Experimenting with different nail shapes is something we’ve all done when visiting the nail salon. It’s most likely that you’ve got your favourite, but have you ever thought about which nail shapes are best suited to you? 


From square to ballerina, there are plenty of styles out there that each have a different effect on the overall look of your manicure. We’re going to run you through the top 6 most popular nail shapes so you can decide which one is the most suitable for you. 

nail shapes
  • Oval
  • Almond
  • Ballerina
  • Square
  • Stiletto
  • Squoval 



The classic oval nail shape is known for being the most suitable style for everyone. The curved edges mirror the curve of the natural cuticle, making for a super symmetrical look. 


The tip of the nail is rounded rather than blunt, making it perfect for people looking to elongate or slim their fingers. Oval nails are usually quite short and sophisticated, so they’re the perfect shape to opt for if you want something understated yet chic. 


If you’re working with your natural nails, the oval shape is the way forward. A general rule is that your nails should be longer than your fingertips to pull off this look. You can simply file and round the edges of your nails to achieve this look.


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Don’t get Almond nails confused with Oval nails – there are subtle but very distinct differences between the two. You guessed it, this nail style reflects the shape of an Almond. Almond nail shapes should always have a smaller, pointier tip than the base, while still looking extra smooth. 


Think of the Almond shape as Stiletto nails’ quieter sister (more on that style later). This style is usually longer than oval nail shapes, thus elongating the fingers even more. 


Natural nails will struggle to hold the Almond shape without breaking, so they’re usually reinforced with gel or acrylic. If you’re partial to nail extensions but don’t want to go over the top, then this is the perfect nail shape for you.


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Ballerina (otherwise known as coffin) nail shapes, shot to popularity a few years ago thanks to Kylie Jenner and now people can’t get enough of them. One of the longer varieties, this nail shape tapers towards a blunt end, to resemble a ballerina’s slipper or the shape of a coffin. 


People like to go super long with their Ballerina nails, which leaves plenty of room for experimenting with dramatic and stunning nail art. Whether you fancy packing on embellishments or try out different ombre tones, this is the perfect nail shape to have some fun with your manicure. 


If you like the look of Stiletto nails, but want something a little less dramatic, then the Ballerina nail shape is your next best choice. However, they may not be the best option if you’re trying to elongate your fingers, due to their bluntness.


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Square nails shapes have been the OG for decades now. Square nails are filed to a precise flat edge with sharp corners for a super sleek look. You can opt for long or short when it comes to square nails, however beware of the bluntness and how this will affect the look of your hands.


If you have short nails or long nail beds, then this is the perfect style for working with your natural nails. Square nails should not taper or flare and should create the perfect flat tip. 


Nude, pastel or matte shades always look super cute on a short square set. Or go bold for the summer time and pair square nails with a tan. 


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Be prepared for questions such as ‘how do you go to the toilet?’ and ‘how do you open a can?’ if you opt for this nail shape. Stiletto nails are by far the most dramatic of the group and are designed for the sassiest of people to rock. This shape should be filed to precision with a super sharp pin-pointed tip to finish. 


If you want length, then Stiletto nails are the way to go. Super long comes as standard when you opt for this style, which can make it harder to do everyday activities. But it’s totally worth it for fierce nails! No natural nails are in sight when it comes to Stiletto nails, and you must use gel or acrylic to achieve this look. 


Just like Ballerina nail shapes, Stiletto nails allow plenty of room for experimentation. Play around with nail art and embellishments to amp up the drama! 


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The squoval nail shape is the perfect balance between the sharp square and the super rounded oval. This is the perfect style if you want a completely natural look. You can either work with your natural nails or strengthen the shape with some gel or acrylic. 


Not only do squoval nails look chic, but they’re also practical. If you want a pretty manicure, but you need to get things done then this is the ideal shape for the best of both worlds. This universally flattering nail shape can easily be achieved at home or in the salon. Simply flatten the tips of your nails and then round the corners with a sharp file. 


Like square nails, understated nudes or bright pops of colour work best on this style of nail. 


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So, now that you know which nail shapes are best suited to you, it’s time to start bringing them to life! Browse our online shop of gel polishes, nail equipment and nail art tools to create professional manicures at home or for your clients.