8 Different Nail Shapes And How To Achieve Them

Picking the right nail shape is just as important as picking the right nail color!

Reviewed by Gabrielle Richens, Skin Therapist
Written by Shalini Roy, MA (English Literature)
Edited by Asmita De, MA (English)
Fact-checked by Vaishali Sinha, MA (Comparative Literature)  • 

Beautiful and manicured nails are attractive and make you appear gorgeous. If you are someone who wants to flaunt your nails but are confused with the ideal shape that makes your nails appealing, look at the types of nail shapes you can opt for.

You can achieve any shape, whether oval, round, stiletto, square, squoval, almond, or ballerina. So, say goodbye to unkempt and filthy nails. Having perfectly manicured nails is not an ordeal, and you can get them done by experts or by trying at your home.

But before that, let us look at the complete list of various nail shapes. Keep scrolling to check them out!

protip_icon Keep In Mind
  • Finger and Palm Shape: Finger and Palm Shape Get round-, oval- and almond-shaped nails if you’ve short fingers and palms, whereas go for stiletto- or coffin-shaped nails if you have longish palm and slender fingers.
  • Nail Health: Finger and Palm Shape Certain nail shapes may put more stress on the nails. Round nail shapes are considered to put the least amount of stress on the nail bed and is a healthier choice.
  • Nail Care: Finger and Palm Shape A balanced diet, including foods that are rich in biotin, iron, and zinc can strengthen nails. Regularly moisturize your nails to keep them shiny.

Image: Shutterstock

What If I Can’t Grow My Nails Out?

Now, you may be thinking, since you can’t grow out your nails, you can’t do much with them apart from the basic round. Well, I’m here to tell you that it is not so! Here are some tips for those of you who suffer from nail breakage.

  • Acrylic Nails: When you have very brittle nails, and you want to go for various nail shape options, it’s best that you go for acrylic nails. They are quite sturdy, and the chances of them breaking are very less.
  • Gel Nail Polish: I personally love getting gel nails. Firstly, it lasts SO much longer than just regular nail polish, and the shine of the nail polish that everyone loves stays the whole time! Another huge advantage for all my fellow weak-nailed women is it makes your nails so much stronger by adding an extra layer. Do not peel them off, no matter what! Soak them in acetone and remove them accordingly. You can find a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to remove them here.
  • Cuticle Nail Oil: A lot of people tend to ignore using this but it helps to make the nails grow out stronger and keeps them healthy. Make it a practice to apply it every night before going to bed.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Take biotin supplements or biotin-rich foods like nuts, whole grains, cooked eggs, cauliflower, and bananas to strengthen your nails.

Let’s take a look at the various nail shapes so that you can figure out which one tickles your fancy!

Types of Nail Shapes

1. Round Shaped Nails

Image: Shutterstock

This is probably the easiest shape to maintain. If you want something low maintenance but still want your nails to look good, this is probably the shape for you. This is also very easy to do.

Just shape them square initially, and then follow the natural curve of your finger tips. This is the best look for those who find it difficult to grow out nails.

Best Suited For: All types of fingers.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Round nails are best for short, chubby fingers. They look minimal yet chic.

2. Oval Shaped Nails

Image: Shutterstock

This is considered to be a more traditional shape. It was extremely popular in the late 1900s and early 2000s. This nail shape gives your nails a very elegant appearance. To achieve this nail shape, file around the sides in order to get an egg-like shape. It is great for those with short fingers as it makes the fingers look longer.

Best Suited For: Short fingers.

3. Square Shaped Nails

Image: Shutterstock

These nails are squarely shaped at the tips. This is probably one of the most popular nail shapes. It’s a good choice as far as nail shapes go as the risk of it breaking is less since it follows the natural width of your nails. To get these nails, trim them, and using a nail filer, shape them straight across. Clean up the edges in case of any roughness. If you want a variation you could also go for tapered square nails that are narrower and sharper toward the length and edges.

Best Suited For: Long fingers with wide nail beds.

4. Squoval Shaped Nails

Image: Shutterstock

A variation of the square and oval, the squoval or the soft square, is another popular choice in the world of nail shapes. While it is easier to manage because of its rounded edges, the classiness of the square shape still remains as is. For these nails, shape your nails in an oval as you normally would, and then shape it across the tip to square it out a little.

Melissa, a blogger, shared that when she started painting her nails, she filed them in a round shape. However, she states in one of her blog posts, “My only problem with the rounded look is that the sides of my nails are very weak, and often the sides would begin to slowly wear away.” Due to this, she shifted to square nails with slightly rounded ends. She adds, “I love this look on my short nails but find that when they get longer my nails look huge! Apparently, your nails are stronger if they are shaped square or squoval and that has been my experience so far (i).”

Best Suited For: Any type of fingers.

5. Almond Shaped Nails

Image: Shutterstock

This one is much like the oval shape, except that it’s a little more pointed at the top. It is wide at the base and slender along the sides. Come to think of it, it takes the appearance of an actual almond. To achieve this, find the center spot at the tip of the nail and shape both sides so that it makes a peak at the center point. Then, smoothen it out, so that there aren’t any sharp edges.

Best Suited For: Short fingers.

6. Stiletto Shaped Nails

Image: Shutterstock

You need some guts to pull this one off. It’s not very common, but celebrities like Rihanna go for this look all the time. This nail shape gives your nails the appearance of being long and slender. Same as in the case of almond nails, find a center point and start filing from each side to meet the point. This nail shape may cause the nails to break off easily so it’s best to use acrylic or gel nails for this one. If you want sharp point nails but not as sharp and long as the stiletto nails, you could go for arrow or arrowhead nails that have a shorter point but more dramatic angles. Another alternative is a mountain or mountain peak nail that curves slightly to form a tip that is not as sharp as a stiletto nail.

Best Suited For: All types of fingers.

7. Ballerina Shaped Nails

Image: Shutterstock

This is a more subtle version of the stiletto nail shape. It follows the same shaping technique. Find a center point and file the nails along the sides to that point. After that, square out the tips. Doesn’t it look like a ballerina slipper? This one is a good choice if you want to go for something bold, but still keep it comfortable. Due to how long the nails have to be for this type of nail shape, it is recommended that you use acrylic or gel nails. This is a favorite of Kylie Jenner.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Ballerina nails are also known as coffin nails as some believe their coffin shape takes gothic inspiration.

Best Suited For: All types of fingers.

8. Flare Nails

woman with flare nail shape
Image: Created with Dall·E

Flare-shaped nails, also known as duck nails or flared nails, are a trendy and eye-catching nail style that adds a touch of flair to one’s manicure. Characterized by a wide, squared tip that gradually flares out from the base, these nails offer a unique and bold look. The broader tip provides ample space for intricate nail art, decals, or vibrant polish. Flare-shaped nails are favored for their ability to elongate the fingers and create a visually striking appearance. This nail shape has gained popularity for those seeking a fashionable and confident statement, offering a stylish departure from traditional nail shapes.

If you do not want to follow the other traditional nail shapes and want to go a bit dramatic then you can go for flared or duck feet shaped nails, nails shaped as lipstick, or pipe nails.

Infographic: Different Colors For Different Nail Shapes

Properly manicured nails can take your nail game to the next level. In order to do that, it is important to know which color is suitable for your nail type. We have compiled a list of colors suitable for different nail shapes.

Check out the infographic below to know more.

different colors for different nail shapes (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

When it comes to the shape of your nails, the options are endless. From round, oval, and square shapes to squoval, almond, stiletto, and ballerina – you can shape your nails in so many different ways. But before styling them, make sure you are taking care of their health. Eat healthy, stay hydrated, sleep, and do not forget to apply a cuticle nail oil to prevent breakage. An ideal lifestyle will help maintain the health of your nails and make them look refined and stylish. Go ahead, and try the shapes you love.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the strongest nail shape?

Oval nail shape is the strongest because the wide nail bed makes it least prone to breaking.

What nail shape is the weakest?

Stiletto nail shape is the weakest as it makes the long and slender nails more prone to breaking.

What is the most natural nail shape?

Squoval is one of the most natural nail shapes.

Which nail shape is more feminine?

Oval nails are known to be the most feminine.

Key Takeaways

  • Use cuticle oil to nourish your nails and keep them healthy.
  • You can apply gel nail polish to give a protective layer to your nails.
  • Try sharper nail shapes, like a square, stiletto, or ballerina, to have an edgy vibe.
  • You can opt for classic shapes like almond, round, or oval to accentuate your soft hands.


Learn how to shape natural nails into beautiful shapes. Follow these easy steps and you will have perfect nails in no time. Watch now!

Personal Experience: Source

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