There are several different nail shapes out there that you can experiment with, and each shape will give your overall look a different attitude. From chic almond-shaped nails to sharp, pointed nails, here are nine funky nail shapes to try.
While some nail shapes look better with either longer or shorter fingers, your finger length doesn’t really matter with almond nails, as this shape really is so versatile. However, those of you who have quite narrow and long nail beds will be able to pull this shape off especially well.
What exactly are almond nails?
Think of the silhouette of an almond – it’s wide at the bottom, slightly rounded, and then quite pointed at the top.
This is quite a practical way to rock a pointier shape, but still be able to get lots done. It also gives you plenty of space to experiment with color and nail art! Although they are a little similar to oval nails (which are listed further down), they have more edge and attitude, giving your hands some extra drama.
Wondering how to get almond nails?
It’s easy, just follow these steps:
- Hold your nail file at a 50 degree angle against the left side of your nail
- File your nail, but do this in just one direction, as this will help to prevent your nail from splitting. The only exception to this rule is if you are using a glass nail file
- Repeat that step on the right side of your nail
- File the tip and sides of your nail into a “U” shape. Take it slow when working on this part, as you want the overall shape to naturally taper into a subtle point. If you file away too much of your nail, the finished look will be too sharp
You will likely need to re-file your nails weekly to keep them in their almond shape.
Any downsides to almond nails?
They do tend to be more prone to breakages and splitting, usually because the point doesn’t have much support, and almond nails are often quite long.
Just like almond nails, stiletto nails are pretty self-explanatory…
Their silhouette mimics that of a stiletto heel, meaning that they are long and end in a sharp point.
Stiletto nails definitely do have a fierceness to them, making it no surprise that this nail shape is favored by several celebrities out there. This shape also has the advantage of making your nails, as well as your fingers, appear quite slender and long.
Want to know how to file your nails into a stiletto shape?
Your nails need to be pretty long to begin with, otherwise you won’t be able to achieve this shape properly.
The technique itself is similar to that of the almond nails mentioned above. The difference is in the third step – rather than filing the tip of your nail into a “U” shape, you file them into a sharper point.
As you can imagine, the main downside to this nail shape is that stiletto nails are highly prone to breakages.
But, don’t worry, you can always go for gel or acrylic stiletto nails itself, as these will be much stronger. This is also a good option for those whose nails aren’t yet long enough to give natural stiletto nails a try.
Also known as ballerina nails, this nail shape mimics the shape of a coffin, or a ballerina shoe! It is basically quite similar to the stiletto nail shape, except that it features a flat top instead of a point.
When it comes to creating the coffin nail shape….
Follow the instructions for the stiletto nail, but then file your nail tips straight across into a flat, blunt edge. Think of it like a square tip, except that it happens to be on a tapered nail.
This is actually quite an easy shape to create and maintain, making it one that everybody should try!
Squoval nails suit just about everyone, whether your fingers are long or short. However, if your nail beds are quite wide and long, this is a nail shape that will help to balance that out a bit.
What exactly are squoval nails?
They’re a mix between square and oval. They are also referred to as the soft square shape.
This shape is a classy one, thanks to its squareness. However, the rounded tips make this shape much easier to maintain, as well as so much more practical. Although the edges are straight like the square nail, they aren’t going to snag or tear quite as much.
How do you get squoval nails?
You follow the steps above for the rounded square nail.
Then, you continue filing the top edge of your nail into a rounded curve. Do this very carefully, as it is so easy to file too much off at this stage.
Just like most of the other nail shapes on this list, you will need to re-file your squoval nails about once a week in roder to maintain their shape. Although the tips tend to naturally maintain their shape quite well, you will find that they don’t grow perfectly evenly.
If you want something even fiercer than stiletto nails, then pointed nails are the way to go.
Ok, so they don’t look that different from stiletto nails, but there are a couple of things that set them apart…
While stiletto nails are quite tapered all the way up, pointed nails are usually kept quite straight along the sides. Then, towards the top, the tip is filed into a triangular shape.
However, just like stiletto nails, pointed nails break so easily. It is also extremely difficult to maintain that point, as it doesn’t take much for them to become blunt. So, if you want to give pointed nails a try, you may want to opt for gels or acrylics instead.
If you still want to go natural…
Make sure that you apply a nail strengthener to your nails before you begin.
Square nails are quite versatile and low-maintenance, making them perfect for those who want a stylish nail shape, but don’t want to be spending too much time each week shaping them.
They work especially well on people who have longer fingers, as well as long and narrow nail beds, as they will help to balance these shapes out.
Since this nail shape follows your natural nail quite closely, it is also quite a strong shape. Unlike some of the other shapes mentioned on this list, square nails are much less likely to break, which is largely why they’re so popular.
Never had square nails before?
This is an easy shape to try. Here’s what you need to do:
- File straight across the top of your nail. Make sure that you file in one direction only, unless you are using a glass nail file
- Once you have reached your desired length, make sure that the square tip you have filed is clean and straight
- File underneath both sides of your nail, as this will help to straighten them. If the square tip of your nail is pointing downwards, you need to file the sides more. If the tip is pointing upwards, then you have filed too much
Wondering what you should do with the corners of your nails?
You have two options:
- Sharp Square – keep the corners quite sharp, giving the square shape of your nail more definition
- Rounded Square – this square shape features slightly rounded corners. To achieve this, simply give the corners of your nails a gentle file, just enough to take the sharp edge off
How long should your square nails be?
This is completely up to you. Square nails look great both long and short, so try them both to see which you personally prefer.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t go for square nails?
Yes. If your nail bed is naturally quite wide, then square nails are something you’re probably best off avoiding.
Because this shape will make your nails appear wider. If you pair this with a nail bed that is already wide, your fingers may end up looking out of proportion.
Trapeze nails are also known as flared nails or duck feet nails.
Because instead of narrowing towards the top, they flare outwards, with their shape being similar to that of duck feet.
If you’ve never seen trapeze nails before, this may sound a little strange, but they have actually been around for quite a while. However, they are making a bit of a comeback at the moment, which is why you have probably seen numerous variations of this shape on your Instagram feed.
Want to give this nail shape a try?
While it can be done naturally, this is something that many struggle with, especially if you want the flare to be quite dramatic. Fortunately, it can easily be done with acrylics, and also lends itself so well to nail art.
It goes without saying that this nail shape is highly prone to breakages, lifting and snagging. This isn’t a shape that you would wear every day, but it’s a great one to add some flair to your look for a special occasion.
Elegant, classy and traditional, oval nails are one of the more popular nail shapes out there.
Because they mimic the natural curve of the cuticle, making it flattering for just about everyone. It also makes the fingers appear more slender, enhancing the appearance of your hands. Even better, oval nails work well at just about every length, whether your nails are short or long.
Although oval nails may not be anything new, many people find it difficult to achieve the perfect oval.
Here’s how to do exactly that:
- The perfect oval nail needs to reflect the oval shape of each of your nail beds, so use your nail beds as a guideline
- Begin by filing down any sharp corners
- File your nails into an oval shape
- Once you are done, double check that each nail follows the shape of its nail bed. You should also check that all of your nails are the same length
- Finish off with a fine file to remove any roughness, making sure that you are continuing to file your nail in the same direction
The lipstick nail shape is ultra-dramatic, and is definitely one of the more unique nail shapes out there.
Never heard of the lipstick nail before?
This shape was inspired by a fresh tube of lipstick. It’s an asymmetrical shape that looks like a tilted triangle, just like a lipstick tip.
Let’s face it – this nail shape isn’t the most practical. You will need to spend quite a bit of time maintaining this shape, and it may also make certain day-to-day tasks a bit more challenging. However, if you’re looking for creativity and flair, the lipstick shape is definitely one to try.
How do you actually create the lipstick nail?
You need to first decide on which angle you want the asymmetry to be.
Then, on the side that you want to keep long, file the side straight up, just like you would for a square nail.
Once you get to the top, instead of filing straight across, file diagonally downwards.
Are your nails quite long?
Make sure that you place a finger underneath each nail as you file them. Your finger will act as a brace, keeping your nail straight and strong while you file.
You can really have so much fun experimenting with different nail shapes, and it won’t take you long to discover which ones flatter your hands the best. Whether you go for something classic, such as the oval or the square, or take a chance with the stiletto or the trapeze, these nine shapes will definitely add some extra style to your nails.