We’re suckers for good nail paint and are always stocking up on the latest colours. But what we’ve discovered lately is that the nail shape is really everything! In fact, that’s what really makes your nails look attractive. Ergo, if you haven’t been paying attention to your nail shape, now is the right time to start doing so. 

So, here’s a detailed nail shape guide that will help you pick the correct nail shape for your next manicure session. 

The Basics of Nail Shapes   

The endless possibilities of nail shapes keep things fun, and it's also a great way for us to express ourselves in a creative way. In the same way that wearing colours that you would not normally choose can provide a sense of self-confidence and empowerment, discovering the perfect shape for your nails can do the same. 

Having said that, it is also important to find the right shape for you as well. When making a decision to choose a nail shape, however, you need to consider not only the size of your nail but also the style that matches your personality and your profession. There has to be something that enhances your appearance, makes you feel beautiful, and is in keeping with what you think looks good. While there are a lot of trends that come and go, it is extremely important that you find your own unique style

Guide to Different Nail Shapes  

nail shape guide

In the current day and age, there are more variations of nail shapes in the market than there are fingers, making it difficult to keep up with them all, let alone decide which one to choose. In order to help you make a more informed decision next time you visit the nail salon, we have outlined the most popular options for you to choose from.  

It could also be fun to play around with a few different options to see what works best for you. It is recommended that you experiment with a different nail shape every few months to see if it becomes your new favourite. You never know, it might just turn out to be the one for you! 

1. Almond-shaped nails 

nail shape guide almond

The characteristic of almond-shaped nails is that they have rounded tips with slim, tapering sides. Although not the best shape for short nails, it is an amazing choice for people with long ones. For those of you who have wide fingers and are looking for something with a more slimming effect, almond-shaped nails are for you! 

2. Round-shaped nails 

nail shape guide round

If you like to keep your nails short, but want to give the appearance of having longer fingers, then you definitely should ask your manicurist to give your nails a round shape. This nail shape looks amazing on all nail lengths, but is especially amazing on short nails thanks to their curved edge that help to give the illusion of longer fingers. 

3. Square-shaped nails 

nail shape guide square

Another great pick for girls with short nails. This nail shape has a straight edge and a square tip. If you have thin and long fingers, you can totally give this shape a try. 

4. Coffin-shaped nails 

nail shape guide coffin

If you want to keep your nails really long, then this is the one for you. Made famous by makeup mogul Kylie Jenner, this shape has a narrow nail bed and finishes with a square tip. This nail shape requires too much upkeep and may not be ideal for everyday wear. 

5. Stiletto-shaped nails 

nail shape guide stiletto

Stiletto nails are undoubtedly one of the most stunning nail designs that you can wear. As with its nuttier counterpart, the almond, this spiked look begins by starting at a point similar to the almond but ends with a sharp point and a wider base at the bottom than the almond's point. While this type of shape can require quite a bit of maintenance, it can also allow you to showcase your creativity with texture, colour, and art. 

6. Squoval Nails 

nail shape guide squoval

Square oval nails, also known as squoval, are great if you enjoy the flat edges of the square, but dislike sharp corners that come with the square. There is no doubt that this classic, universally loved shape is suitable for everyone. A person with a wider and longer nail bed, however, may find it appealing because it will help balance everything out.  

7. Lipstick Nails 

Lipstick nails, as the name implies, are shaped similar to lipstick tubes that have been cut at an angle. It has a square shape at the tip, with a diagonal slant at the tip for an incredibly unique shape. With these, you will definitely be able to stand out, as they work well with any nail length. 

8. Arrowhead Nails 

nail shape guide arrowhead

The point of arrowhead nails is shorter than the point of stiletto nails and is distinguished by its more dramatic angles as compared to stiletto nails. If you do not have or do not like long nails, then these will be the ideal option for you. It would be perfect for someone who is interested in trying out long, pointy nails before committing fully to the stiletto shape. 

FAQs about the Ultimate Guide to Nail Shapes  

What is the most flattering nail shape? 

Almond-shaped nails tend to be a good choice for everyone. A rounded oval or almond shape is best for people with short fingers and short palms. If you have long fingers and palms, a dramatic stiletto or a ballerina or a coffin style may be suitable for you. 

How do I know which nail shape would suit me best? 

In order to find your ideal nail shape, you should consider the shape of your fingers, the width of your nail bed, and the length of your nail. For short nails, you can choose from square or round shapes based on your personal preference. Alternatively, it is best to choose almond, oval, or coffin shapes if you have medium or long nails. 

What is the difference between ballerina nails and coffin nails? 

Generally, coffin nails are square in shape. However, the tips are not as slim or curved as those of a ballerina at the top. There is only one main difference between a coffin nail and a ballerina nail, which is that the first style has an inward straight file, whereas the second has a square shape at the edge.