Six Common Nail Shapes

Six Common Nail Shapes

There are many popular styles to shape your nails these days. These aren’t your mamma’s long round nails! There are many reasons to change your nail shape. Some classically with stand breaks better. Some are better for peeling. Some are purely a matter of preference. I’ll share photos of the six shapes I see most often and discuss them a little bit.



The most traditional shape is probably round. Some people will try to mirror the curve of your cuticle to the curve of your nail. Round nails are typically on the shorter side. This shape withstands breaks and peels quite nicely. The rounded edges supply a bit kore give if you hit the nail on a hard surface or bend it.


The oval is pretty popular these days. An elongated version of the round shape, it has all of the benefits of the rounded nail, but because of the length is a bit more prone to breakage.


Square nails were all the rage a couple of years ago. They’ve fallen out of favor a bit, but you still see them around. Squared off exactly with harsh edges, this shape is a common victim to corner chips and peeling.


Also pretty common is the squoval. You may be able to guess, but it is a combo of squared and oval. Squared nails with softer, rounded edges. This shape is the most durable and the most forgiving based on the length of your nail. It looks good short or long.


Stiletto nails are growing in popularity! Also known as almond shaped, they really do look awesome, especially in longer lengths, but are not particularly practical. The point makes them particularly fragile as well, so you often see this shape used on someone who has gel or acrylic overlays.


Another highly fashionable, unpractical shape is the coffin. Best for long nails, this is a stiletto/almond shaped nail that has been squared off at the end. It is possible to keep this shape up if you have natural nails, but if you do anything with your hands, you’re going to want to get an overlay done with this shape as well.

What is your go-to shape? Which is your favorite? I pretty much always squoval, but would love to be able to rock a stiletto!

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