva who dictated brides wear only white - outlawed the pointy-style nail, simply because it offended her sensibilities.

After the queen's death in 1901, the stiletto nail crept back into fashion. And after the 1930s, when bottled nail polish became widely available, the stiletto became popular again, thanks to stars including Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland.

It disappeared again after the 1960s.

Salon manicures became part of the everyday woman's beauty regimen in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But shapes were largely square, round, or somewhere in between, called "squoval."

In 2011, Lady Gaga's stiletto nails in her "Born This Way" video turned heads, and it didn't take long for other trendsetters to follow in her fingerprints.

Who's wearing them?

Adele wears opaque stiletto nails (and a flip-phone) in the video for "Hello." Other celebs who wear the barbed look are Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Kylie Jenner, Patti LaBelle, and nearly every Real Housewife of Atlanta.

Would Elizabeth wear them?

Nope. Somebody has to do the housework.

Should you wear them?

Only if in your heart and soul you believe you are "The Bo$$" - the kind of confident woman described in Fifth Harmony's catchy song.

If not, you'd just be trying too hard.

Stiletto manicures courtesy of Onisha Claire, Koco Nail Salon & Wax Studio, 4161 Ridge Ave., 215-650-7595, www.koconails.com.

ewellington@phillynews.com
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@ewellingtonphl