Find your signature nail shape

  • 05 Sep - 11 Sep, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Beauty

Square or almond, stiletto or ballerina, learn how to choose your perfect nail shape

Nail shape names aren’t exactly complicated – square, squoval, ballerina – but picking the right one can be. From basic round to domineering stiletto, switching up your shape can alter the entire mood of the manicure. (Would anyone even think to call a nude colour on long coffin nails boring? Didn’t think so.) Learning the myriad of nail shapes out there isn't where your fingertip education stops, either – you also have to figure out which nail shape is right for you. So, we have broken it all down for you. Take note of our nail shape knowledge, then follow our advice to get your own Insta-worthy manicure.

Round nails

Definition: It mirrors the contour of the nail with a circular edge at the tip. The tip of your nail is filed like the arch of a perfect circle.

Bottom line: Anyone looking to elongate fingers. [It makes] them look more narrow and makes wide nail beds appear thinner.

Wear it with: Any shade will really do.

Oval nails

Definition: It is natural looking, but gently filed in on the sides to elongate the nail, and it can give the illusion of making your finger look longer. Perhaps this is in part because, to achieve the shape, your nail must grow slightly beyond the fingertip.

Bottom line: An oval shape nail is very feminine. Perfect for experimenting with trending colours.

Wear it with: Along with bold and unexpected shades, this shape is great for metallics and reds.

Square nails

Definition: Filed straight across the top, with flawless 90 degree angle sides. We always associate this shape with nail queens Gwen Stefani, Missy Elliot, and Dolly Parton. It’s their go-to file.

Bottom line: If you have narrow nail beds and slim fingers, this is the perfect shape for you. We classify it as a modern shape and it seems to have appeal among younger people.

Wear it with: Beautiful solid dark colours lend this shape a cool trendy feel. Geometric and negative space nail art work well [with] this shape too.

Squoval nails

Definition: Take a square shape nail and round out its edges and you end up with this hybrid.

Bottom line: This is a universally flattering nail shape that looks good on short and long fingers.

Wear it with: We suggest wearing a dark shade with this nail.

Coffin/ballerina nails

Definition: Mimicking the shape of a coffin or a ballerina pointe shoe, this shape is tapered on the sides with a straight edge on the tip.

Bottom line: This is a favourite among people who are really into nails and fashionistas in general. This shape is both chic and strong.

Wear it with: We suggest choosing a solid colour with a matte finish.

Almond nails

Definition: An elongated nail with tapered tips.

Bottom line: The chicest nail shape in the fashion world. Sexy, slenderising, and strong is how we would describe an almond nail shape.

Wear it with: We recommend to pair this nail with a nude.