Never paint the entire nail, but let some space on each side, it will give an effect of length.
Since then, I always did that way and find it much cleaner, less "heavy" and classy...
(this is only my personal opinion and I'm not judging anyone...I know that I have no qualifications about beauty so you can disagree with my point of view)
and this technic applies for feet too!
“ ’cause I sold my spirit for your soulI felt it running through my fingertips
I love you more than you will know
And I hope you understand
My strength lies in your hands
You took my only one, when I only wanted love,
When I only wanted love…” Boy & Bear**
* nail polish : 'Lucky Lucky Lavender' by OPI
** you can also check my playlist for 2013 (they're in!)