woman getting a professional manicure

Top 6 Different Nail Shapes

From Stiletto to Coffin to Almond & More

Do you know that there are more than just two or three nail shapes? Women often stick with their usual choice since they are afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Different nail shapes & choice say a lot about you & your personality. Some women prefer coffin while others only go for oval.

Getting a manicure any time soon? This article will help you decide which shape is ideal for you, which one is the sturdiest, and what is the right way to file your nails!

1. Round/Oval Shaped Nails

This is a soft and natural nail shape which is ideal for the office. It looks the best on those who have shorter natural nails and want to maintain them. It’s the perfect shape for people who love natural and soft manicures. You will enjoy these for quite some time since oval nails don’t break as easily.

Always mimic the curves of your cuticle. Move the file along the edges of your cuticles and you’ll get the rounded shape.

2. Almond Shaped Nails

A gorgeous shape for those who want to stand out. The almond nail is an upgraded version of an oval shape. It has slightly tapered sides, similar to an actual almond — hence the name — and it looks a bit more glamorous. You can wear almond nails short & long and not worry about them breaking. However, they can easily pick-up some dirt underneath if you go for the longer version, so be aware of this before filing.

You can achieve this look by simply filing the sides of your nail going back and forth with a nail file. Work the nail into a slight pointed tip by adding more pressure towards the center.

3. Square Shaped Nails

The nail shape for those who love defined edges. A square nail-shape is formed into a petite and small square. This nail shape is flat on top with straight and defined corners. It looks the best on longer nails since additional length truly shows its beauty.

Unfortunately, a square nail can easily crack on the sides since it isn’t following the natural curvature of your natural nails. You should always protect it with a gel top-coat.

Easily shape your nails into a square by taking a nail file and filing on the sides. Make slow motions just so you don’t go overboard and end up with too thin of a square. Flatten out the top and enjoy your perfect little square.

4. Squoval Shaped Nails

Not sure how to decide? The Squoval is for you! A squoval is an interesting hybrid which combines both – the square and the oval shape. Anyone can wear it no matter their nail length or preference. This solution is the perfect in-between choice which looks feminine, but it can be a bit harder to achieve.

With your file make a subtle arc at the top of the tips. Connect them on the side and follow your natural taper. Don’t go too hard or too soft since you need that perfect ”in-between” solution.

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5. Stiletto Shaped Nails

You’ve seen those long and pointy nails. Stilleto nails remind of an actual stiletto heel – hence the same. This shape is a bold statement which is high-maintenance, so you should have a mind of steel if you’re going to commit to them. These look good on skinnier fingers and only longer nails. You will enjoy them as long as you don’t mind the fact that they demand upkeep.

You should get acrylics or gel nails to enjoy this shape the best. Once you do, shape them as much as you can on the sides till you get a fierce tip.

6. Coffin Shaped Nails

Coffin nails are great for those who love to follow trends as they have become popular recently thanks to celebrities such as Kylie, Kim, Halsey, and others who’ve been loving this unique shape. Coffin nail looks a lot like a coffin and it has tapered sides with a very straight edge on the top. You will love coffin as long as you love dramatic, bold & long acrylic nails.

Make sure your sides are very pointy and as slim as possible. Leave a bit more material just above your cuticles so the shape looks like a real coffin. Flatten out the edge and make it as precise as possible.

What If My Nails Are Short? How to File Short Nails

Well, unfortunately, you can’t really file short and brittle nails into every shape you want. Some nails will crack & peel, while others won’t look right with a fancy long matte ballerina nail, you know?

In order to emphasize the true natural beauty of your nails, make sure you:

  • Wash your hands – this will make your cuticles a lot softer and you will remove any unwanted bacteria that is still underneath the nail.
  • Use a nail file which has 300-600 grit. Don’t file too far into the side of your nails, and always hold the file parallel to the side of your nails.
  • Don’t use nail files which have a lower grit, and never use metallic files since these can damage your natural nails (especially if they are thin & brittle).
  • Never file at an angle, and always start on the sides. Once you get to the top portion use the file against the nail tip.
  • Buff out any unwanted residue with a nail buffer and clean your nails with some water or wet wipes.