While a stylish swipe of colour adds the perfect finishing touch to beautiful nails, any manicurist will tell you that shape is important. Considered the base of any good manicure, your nail shape is the foundation for creating fabulous fingers. As well as complementing your choice of colour or design, the right shape can also flatter your whole hand and make it appear more attractive. From elongating short fingers to accentuating nice nails, the shape of your manicure has more power than you might think. As such, choosing the best nail shape for your fingers is an important task that you shouldn’t overlook.
When selecting a nail shape, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with the different options available. Although there are many silhouettes and variations on offer, there are five key shapes you should know. Square, round, oval, almond, and coffin are the essential forms. To precisely determine which style is best for you, you will need to take into consideration your finger shape, nail bed width, and nail length.
Almond Shaped Nails
Almond shaped nails feature slim sides, which taper towards the end, and a rounded tip. Although this chic form won’t work on short nails, it does look lovely on longer lengths. The silhouette naturally suits long and thin nail beds thanks to its elongated shape. Almond nails are also ideal for slenderizing wide fingers to create the appearance of slim hands. On top of that, ladies with short digits will also find this nail shape beneficial thanks to its ability to create the appearance of extra length. If you believe this shape is for you, try the look with neutral and nude polishes as well as glamorous and girly designs.
Round Shaped Nails
If you want to create the appearance of longer fingers but like to keep your nails short, you should consider opting for a round shape. Round shaped nails, which feature a short length with a naturally curved edge, are perfect for subtly elongating short and wide fingers. The shape can also be used to make wide nail beds appear thinner and longer. If you have narrow nail beds, don’t rule out a round shape either. The simple silhouette is not only classic but versatile and fuss-free. Perfect for ladies who don’t have time for the salon, round nails are easy to maintain at home, and their soft, round appearance makes them ideal for any colour of polish. You can even try switching between neutrals, brights, and unique tones depending on your mood and outfit.
Square Shaped Nails
Like round shapes, square styles are also perfect for shorter nails. Characterised by straight edges and a squared-off tip, this nail shape appears neat and stylish. While ladies who prefer a longer nail should choose a shape that tapers more, those who like a short, edgy yet elegant look will love this style. Square shaped nails are particularly flattering for those with thin hands and long, slim fingers. If this sounds like you, or if your nail beds are long and narrow, consider asking for a square shape during your next manicure. The style, which will have a subtle widening effect on hands, also breaks less easily than other forms, making it ideal for low-maintenance ladies. When it comes to colours, square nails appear most striking when paired with bright, bold, or high-shine polish.
Coffin/Ballerina Shaped Nails
One of the best shapes for long nail lovers and those with narrow nail beds is the coffin shape. Also known as a ballerina shape, this nail style is named after its silhouette, which resembles both a coffin and ballet slipper. The stylish shape is characteristically long and narrow. It also dramatically tapers in towards the end before finishing with a square tip. While the sophisticated and edgy design attracts many women, ladies should only attempt it if their nails are long and sturdy. Short and brittle nails may not be able to handle this shape. Alternatively, you can try the look with acrylic nails. Although the bold design will require plenty of upkeep, its appearance when paired with pale neutral hues, moody tones, and matte polishes is well worth the effort.
Oval Shaped Nails
Thanks to their elongating abilities, oval shaped nails are ideal for both short and wide nail beds and fingers. The medium to long shape, which ends in a semi-circle, is similar to almond styles except blunter and more delicate in appearance. The result is a feminine nail shape that helps to make wide fingers appear slimmer and short fingers to look longer. While you won’t need seriously long nails to rock an oval shape, you will need a little length. A few millimetres of free edge extending past your fingertip should do the trick. Once you’ve created this chic shape, you can pair it with awesome nail art or feminine pastel hues for a chic runway-ready appearance.
How to Shape Nails at Home
Although it’s always best to visit a salon when your nails need an update or some love, it is possible to shape your nails at home. As long as you have experience with a nail file, you can create any nail shape you wish. From almond and oval to coffin and square, each nail shape simply takes a little concentration, patience, and know-how to achieve. So, whether you want to give your normal style a refresh or completely change your nail silhouette, this video can show you how. After learning the essential information regarding the angles and proportions, you’ll soon be able to file and shape your nails like a professional. Just remember to keep in mind that some shapes will only suit long nails while others will look better on shorter lengths.
Nail Shape Tips
- Familiarise yourself with the different nail shapes, including square, round, oval, almond, and coffin/ballerina.
- Take into consideration your finger shape, nail bed width, and nail length to find your ideal nail shape.
- If you keep your nails short, choose between square and round shapes.
- If you have medium or long nails, oval, almond, and coffin shapes will suit you best.
- Use elongating nail shapes, such as almond, coffin, and oval, to lengthen and slenderize short and wide fingers.
- Ladies with fingers that are naturally long and slim should choose a square nail shape for a flattering effect.