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Choosing the best nail shape for your hands

The Best Nail Shape for your Hands


As a nail professional, I see many clients complaining that they wish their fingers were longer, or their nail beds (the area the nail plate sits on) were different. Even though we can’t change the shape of either of them (you are born with a certain shape of nail bed), there are clever ways in tricking the eye to make them look longer, narrower or anything else you want, by changing the shape of the free edge.

The Different Shapes and how they Alter the Nail’s Appearance

Choosing your nail shape depends on your personal preference, the natural shape of your nail beds and your lifestyle. Here are some popular nail shapes and their characteristics to help you choose which one is best for you.

Oval Shaped Nails

Oval Nails
Photo by Chantelle Ayres on @nails.bellavita

Oval-shaped nails are considered classic and feminine, being similar to an almond but a bit more blunt. They have softly rounded edges that follow the natural shape of the fingertip, helping elongate nails in both width and length.

Square Shaped Nails

Square Nails
Photo by Chantelle Ayres on @nails.bellavita

Square-shaped nails have straight, flat edges and sharp corners. They provide a clean and modern appearance. Square nails can make your fingers appear wider and are well-suited for those with longer and narrower nail beds, and especially if you like shorter nails.

Round Shaped Nails

Round Nails
Photo by Chantelle Ayres on @nails.bellavita

Round nails have curved edges that mimic the shape of the fingertip. Round nails offer durability as they do not have sharp corners that are prone to breakage, and it elongates your fingers and makes them look slender. Round nails also make wide nail beds appear thinner. 

Almond Shaped Nails

Almond nail shapes
Photo by Chantelle Ayres on @nails.bellavita

Almond-shaped nails are tapered with a rounded point at the tip, resembling the shape of an almond. They can make the fingers appear longer and slimmer. Almond nails are elegant and versatile, suitable for both short and long nail lengths.

Coffin/Ballerina Shaped Nails

Ballerina Coffin Nails
Photo by Chantelle Ayres on @nails.bellavita

Coffin or ballerina-shaped nails have a squared-off tip and tapered sides, resembling the shape of a coffin or a ballerina’s pointe shoe. This shape offers a trendy and edgy look, especially when paired with longer lengths. It requires a lot of upkeep, so like the stiletto, you must commit to regular salon visits.

Stiletto Shaped Nails

Stilleto Nails
Photo by Chantelle Ayres on @nails.bellavita

Stiletto nails are long and pointed, similar to the shape of a stiletto heel. They create a bold and dramatic appearance. Stiletto nails require longer lengths and maintenance due to their pointed shape, but are incredible to elongate fingers!

Squoval Shaped Nails

Squoval Nails
Photo by Chantelle Ayres on @nails.bellavita

Squoval nails are the chameleon of nail shapes, these nails look good on everyone! Part oval and part square, it’s a very easy to maintain style, especially on short nails.

Choosing the Right Nail Shape

When choosing a nail shape, take into consideration the facts above about your hand size and nail bed shape.

More importantly, your lifestyle, and personal style preference, it’s also vital when choosing. Is your job really hands on? Maybe it’s best to choose a style without many sharp corners, as these can get caught, bump into things and become blunt, which will change the shape.

How much time do you have to spend in the salon? Some shapes require more maintenance than other, as seen above.

Experimenting with different nail shapes can help you discover the one that suits you best.

Additionally, consult with a professional nail technician who can provide guidance based on your specific hand and nail characteristics.

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