If you take your nail game seriously like us, then you probably already know all about the shades of the season. But what about the shapes? Gone are the days when a natural-looking shape was left in the hands of your manicurist. Now you can go as bold as your imagination (and day job) can handle – from fiercely pointed tips to angular lipstick-inspired styles. Here’s our ultimate guide to ALL the different nail shapes…
Spotlight on: Coffin Shaped Nails
Want to bring your nail art game bang up to date? It’s all about coffin-shaped nails RN (see also: ballerina nails – almost identical in shape, but very different name!).
The statement-making shape adds a new level of structural drama to nail art with its bold angles and flat tip. Best worn long (and faux, as they’re more likely to hold the shape), this shape instantly transforms talons.
Different Nail Shapes to Try
Straight up with sharp corners, the square nail was all the rage in the early noughties. No flaring, no narrowing and commonly styled short, they’ve got low-maintenance appeal.
Gently file from the sides and the tips to create an elegant, oval shape. If you’re a neutral-lover, an oval style makes for a minimalist blank canvas.
Like an oval, but sassier! Taking its shape cue from our fave nut, this shape is filed on the sides and ends with a rounded-out tip.
They bring the drama and elevate your look (just like your fave pair of killer heels), so it’s no surprise stiletto nails are hot right now. To rock stilettos, you’ll need to file your nails to the sharpest pinprick of an end. Or you can file the tip down for a square stiletto if you want to experiment.
Inspired by the tip of a fresh-out-the-box lipstick, this shape has a tilted, triangular peak. Made popular by creative manicurists of Insta, it’s said to be a more wearable long style. Simply keep a straight edge on one side and file down diagonally along the over, keeping the peak to the left on your left hand and to the right on your right hand.
Timeless, low key and extremely versatile, rounded nails have straight edges with a subtly curved tip.
Here’s a shape you didn’t learn about in math class. Squoval is the love child of square and oval nails, starting with straight sides before ending in an oval tip. You’ll need a bit of length for this one to nail it.
Some call them trapeze nails; others see them as flares. However you land, this shape expands as it lengthens, creating a look-twice backdrop to your chosen nail art design.
If fierce is your middle name, then a stiletto nail just isn’t sharp enough. Cue pointed, with its seriously pointy tip; it’s giving don’t-mess-with-me energy.
Bold, beautiful and taking Tik Tok by storm, edge nails are not for the faint-hearted. Spotted on super long (and super faux nails, don’t try this on your natural nails!), this shape is stiletto in shape, but on closer inspection, you can spot a raised edge in the centre, too, for a 3D effect. We’re all for DIY, but this one is better left in the hands of a professional.
Cut out nails
This nail shape starts its journey as a square, only for the tip to be cut out in an inverted half-moon shape.
Square round nails
A softer version of the square nail – this nail shape is all about softening the edged of the squared tip.
All you really need to experiment with different nail shapes are pro-level tools (and spoiler alert, your old nail file won’t be up to scratch, ironically). So it’s time to upgrade your at-home manicure kit…
About Elena Chow
Elena is a creative copywriter who's been around the beauty block for more than a decade, writing for brands and glossy magazines. A self-proclaimed fragrance addict (her 'open' collection is at 14 bottles, but who's counting?) with a try-anything-once approach to skincare, it's no wonder she loves penning pieces on our newest releases and must-try hacks.