While a stylish swipe of color 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 color 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.
Best Nail Shapes
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 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.
1. 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.
2. 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 color of polish. You can even try switching between neutrals, brights, and unique tones depending on your mood and outfit.
3. Square Shaped Nails
Like round shapes, square shaped nails s are also perfect for shorter nails. Characterized 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 colors, square nails appear most striking when paired with bright, bold, or high-shine polish.
4. 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 ballerina nails, 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.
5. 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 millimeters 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.
6. Stiletto Nails
The right nail shape can transform your fingernails, and the stiletto shape is one of the most desirable because it demands attention. Stiletto nails are defined by their tapered shape and pointed ends which are filed to have a triangular appearance. They get their name because of their resemblance to the stiletto heel and are long and thin. This can also be flattering because it makes the fingers look slimmer by elongating them. The downside is that stiletto nails can be weak and prone to breakage. Stiletto nails lend themselves well to nail art, letting you get creative with different designs and colors. They look best when worn long, which gives you even more versatility with nail art as there is more space to get creative.
7. Duck Nail Shape
Duck nails were first popular in the early 2000s but have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years and have become are a social media trend. The shape is flared and looks like a webbed duck’s foot. It is best created by a professional because it can be complicated to achieve, it is high maintenance, but ideal for nail art because there is more space to get creative with your artwork. The shape can be worn long or short and will make a statement and draw attention to your hands. Duck nails are edgy and cool, but they are not the most practical shape and you may find yourself restricted in your activities.
8. Acrylic Nail Shape
Acrylic nails are appealing because they are hard and durable and are an excellent option for achieving nails of all shapes and lengths. Most women opt for longer acrylics, but you can also cut them short for a more practical and versatile finish. Acrylic nails are an excellent choice for those who want a specific nail shape or longer nails but their natural nails are too weak. They are ideal for nail art, and the smooth finish will look great with a variety of patterns and designs, and even 3D gems. The average acrylic manicure will last between two to three weeks. The downside to acrylics is if they are not applied and removed correctly they can cause damage to your natural nails.
9. Squoval Nail Shape
One of the most versatile and appealing choices for your nails is the squoval nail shape. The shape is a combination of the square and oval and is incredibly flattering on all fingernails. They are ideal for long or short nails and are defined by the straight sides and straight top, with rounded corners. The corners add softness and elegance to the shape, giving you a manicure that oozes sophistication. The shape lends itself well to nail art and is ideal for all occasions.
10. Arrowhead Nails
Arrowhead nails are not a practical shape but they are all about making a statement and getting creative. As the name suggests, these nails are filed to be incredibly pointy at the tip and look like an arrow. This is a unique nail shape and can be created in multiple colors and lends itself well to futuristic designs. The downside is the shape is high-maintenance and will be prone to breakage. Depending on the length you choose, you may also find that you are restricted with your daily activities. For example, you cannot play contact sports with this shape.
11. Moon Nail Shape
Fingernail moons or lunula refer to the rounded shadow shape at the base of the nail. It is the place where the nail begins growing. This area on the nail, or the absence of it, can give clues about your health or highlight any underlying medical issues. It can also help you decide on the right nail shape to complement your fingernails. For example, a rounded lunula will look good with oval and round nails. A more square-shaped lunula will benefit from square nails.
12. Edge Nail Shape
The edge nail shape is an excellent choice for your next manicure. It has a soft, cone-shaped appearance at the tip and a rise in the middle of the nail. It is an unusual shape, which makes it interesting and will draw attention to your nails. You can wear the edge long or short and it is a great option for those who want something different and exciting. You can opt for a solid nail polish color, or experiment with your nail art, including a modern approach to the French tip manicure or unusual detailing.
13. Flare Nail Shape
The flare nail shape is also referred to as duck nails and is defined by the nails flaring outward at the top. They are not the most practical shape but are ideal for experimenting with nail art. They lend themselves well to a Y2k aesthetic which can be fun and youthful.
14. Lipstick Nails
If you want an edgy and feminine shape, look no further than lipstick nails. The shape is unusual and filed to a slant, similar to the appearance of lipstick. It is one of the newer nail shapes created by celebrity nail artist Park Eunkyung. These nails will elongate your fingernails and are ideal for trying out interesting patterns and unique nail art. You can opt for a futuristic look with the shattered glass effect or holographic polish. Or highlight the tips with a modern approach to the classic French manicure.
Best Nail Shape for Fingers
Best Nail Shape for Fat Fingers
The best nail shape for fat fingers includes oval nails and round nails, which are incredibly versatile and practical. Round nails in particular are excellent for making the fingers look slimmer. Other nail shapes like coffin nails and stiletto nails are ideal for elongating the fingers and making them look longer. They are also great for disguising the chubby tips. Longer nails can make a statement and also lend themselves well to nail art.
Best Nail Shape for Long Fingers
Long fingers look great with edgy and cool nail shapes like stiletto nails and coffin nails. This will let you experiment with nail art and get creative. Other options include square nails which are flattering on long nails and those with a narrow nail bed because they can make the fingers look shorter.
Best Nail Shape for Short Fingers
Those with short fingers can create the illusion of length with the almond nails. The almond nail shape is flattering thanks to the slender sides which create a soft peak at the ends and will draw the eye upward and elongate your fingers.
Best Nail Shape for Wide Nails
If you have wide nails you may wish to choose a shape that elongates them, including round nails. Round nails are a practical shape that looks good in short or medium lengths and can make the nail bed appear thinner. They are ideal for all occasions and incredibly low-maintenance. Squoval shapes are another option that can elongate the finger and make it look slimmer.
Best Nail Shape for Long Skinny Fingers
If you want to make your nail bed look wider or complement long, skinny fingers look great with square nails. This is because they will widen the nail bed. They are best worn in solid colors.
Best Nail Shape for Typing
Nail shapes can be extra long and super edgy, designed to make a statement and draw attention to your hands, but these unique nail shapes are not always the most practical. If you want a nail shape that is low-maintenance and will not restrict you, especially when typing and working on the computer, then a shorter length is preferable. Classic shapes like round or square nails are great and less likely to chip. It is also best to limit your nail art and choose a simple look like modern French tips.
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.
Different Nail Shapes
- 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.
Best Nail Shapes FAQs
What are the most popular nail shapes?
Coffin nails are the most popular style for making a statement. They're long, elegant, and can be decorated in many ways thanks to the length and shape. If you're after a less elaborate option, then almond nails are also popular. While they can make a statement, the shape is a little more functional for everyday wear.
What nail shape is easiest to type with?
Shorter length square and round nails are the easiest shape nail to type with. They're less likely to hit other keys and to chip, plus they won't make as much of a clacking sound as you type, which can be a benefit in open-plan offices.
What nail shape is in style 2022?
The top nail shapes which are in style for 2022 are almond and coffin/ballerina. They allow for a lot of creativity and make a bold statement. Plus, these nail shapes are popular amongst celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian.
What is the most classy nail shape?
The classiest nail shapes are oval or almond nails which are flattering on most finger shapes. They are incredibly versatile and can be worn long or short; a medium length is the most versatile and ideal for all occasions.
What nail shape is best for me?
To determine which fingernail shape is the best for you there are several things to consider. This includes if you have short or long fingers, fat or slim, and a narrow or wide nail bed. Some shapes are better suited to your finger shape than others that can elongate the finger or make it look longer or shorter. Also consider how much maintenance you want your nail shape to be, and the desired look. For dramatic and bold looks, long stiletto or coffin nails are ideal. For a universally flattering look that is sophisticated and ideal for all occasions, oval nails are the right choice.
Taylah Brewer holds a bachelor's degree in fashion and business and is a skilled writer with several years of experience in the world of online content creation and copywriting. She is passionate about fashion, beauty, and all things lifestyle-related and has been writing for The Trend Spotter since 2016. She currently works as the Head of Digital & Ecommerce at White & Co.
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