Nail beauty depends firstly upon nail health. It is a truism to say that a beautiful nail is always a healthy nail. In addition, there are subjective and evolving aspects of nail beauty which are related to fashion.
The texture of the nail affects its appearance and function. Soft or brittle nails are fragile. This results in unattractive longitudinal and horizontal splitting. Fragility is encouraged by wet work and excessive nail manicuring, especially by the removal of nail cosmetics. Critical to the aesthetic appeal of the nail is its shape. Most pleasing are nails are those that conform to the ‘magic’ ratio, in which the nail's length is approximately equal to its breadth, especially for the thumbs. The role of nail decoration and nail art in nail beauty is a subjective and evolving question of fashion.