Significance of Nail Shapes in a Manicure

With thousands of photos and idea shared on the ‘gram’; it is not easy to choose one perfect nail shape for the next manicure. Thinking about coffin-shaped tips? Too long to handle! Maybe, almond style will do. What about squoval? The struggle is never ending. This is why, we have created a guide to answer all your internal queries related to manicured nail silhouettes.

Without further ado scroll through to find out about the popular and trending nail shapes in the world of fashion and style!

Importance of Nail Shape in Manicures

At a nail salon, you need to make a plenty of hard choices, from choosing a right nail color to perfect length, art patterns and more. However, the shape of nails is the foundation of a good manicure in order to create fabulous fingers. Do you agree?

A perfect nail shape has the ability to change the whole look of your hands, and helps you stay in the limelight for your fashion sense. On the other side, in case of a wrong nail choice; your fingers can look unattractive and boring.

Although mostly nail shapes depend on your personality and preferences, but there are a couple of other things to consider as well to keep the equation right. For example, shape of cuticle area, length of fingers, nail bed width, thickness of fingers, overall shape of the hand, etc.

Type of Nail Shapes and Their Properties

Before you head towards a salon for a manicure; it is important to get familiar with the styles and variations of nails trending these days. Although there are several options available to select from, but you may find some basic nail shapes that are always in vogue.

Below, we have discussed a few silhouettes in detail, so you can precisely determine what suits you the best.

1. Oval-shaped Nails

The first one on the list is ‘oval shape’. It is one of the most common nail styles out there. In order to obtain this shape; the right way is to use a straight file and work on the length first. Once the required length is achieved, then go on the parallel nail’s sides (rails) and smooth out the corners to get an exact oval shape. Make sure that you don’t make them too pointed or round.

This style makes a hand look more slender. It is quite similar to the almond one, but oval tips are more delicate and blunter in comparison. The best part is, you don’t have to grow your nails big to rock this nail style; a little length will do great as well.

Oval nails are one of the best manicures to try because they are a good choice for clients with:

  • Thin fingers
  • Big hands
  • Short nails
  • Wide nail beds

2. Square Nails

Women with delicate hands, this one is best-suited for you! Square nails require sufficient length to achieve the desired style – a mid-length is preferred for this. The shape is all about flat corners and edges.

Square nails are suggested for those particularly who have slim, long fingers and thin hands. Secondly, if your nail beds are narrow and long, consider filing the edges bluntly next time! It gives your delicate hands a widening effect. Moreover, square nails are less likely to break or chip as compare to other forms; hence, making it a lowest-maintenance shape of all. Check out A Home Routine for Maintaining Natural Nails.

The color recommendation for the square manicure is bold, bright and glossy polish. It is great for:

  • Long nails
  • Narrow nail beds
  • Long fingers
  • Narrow and long nail beds
  • Thin hands
  • Slim fingers

3. Squoval Nails

As the name suggests, the third one is the combination of the two above-mentioned shapes. It is a great choice for anyone who is a fan of square nails, but also wants their hands to look slimmer.

To get a perfect Squoval shape, you need to first achieve the square style, and then work on the sharp, defined corners. Also, these nails are suggested to those who like flat edges, but not a fan of sharp corners. The shape is good for:

  • Wide hands
  • Thick fingers
  • Big nail bed

4. Round shape

The name says it all! Round style is all about curved up edges that work great for shorter length (especially). It gives the fingers an elongated and thinner appearance subtly. The style is simple yet versatile, classic and fuss-free. You know the best part about rounded tips? They are easily maintainable at home; thus saving your salon visits. Moreover, you can experiment any kind of nail colors with this one; from bright to neutral and unique tones, as per your outfit and mood.

Round nails are ideal for:

  • Short nails
  • Wide hands
  • Thick fingers
  • Small nail bed

5. Almond Shape

Almond tips are mostly confusing with oval shape nails; however, they are different in reality. Although almond nails also need to be filed from the sides like the oval ones, but the shape is more towards an actual almond (tapered towards the ends with a rounded peak) than an egg. Most of the time, natural nails are not strong enough to hold the structure; therefore, gel or acyclic nails are used to get almond tips.

The style doesn’t work on shorter nails, but it naturally suits thin and long nail beds. Thanks to the elongated silhouette; almond shape is bound to give a slimmer look to the fingers and overall hand appearance. Moreover, if your fingers are short, this style will give an extra length to your digits. The chic nail shape looks great in nude and neutral polishes, and allows you to rock girly as well as glamorous designs like a diva!

Almond shape works well for:

  • Long and thin nail beds
  • Long nails
  • Small fingers
  • Wide hands

6. Stiletto Nails

The next shape is all about creating drama! This style is basically a modernized version of almond shape in which the ends are much sharper, and the base is wider. For better idea; you can refer to the shape of an ice cream cone.

The silhouette is edgy, daring and popular among well-known celebrities, like Rihanna and Cardi B. It works best for narrow nail beds and long nails, especially with acrylics. Moreover, stiletto tips offer an ample space to work with, so you can create a lot of art designs with this one.

Stiletto nails are good for:

  • Short fingers
  • Narrow nail beds
  • Wide hands
  • Long nail beds
  • Small hands

7. Edge Shape

Do you wish to opt for a next eye-catching level nail shape? Try out edge tips! This style features points on the sides of nails which are filed to get a single pointy tip.

Edge-shaped nails are more towards an arrow kind of tip, but it is still less aggressive as compare to stiletto. In short, the silhouette comprises three points, including one single point at the tip along with two side edges. This shape is well-suited for:

  • Narrow nail bed
  • Short fingers
  • Elongated nail bed
  • Wide hands

8. Coffin or Ballerina Shape 

This one is the most trending style these days for all the good reasons! The shape is named ballerina or coffin because it resembles a ballet shoe or a coffin. It is narrow, long, tapered towards the ends with a squared up tip.

Although coffin shape is attractive enough to suit women of all age groups, but only ladies with long nails can flaunt the style. Besides, getting acrylic manicure is always an open option for anyone. The sophisticated and bold design looks great with moody tones, pale neutral hues and matte shades. Kylie Jenner nail shape is a perfect example of this one.

It looks good on:

  • Long fingers
  • Narrow nail bed
  • Wide hands
  • Long nails


If you wish to create this style with your natural nails; then it is suggested to use nail scissors for creating sharper lines. After that, buff the inconsistencies away with the help of an emery board. Always file in one direction rather scrapping in back and forth motion.

Which Shape Is Highly Recommended of All?

The choice is tough. It is not possible to suggest a single option for everyone because a shape may work well for someone but not look good on others. To solve your problem, we have created a comparison chart to assist you properly. Take notes of the shared knowledge and flaunt the insta-worthy manicure with style.

Name of shape

Reference shape

Suitable for

Nail colors/manicure  suggestion

Recommended nail length

Oval shape


Thin fingers, Big hands, Short nails, Wide nail beds

Nude, matte, pale

Short, medium

Square shape

Rectangle box

Long nails, Narrow nail beds, Long fingers, Narrow and long nail beds, Thin hands, Slim fingers

Bold, bright, glossy

Mid-length, long

Squoval shape

Straight line with rounded corners

Wide hands, Thick fingers, Big nail bed

French tip, glamorous, neutral

Short, long

Round shape

Upside-down Crescent

Short nails, Wide hands, Thick fingers, Small nail bed

Bright, neutral


Almond shape


Long and thin nail beds, Long nails, Small fingers, Wide hands

Earthy, nude

Gel, acrylic

Stiletto nails

Ice cream cone

Short fingers, Narrow nail beds, Wide hands, Long nail beds, Small hands

Neutral, nude

Long nails, acrylic, gel

Edge nails

Arrow head

Long fingers, Narrow nail bed, Wide hands, Long nails

French tips, bold color tips,

Long nails, acrylic

Coffin/ballerina nails

Coffin, ballet shoe

Long fingers,

Narrow nail bed, Wide hands, Long nails

Pale, neutral, matte

Long nails, acrylic

Don’t forget to check out the tips from experienced manicurists.

Manicured Nails – Wrap up

From accentuating nails to elongating short digits; the shape of a manicure can literally change the look of your hands and make them more attractive. This is why, choosing the right nail silhouette according the shape of your hand, fingers and nail beds is significant. Don’t overlook!

Fortunately, several styles of artificial nail enhancements are available in the market nowadays, including the ones mentioned above. Hence, if offers you the opportunity to experiment different shapes on your hands before the actual manicure. Isn’t it a cool idea?