When it comes to your nails, the type of manicure isn’t the only thing you need to decide — your nail shape is often equally important. SNS Nails, who supply salons with dips and gels, remind us that no matter which style of manicure and product you choose, the shape can be anything. From a feminine oval to a dramatic stiletto, your nail shape can change the entire vibe of your manicure and your look. However, not all nail shapes necessarily suit everyone. The best nail shape for you will ultimately depend on the length of your nails, personal style, lifestyle, and the shape of your hands and nail beds. Certain nail shapes are more low maintenance than others, while others look better on longer nails or slimmer nail beds. Some shapes can even give the illusion of longer, slimmer fingers. If you’re trying to decide which nail shape is the best choice for you, check out our guide below that breaks down every nail shape, who it works for (or who it doesn’t), so you can ensure your next manicure is totally insta-worthy.
A round nail is a true classic shape. It’s a low maintenance nail shape that mirrors the contour of the cuticle line with a rounded tip, making a perfectly circular arch. This nail shape elongates fingers and makes nail beds look narrower and can work on short nails or a longer length.
A low maintenance nail shape that’s filed straight across on the tip with perfect 90 degree angle sides is a favorite choice among the younger generation and also gives us major Y2K nostalgia. For best results, this nail shape is most suited for those with long, narrow nail beds. Those with shorter fingers or short nail beds may want to steer clear of a square shape as it can make fingers look shorter and stubby.
The oval is similar to a round shape but slightly tapered on the sides to elongate the nail will also give the illusion of a longer nail bed and long, slim fingers. This nail shape doesn’t work well on short nails as the nail must be at least slightly beyond the fingertip to create the almond shape. An oval nail looks great on those with wider nail bed and long nails as it has an elongating and slimming effect.
This hybrid consists of a square shape with rounded corners that’s pretty low maintenance. The squoval is a universally flattering shape that looks good on pretty much anyone. If you’re a newbie to manicures, can’t make up your mind, or like to play it safe, this nail shape may be for you — and it’s guaranteed to look great with any color choice.
A favorite among runways and the fashion world, an almond nail is an elongated shape similar to an oval but with a more tapered tip, mimicking the shape of — you guessed it, an almond. This chic nail shape is super sexy and can lengthen and slim your fingers and nail beds, ensuring it looks good on both short or long fingers. We love a perfectly shaped almond in nude — very elegant.
Mimicking the shape of a coffin or a ballerina shoe, featuring tapered sides and a straight, square tip, this shape is incredibly trendy and requires more maintenance than many of the other shapes. A favorite among those who are really into nails or those that prefer acrylics, this shape is a strong one that looks best on a longer nail and those with slimmer fingers.
How this nail shape gets its name is probably pretty obvious — it mimics those stiletto heels you have in the back of your closet right now. To get a stiletto shape, the nail is filed to a long, tapered point, almost like a claw. For those that are into edgy and daring manicures, the stiletto nail may be for you. However, this dramatic shape will only work on long nails and can be a lot more high maintenance and prone to breakage, making it not so realistic for certain lifestyles, like those who do a lot of activity with their hands. For maximum drama, try a stiletto in a dark, rich hue or a radiant glitter.
Deciding your nail shape may seem tricky, but it can also be a great time to experiment with different nail shapes to find which one is the best choice for you, depending on your desired level of maintenance, style, and proportion of your hands.