From Simple to Eccentric: Alluring Nail Shapes People Can Spot a Mile Away

Have you been in a situation where you are at a nail salon and a nail technician lists nail shapes as if she was reading the terms and conditions of a product on TV? The names went by in a blink. 

I had to do a double-take with an “excuse me” for her to double-back. This time listing the names slowly as you would to a kindergartener. Her overt impatience did not get to me. However, my lack of knowledge, I realized, was the bigger problem.

Asides from square, round, oval, stiletto nail shapes, I am at a loss for what other shapes I can wear. The whole experience ended with the nail technician showing me samples of other lovely nail shapes that are more exquisite to look at.

I left the salon with a nice set of nails in pretty sunny yellow nail colors. Nonetheless, the nagging feeling remained. I had to admit to myself (as much as I hated the idea) I was still an amateur when it came to nails.

So I got to researching, as I always do when I am less informed about a topic. And the other nail shapes I got to learn of are just as alluring and delectable as the well-known traditional ones.

If you are planning to get a manicure and don’t know what nail shape to choose from, I have listed the best alluring and trendy nail shapes you would need to up your nail styling game.

Read Also: 10 Simple and Unique Nail Polishes for Your Skin Tone

Trendy Nail Shapes

nail shapes

Picking a complementing shape from the myriad of nail shapes is more like picking a weapon and shield for battle. It’s what completes your lifestyle expression; therefore, you have to pick the right one.

Going with this, you have to make the right choice from the wide list of nail shapes. Moreover, knowing the best and trendy picks makes it easier, making a weighty decision.

1. Rounded Nail Shape

nail shapes

This will always be a major nail shape. It’s easy to fall back on this shape for a simple and noncommittal style. The shape is round at the tip and angles, creating a curve at the edges.

The round nail shape is great for narrow and also short nails. Its best feature is its dull curves, which create a conservative manicure. The simplicity of the shape is what makes it outstanding, especially when used for simple nail art.

2. Oval Nail Shape

oval nail shape

Oval is more natural-looking, imitating the curves of your fingertips. It can be seen as an extension of your finger. As long as the curves and cuticles are filled, the shape makes your fingers look longer.

It is great for creating an illusion of long and narrow fingers for those with short nails. You can wear the nail shape with bold colors or astonishing nail art. The nail colors you should wear with the shape include reds, metallic shades, orange shades, or any trendy season color.

3. Almond Nail shape

nail shapes

You can describe this nail shape as close to an oval shape. However, the nail is more elongated and then tapered at the sides, creating a curved dip. When you see the nails, you think of an almond’s shape.

However, it is versatile. It can blend with a nude natural look, or with bold colors. You can wear any color or style. Although, it fits simple and single colors better.

4. Square Nail Shape

nail shapes

A square nail shape is characterized by sharp square or rectangular angles 90 degrees at the edges. You can have it at any length you want.

People pick the square shape because of its precise angles. Furthermore, it has stronger tips that are good for sturdy and active fingers. However, a short square nail shape would make your fingers look stubby. This means narrow or slim fingers pull it off best.

You can wear any kind of color or elaborate nail art with it. In addition, you can wear it as short or long as you crave.

5. Squoval Nail Shape

squoval nail shape

This is a mash-up of square and oval nail shapes. The nail shape is universally flattering, which is a blend of curves and edges. The tips are flat, but rather than have an angled shape, it has a round shape.

The round edges look closely similar to a natural curve. Consequently, it is more comfortable and soft on the edges. You won’t feel the sharp edges snag on your skin.

This shape is one of the most popular go-to nails. Furthermore, it fits perfectly with any nail art and color.

6. Stiletto Nail Shape

stiletto nails

Stiletto has the most unique design of the rounded-edged nail shapes. The shape is sharp and tapered to a thin tip. It mirrors the heel of a shoe with its extremely sharp edge.

Also, it elongates your nails, making your fingers look slimmer. Additionally, your nails will look fierce with their sharp edge.

The nail style is great for nail art, especially arts and designs that accentuate the tips and highlights them. However, it is best worn with long nails. It brings out the dagger-like tips.

7. Ballerina/Coffin Nail Shape

ballerina nail shapes

You can call it whatever name fits, but whichever name you search will always bring out the same shape. The Ballerina or coffin nail shape is a long stiletto-shaped nail with a square tip and tapered edges.

It is a combination of many elements. However, it looks like a ballerina pointe shoe or a coffin, therefore the name. Moreover, it is one of the trendiest nail shapes on social media due to its simple and eye-popping design.

The shape is exquisite because it gives the illusion of longer and slimmer fingers. It also works for edgier nail art. You can play or express your creativity on the empty and long canvas.

8. Arrowhead Nail Shape

arrowhead nails

Arrowhead nail shape takes its cue from the stiletto. However, the nail’s tip is shaped like an arrow, with a wide tip and a shorter sharp point. The point is also softer than a stiletto. Nevertheless, it is pointy.

9. Flare Nail Shape

flare nails

This edgy look can be spotted on those who love aesthetic and theatrical nails. It is designed with a wide and flared flat edge. It looks like a duck’s feet if you are looking for a precise description.

The flare starts at the tip of your real nails. This shape comes out best with acrylic nails.

10. Lipstick Nail Shape

lipstick nails

The edgy look is also a favorite of people who love to experiment with their nail shapes. It has a niche. The asymmetrical look features a diagonal edge that resembles a lipstick tip.

Contrary to the shape’s look, the creator Park Eunkyung a.k.a Unistella, says the style was conceived to provide comfort and convenience to the wearer.

You can wear it with any bold color to bring out the edges. Alternatively, you can wear nail art that highlights the diagonal tip.

11. Edge Nail Shape

edge nails

This pointed shape also gets its inspiration from the stiletto nail shape. However, the nail shape is less aggressive than an arrowhead and stiletto. The ridge is raised from the center of the nails, and then it curves at the tip rather than a sharp point like the others.

You can use acrylic to create the edge nail shape. The acrylic nails curve neatly at the center.

12. Mountain Peak Nail Shape

mountain peak nails

Love mountain tops? Then peak is for you. The stiletto nail shape family member shapes like a mountain peak at its tip. However, the tip is usually short but pointier. You can wear it any style or color of nails you want.

13. Pipe Nail Shape

pipe nails

Pipe nail shape has an oval shape that thins like a pipe. The nail also has a slim bed but edges curve into a semi-circle, looking like a pipe. It looks like an edge nail shape but without the raised ridge.

The nail shape is playful and attractive. Plus, you get to have fun with your nail art design.

How to Choose Nail Shapes

Like I got stuck and overwhelmed when I wanted to pick a nail shape, you can too. However, you have a better chance of picking the right shape for your nails if you follow this guide.

1. Type of fingers

Whether you have stubby or slim fingers, you have to pick the right nails that complement your fingers. For instance, stubby fingers should wear nail shapes that elongate and slims their fingers. Shapes like stiletto, pipe, almond, or ballerina would look great on them.

On the other hand, slim fingers can wear square, squoval, oval, flare, mountain peak, or edge. Furthermore, they can wear any type of nail shape due to their slim features.

2. Colors of choice

You would likely choose your nail shape before choosing the colors you want. However, for cases where you have a pre-determined color or nail design you are interested in, it can influence your nail shape.

For example, simple colors like brown, nude, transparent pink, white, or ivory call for simple nail art styles. Round, square, oval, almond, and squoval are nail shapes that would match these nail designs. The colors would not underwhelm them.

If you are going for a more elaborate design or color, you can think of unorthodox nail shapes like a stiletto, mountain peak, flare, or arrowhead.

3. Your activities

Your daily and weekly routines also determine what type of nail you choose. Busy and active hands would have to forgo stylish nail shapes like stiletto, pipe, flare, or arrowhead. Contrarily, less active hands have the freedom to experiment.

Similarly, if you work in a conservative or white-collar office, you would need conservative nail shapes and colors to grace your hands.

4. Length

It would be a waste to have a pipe for short nails. The shape wouldn’t be optimized for short nails. The same goes for flare, edge, mountain peak, and sometimes stiletto.

Meanwhile, you can wear almond, square, oval, squoval, and rounded shapes. They have a more natural look to them.

See Also: 15 Tips To Help Make Your Nails Stronger

FAQs on Nail Shapes

nail shapes

What are the best acrylic nail shapes?

Nail shapes like a stiletto, edge, mountain peak, arrowhead, square, and squoval are best made with acrylic.

Acrylic nails are created by layering a thick acrylic paste on the nails until you get your desired shape. This makes them the most used to create unorthodox nail shapes.

Read Also: Get Your Ultimate Professional Finish With the Best Nail Lamp

Why should I know trendy nail shapes?

You need to know what trendy nail shapes are available to make the best choice for your nails.

You can wear the shape that fits your hand the most, staying in trend. Furthermore, you can wear dramatic styles if you love unconventionality.

What are the easiest nail shapes to maintain?

Round-edged nails are the easiest to maintain. They are also the stronger nail shapes.

Nails with sharp edges and cuts would need to be constantly managed to keep their shape and design. On the other hand, the round-edged nails do not have sharp or pointed angles.

What are the best nail shapes for short chubby hands?

Pointed nails.

Pointed and edged nails make short chubby hands look leaner. You can go for almond, coffin/ballerina, or stiletto nail shapes if you have chubby hands.

nail shapes


If you love your nails and get manicures frequently, you will definitely be riddled with what nail shape to wear from time to time.

Apart from familiar traditional nail shapes, there are other stylish and not-so-traditional nail shapes. You can wear them whenever you want. However, you have to wear them according to your choices.

The length of the nail, your activities and lifestyle, nail colors, and the type and shape of your fingers all play a part in what nail shape you wear. After all, you want a style that would complement you in the best possible way.

Nevertheless, whatever nail shape you pick, along with the right nail polish color and nail art would give you the best nail experience.

Meanwhile, I would be going back to the nail salon ready with my red buzzer answer.

Thanks for reading.

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