9 Photogenic Poses to Show Off Your Manicure

hold hand slightly above1

Calling all mani lovers: If you regularly spend the time and money to get your tips polished, it's certainly worth knowing how to take the best nailfie (that is, nail selfie) of them. Here are some strategic moves to getting the right shot every time. 

hold cup


Hold an Object

A coffee mug, a bouquet of flowers, a clutch…pretty much anything works. It gives the nails some context within a photo (which is great because a stand-alone hand can be pretty awkward to look at).

hold hand slightly above


Hold Your Hand Up Slightly

Never (ever) flatten your fingers against a surface as it’s guaranteed to make them look like sausages. You want a little tension in the top of your hand.

cross arms


Cross Your Arms

Hands in motion make for a much more interesting image. (Always go with a buddy so you can stage solid manigrams afterward.)

hold polish bottle


Use the Polish Bottles as Props

This one checks all of the boxes: It gives your hands something to do, provides context and doesn’t flatten your fingers against the table.

rest hand on chin


Rest Your Head in Your Hands

Relaxed. Casual. Only slightly dramatic in the way we’ve all come to expect from Instagram.

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Crop Strategically

Have a cool design you really want to show off? Crop in closely so the focus is on the nails themselves (and less about your hands).

ladylike hand hold


Gently Clasp Your Hands

You always want your hands to look relaxed and natural in photos. Not stiff and clawlike.

clasp fingers


Or Interlace Your Fingers

This pose works especially well for any designs that are focused on the tips.

rest nails on fabric


Place Them Over Some Fabric

Bonus points if your outfit matches your mani.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...