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Nail Shapes: How to Choose the Perfect Shape

For the average working woman, nail trends are not the most practical thing to follow -- especially for those who have jobs that require the most basic level of dexterity, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t try different nail shapes that can elevate your nail look. If your nails are the canvas, then its shape would definitely give extra oomph.

There are loads of different shapes out there, but what makes a particular shape suitable for your hands? Square nails, almond nails, stiletto and ballerina nails? What’s the difference anyway?

When picking the right shape for your fingers, it’s definitely a good idea to familiarize yourself with the options available. You’d need to take many things into consideration, such as the shape of your fingers, the width of your nail bed, and the length of your nails.

Squoval Nails


Definition: Features a short length but follows the natural curve of your fingers with a slight edge. A classic and versatile shape, low maintenance and fuss-free.

Suitable For: anyone who wants to make their fingers look longer, but would like to keep their nails short -- can also make wide nail beds appear longer and thinner. Perfect for women who don’t have time to maintain their nails and go to the salon every so often.

Colors to Wear: Ideal for any color of polish.

Oval Nails


Definition: Features a medium to long shape that ends in a semi-circle. Similar to the almond shape, but more delicate in appearance with its blunt ends. A few millimeters extending past the fingertip.

Suitable For: Those with short and wide nail beds and fingers. Having oval-shaped nails achieves a more feminine look that makes fingers appear slimmer and short fingers looking longer.

Colors to Wear: Pair this nail shape with metallics, reds, and bold shades.


Square Nails


Definition: Characterized by a squared tip and straight edges, neat and stylish. Similar to round nails, this nail shape is perfect for those who prefer shorter nails. This shape is the least likely to break.

Suitable For: Anyone who would like an edgy, but clean nail look. Flattering for those with slim fingers and thin hands, as well as people with long and narrow nail beds.

Colors to Wear: These look best with bright, bold colors with a glossy topcoat. Nail art that features negative space and geometric patterns look great too.

Almond Nails


Definition: Features slim sides with that tapers toward a rounded tip. This usually won’t work with short nails, but looks great with nails that extend a few millimeters. It creates an appearance of extra length.

Suitable For: Those with naturally thin and long nail beds. Great for making wide fingers look more slender to create the appearance of slim hands.

Colors to Wear: Lovely with nude polishes, pastels, or any feminine colors.

Ballerina Nails


Definition: Also known as Coffin-shaped nails, this boasts a very long length with a squared tip. Also Kylie Jenner’s signature shape. Mimics the shape of a ballerina’s pointe shoe.

Suitable For: Those with naturally long and thick nails. Try this nail shape if you want something a bit more unconventional. Also a great shape for acrylic extensions.

Colors to Wear: Looks great with solid colors with a matte topcoat.

Stiletto Nails


Definition: The most dramatic out of all the nail shapes. It is long and pointy, just like a stiletto shoe.

Suitable For: Those with dramatic or daring fashion styles. Sporting this look would be outrageous and noticeable. The perfect fashion accessory.

Colors to Wear: Dramatic and over-the-top nail art with gems, pearls, and anything shiny.

What Suits You the Best?

Choosing the best nail shape for you is a bit more complicated than choosing your nail polish, but once you figure out what the best shape is for you -- then it's just a matter of buying new colors to match them with!

Here a few more tips to help you choose the perfect nail shape:

  • Familiarize yourself with all available nail shapes. Knowing the names of different nail shapes will definitely help you on your next trip to the nail salon.
  • Your fingers should be taken into consideration when choosing a shape. Check your nail bed width, and your preferred nail length to find the best nail shape for you.
  • If you prefer short nails, round nails, square nails, and squoval nails are perfect for you. If you have medium or long nails, oval, almond, and ballerina nails are your best bet.