Finding Your Nail Shape

This is your one-stop guide to different nail shapes!

It is easy to find an abundance of rules on the internet about nail shapes and the type you “need” to have for your specific cuticle lines. As someone who files her nails however she wants, I have a few nail shapes in mind for you to try out, and there’s nothing wrong with having a new shape every now and then. I have the standard round and square for you but let’s find other nail shapes for you to give a go!


The undeniable classic that works especially well on beginners. Those soft curves will help elongate your hands even if your nails are quite small. I usually have nails naturally short, mainly from my gnarly habit of biting them while working on essays and articles, and the round shape is a no-brainer. I highly recommend this shape for those looking for a snag-free nail. This shape is tidy and is snag-free which is perfect for those that require low-maintenance nails.


I was a little skeptical about having an almond shape on my natural nails, but they were a certified hit for me last summer! This shape is often mistaken for a smaller stiletto or an oval, however it’s different because the tip is usually slammer than the base while having a much more rounded point. By using the right colour, you can have a prim and proper nail, or one that unleashes your inner bad girl. My month of almond nails proved that I could pull off both attitudes with a nude or a berry red!


Another oldie but goodie. This isn’t my go-to shape, although it’s certainly worth a go, which is all thanks to the sharpe precise edges. You can pull off this shape with whatever length nails you opt for, it just depends on whether you want to elongate your hands with this shape, since the blunt edges can shorten your fingers. I prefer to wear my nails short, so I often avoid this shape for that reason, however my sister totally rocks this style with her naturally long nails!


The oval is perfect for those with longer nails searching for that perfect rounded edge to their nails. It adds a little more drama to the hands and makes them look much more slender. To have a successful oval shape, your nails must be longer than your finger, but you can stick to the round shape until they grow out. This is the option to pick if you’re not interested in blunt edges. I love using pastel colours with this shape as they make the hands look sophisticated and elegant.


I’m going to let you in on a little secret, when I file my nails to an oval shape, my thumbs usually end up with the squoval shape instead. It’s probably some of my best filing work because the squoval is the more natural of shapes on this list. The shape is flat at the top with rounded edges. It looks natural because it imitates the shape of your cuticles, hence the thumb problem, because my cuticles there are quite flat. This shape is very practical and is another brilliant option for those wanting low-maintenance nails.


This shape is very daunting at first but once you get them right there’s no looking back. The stiletto is a fierce shape to choose thanks to the tapered and long style with the tip in a sharp point. A little advice: don’t wear this shape if you want an easy time with your nails. They definitely add length to your fingers but they won’t make daily tasks that easy. You will need to get some good acrylics or gels for this style because the natural nail is not often strong for this style.


You’ve probably seen this shape on the hands of many celebrities. The nails are quite popular on Instagram and it looks the way it’s described – a coffin. This means that the nail’s sides are tapered while the top has a straight edge. The shape looks fantastic but your nails will usually need gels or acrylics for it to be a success. Another unfortunate problem with the coffin is that it requires regular upkeep and maintenance for the length and shape of the design.


There is little difference between the coffin and the ballerina but they are different nonetheless. This shape is the softer version of the coffin and the stiletto. The nail shape is similar to that of a ballerina’s pointe shoes which accurately describes the convex sides and straight tip of the nail shape. Again, natural nails are not suited for this shape, you need strong gel or acrylic overlays to prevent breakage on the tips. It also requires upkeep and care with a lot of oils being thrown in on the cuticles.


When I saw Park Eunkyung with lipstick nails, I became an ardent fan of the style, and not just because my index fingers have a natural slant when they grow. These nails will draw attention to your hands immediately because they are so distinct. They look like new lipsticks with their sharp and slanted tips. You want to get some gel or acrylic overlays so that the shape can last. I recommend getting some awesome hand jewellery to complete the look on your hands.


No, these are not stilettos, if you take a closer look they are more like arrowheads, making the stiletto’s much softer sibling. This design is created with acrylics as the edge nail has a ridge at the centre of the nail which imitates an edge. This is another highly unique design that will draw attention to your hands. I say go for a shorter edge nail as they will be much easier to handle at first, rather than jumping to an extremely long edge nail, which will prove to make daily tasks slightly difficult.

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