Five nail shapes for your next manicure

When it comes to shaping your nails, there is no ideal shape. The shape of your nail will largely depend on personal preference, however, certain nail shapes are stronger than others and allow for the nail to grow without breaking. We’ve put together a list of the most common nail shapes and what defines them:

Nail shapes

The round nail shape is the most conservative shape and it is also the strongest. This shape is ideal for short nails as well as nails that are weak and prone to breaking. The round nail shape is ideal for men and is best suited to a wide nail bed as it creates the illusion of a thinner nail.
Get the look: File your nails short and shape them to follow the curve of your fingertip.

The oval nail shape is suitable for both wide and narrow nail beds as it adds length to the appearance of the finger. It is not a very strong nail shape, so it is best suited to nails that are thick and wide.
Get the look: Grow your nail to a medium length and file the tip into a very subtle point or egg shape.

The square nail shape is the classic French manicure shape. This shape is best suited to long nails and a wide nail bed as a short square nail will make the finger appear shorter.
Get the look: Once your nails have grown to the desired length, hold a nail file at a 90° angle to your finger and file the nail straight across to create an angular square shape.


The squoval nail shape combines the strength of the square nail with the elegance of the oval nail. This shape is very popular as it is suits most fingers and nail bed shapes.
Get the look: Create a square nail shape and then file the corners down ever so slightly to create a soft curve without removing the square tip.

The almond nail shape is a classic shape and is currently popular amongst celebrities as it is an ideal shape for nail art. The shape of the nail creates the illusion of slim fingers. Due to this shape, it is not strong and is best suited to thick nails that are not prone to breaking.
Get the look: Grow your nails to a medium length and file the sides of your nail into a tapered soft point.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Nail files explained
Nail your personality
Spring nails 2012
Rescue my nails


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30 Responses

  1. My nails naturally grow in a squoval shape and then later start to look more oval. I tend to just maintain them but the natural shape suits my hands. I love the slightly more square shape but my nails keep breaking at the tip and getting snagged when I shape them like that.

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