Nail Shapes: Ultimate Guide to the Top 7 Nail Shapes


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There are so many nail shapes out there, it’s almost overwhelming! You’ve likely heard of coffin nails, but what does that even mean? What about square nails? Or what’s the most popular and classic nail shape?

If you are confused, I got you covered! This beauty guide is all about nail shapes.🌸

I've got all the deets on the different nail shapes and tips on which nail shape may be best for you!

Nail Shapes: The 7 Main Shapes to Know

Let's kick things off by introducing you to the fabulous seven nail shapes that are taking the beauty world by storm:

1. Round Nail Shape: Embrace those gentle curves with the round nail shape! This classic look features curved edges and a softly rounded tip, perfect for creating a natural and timeless appearance.

2. Oval Nail Shape: For a touch of graceful chicness, opt for the oval nail shape! With elongated curves and a slightly tapered tip, this shape offers versatility and elegance for various occasions.

3. Square Nail Shape: A classic favorite, the square nail shape features straight sides and a sharp, squared-off tip. It's clean, stylish, and perfect for a polished look.

4. Coffin Nail Shape: Also known as "ballerina nails," the coffin shape is characterized by its tapered ends resembling a coffin or a ballerina slipper. This edgy shape is all about drama and glamour.

5. Stiletto Nail Shape: Get ready to slay with stiletto nails! These fierce and pointed nails are inspired by stiletto heels. They exude confidence and are perfect for those who love to stand out.

6. Almond Nail Shape: If elegance is your game, the almond shape is your winning move. It features gently rounded sides and a tapered tip, creating a soft and feminine look.

7. Squoval Nail Shape: As the name suggests, squoval nails are a delightful mix of square and oval shapes. They offer the best of both worlds – a flattering shape that's not too sharp or too rounded.

Round Nail Shape: Most Natural Looking

Let's start our journey with the Round Nail Shape. The round nail shape features curved edges and a softly rounded tip. It's a classic choice that's easy to maintain and perfect for creating a natural look.

round nails
Image via OPI

If you don't paint your nails, your nails probably naturally have a round nail shape. This guide on how to have natural-looking nails at home shows round nails in more detail.

What round nails look like: Round nails look like the letter C backward. Or, you can think of round nails like the side of an orange!

Why you may want a round nail shape:

  • The round nail shape is universally flattering and suits various nail lengths.
  • The round nail shape is a fantastic choice if you prefer a timeless and understated look that goes well with any outfit.

Best for:

  • Short or long nails
  • Natural-looking nails
  • Short fingers: Round nails look great with short fingers, as they make the fingers look slender.

2. Oval Nail Shape: Best for Short Fingers

Now, let's dive into the grace and elegance of the oval nail shape. With its elongated curves and slightly tapered tip, this shape offers a touch of sophistication and versatility. Oval nails are similar to round nails, except they are longer and slightly more pointed.

oval nail shape
Image via OPI

What oval nails look like: Oval nails look like a big oval. Literally!

Why you may want an oval nail shape:

  • The oval shape visually lengthens your fingers, making them appear more slender.
  • The oval nail shape is also a fantastic choice for those who want a polished look without the drama of pointed tips.

Best for:

  • Wider nail beds: Oval nails are particularly flattering for those with wider nail beds or shorter fingers.
  • They're ideal for creating an elegant and refined appearance.

Oval nails vs. Almond nails

oval vs. almond nails

Oval nails and almond nails look similar, but they are different! Oval nails have rounded edges and tend to be longer than almond nails. Additionally, almond nails have a slightly pointier tip.

3. Square Nail Shape: Best for a Bold But Classy Look

Next up, we have the square nail shape! Imagine a straight-across, squared-off tip – that's the signature look of square nails. This shape offers a bold and clean appearance that's sure to catch eyes.

square shape nails
Image via OPI

What square nails look like: Square nails have a straight, long edge at the tip. They literally look like one side of a square!

Why you may want a square nail shape:

  • The square nail shape is ideal for those who crave a sleek and neat appearance.
  • Square nails work well for both short and long nails.
  • A bold look: The squared-off tip offers a bold statement that's perfect for those who love a polished and put-together look.

Best for:

  • A classic look: Square nails are fantastic for individuals who prefer a classic and timeless style.
  • Professional setting: They're great for professional settings and events where you want your nails to exude confidence and elegance.
  • Nail art! The squared tip provides ample space for showcasing intricate nail art and designs.

4. Coffin Nail Shape (AKA Ballerina Nails): Best for Making a Statement

Ready to bring drama to your fingertips? Enter the stage with the coffin nail shape! Inspired by the elegance of a coffin or a ballerina slipper, this shape features tapered ends that lead to a flat, squared tip.

coffin nail shape
Image via Etsy

What coffin nails look like: Coffin nails literally look like a vampire coffin! Some people say that coffin nails look like ballerina slippers, so you'll also hear coffin nails referred to as "ballerina" nails. They are both the same!

Why you may want a coffin nail shape:

  • To make a statement: If you're a trendsetter who loves to make a statement, the coffin nail shape is your go-to. Its dramatic tapered ends create an eye-catching silhouette that demands attention. This shape is all about channeling your inner diva and embracing your bold side.

Best for:

  • Coffin nails are perfect for occasions where you want to showcase your edgy and fashion-forward style.
  • Turning heads: Coffin nails are a popular choice among celebrities and influencers for red carpet events, parties, and any time you're looking to turn heads and make a lasting impression.

5. Stiletto Nail Shape: Best for Fake Nails Only

Hold on tight, because the stiletto nail shape here to steal the spotlight! These fierce and pointed nails are named after stiletto heels for a reason – they're bold, daring, and impossible to ignore.

stiletto nail shape
Image via OPI

What stiletto nails look like: Stiletto nails are the only nail shape with a point at the tip. Stiletto nails kind of look like the tip of the old school pencils from middle school. If you have stiletto nails, it will kind of look like you could stab someone with your stiletto nails! (ouch!)

Why you may want this shape:

  • To look fierce: The stiletto nail shape is the epitome of confidence and daring flair. The sharp, pointed tip adds a touch of fierceness to your overall look, making you feel empowered and ready to conquer the world.

Best for:

  • Showing off nail designs: Stiletto nails are like a work of art, so they are great if you really want to get creative with your nail designs.

6. Almond Nail Shape: Best for Just a *Little Bit* of Something Different

Looking for a touch of sophistication? Say hello to the **Almond Nail Shape**! With gently curved sides and a tapered tip, this shape creates an elegant and feminine look that's simply stunning.

almond shape nails
Image via OPI

What almond nails look like: Almond nails look just like almonds! Almond nails also look like candy corn to me.

Why you may want almond shape:

  • Elegance: Almond nails are all about elegance and sophistication.
  • Feminine with Fierceness: The gently rounded sides and tapered tip create a soft and feminine look that's perfect for those who want a touch of glamour without going overboard.

Best for:

  • Any event! The almond shape is versatile enough for both casual and formal settings. It's an excellent choice for weddings, date nights, and any occasion where you want to exude grace and refinement.
  • Chubby fingers: The elongated shape visually elongates your fingers, giving them an elegant and slender appearance.

7. Squoval Nail Shape: The Universal Shape

Last but not least, let's explore the charming squoval nail shape! The squoval shape is a mix of both square and oval shaped nails, hence the name "squoval." The squoval shape is universally flattering, and it looks good on both short and long fingers.

squoval nail shape
Image via OPI

What squoval nails look like: The squoval shape looks like oval nails, except a little squished at the top!

Why you may want a squoval shape:

  • Bold and Natural: If you're on the hunt for a nail shape that strikes the perfect balance between bold and natural, look no further than the squoval shape.
  • Its combination of square and oval elements offers a flattering and versatile look that suits various styles and preferences.

Best for:

  • Modern and polished: Squoval nails are the ultimate go-to for individuals who want a polished and modern appearance without the sharpness of a square shape or the roundness of an oval shape.
  • Short and long nails: Squoval nails work well with both short and long nails, making them a fantastic choice for everyday wear, professional settings, and special occasions.
  • Anyone! Whether you're a trendsetter or a classic beauty, squoval nails adapt effortlessly to your unique personality, making them a true nail chameleon.

More, Lesser Known Nail Shapes

The seven most popular nail shapes are square nails, coffin nails (AKA ballerina nails), stiletto nails, almond nails, round nails, oval nails, and squoval nails. However, there are a few more nail shapes that you may have heard of. These include lipstick nails, mountain peak nails, edge nails, and flare/trapeze nails.

Below is additional information about these lesser-known, less popular nail shapes. After all, I did say that this would be the ultimate nail shape guide!

1. Lipstick Nails

Lipstick nails have a sleek, elongated sip with a tapered tip. Lipstick nails literally look like lipstick! 💄

When to Rock Lipstick Nails:

Lipstick nails are great if you want to stand out. Think of a hot date, a party, or a special event!

2. Mountain Peak

Mountain peak nails look just like mountain silhouettes.

When to Embrace Mountain Peak Nails:

Mountain peak nails are great if you want to stand out. Perfect for music festivals or any event where you want to make a statement!

3. Edge Nails

Edge nails look similar to stiletto nails, except they have very straight edges on the side. Stiletto nails look like a triangle sitting on top of your nail.

When to Opt for Edge Nails:

Edge nails are great if you want to stand out at a fashion-forward event. For example, edge nails would be great for an art gallery opening or a restaurant opening.

4. Flare Nails (Trapeze Nails)

Flare nails (also known as trapeze nails) have a widening design at the tip. Flare nails are the only nail shape that is wider at the tips than the base.

When to Flaunt Flare Nails:

Flare nails are great if you want to stand out and have unique nails!

FAQs about Nail Shapes

Before we wrap up our nail shape adventure, let's tackle some burning questions you might have:

What nail shape is the most popular?
A: Nail trends come and go, but the square and almond shapes remain timeless favorites. They offer a balance between boldness and elegance.

**Q: What is the classiest nail shape?**
A: The almond nail shape exudes class and sophistication. Its tapered tip adds a touch of elegance to your overall look.

**Q: What nail shape is the best for an engagement announcement?**
A: If you want to show off your engagement ring in style, the oval or round shape is a fantastic choice. These shapes offer a flattering backdrop for your bling!

**Q: What nail shape is the best for weddings?**
A: For weddings, the classic elegance of almond or round nails can't be beaten. They complement various bridal styles and gown choices.

**Q: What nail shape do guys like the most?**
A: Nail shape preferences can vary widely, but many guys appreciate the natural beauty of round or oval nails. These shapes tend to be versatile and not overly dramatic.

So there you have it, lovelies! Your ultimate guide to nail shapes is now at your fingertips. Whether you're into edgy stilettos or timeless almonds, remember that the best nail shape is the one that makes you feel confident and fabulous. Happy manicuring! 💅🌟

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