Switch Up Your Mani With One of These 7 Nail Shapes

By: Marisa Petrarca | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Switch Up Your Mani With One of These 7 Nail Shapes

So you can finally learn the differences between almond, stiletto and coffin.

If you’re one to put a lot of thought into your nail look prior to your appointment or DIY mani sesh, then you’ve probably spent several hours of your life trying to decide on a nail polish color and nail shape. Or perhaps you have no idea what the difference is between the seven different nail shapes — or that there were even seven different nail shapes to begin with. Either way, we’re here to help.

We reached out to celebrity manicurist Skyy Hadley to give us all of the information you need to know to differentiate between the seven different nail shapes — including which one will look best for your natural nail shape and lifestyle.

Check out Hadley’s definitive nail shape guide, below:

1. Square

Square nails are pretty self-explanatory. They are square – they’re flat on top with straight, sharp corners. This shape is less subtle than the almond or oval shapes, so you’re probably the type of person who doesn’t mind trying loud colors or exploring nail art. The key is to avoid making nails look shorter, which is what this shape tends to do.


2. Squoval

Square oval or squoval nails are perfect if you’re into the flat edge of the square but hate the sharp corners. This universally flattering shape has softened corners for the best of both worlds. This is for someone who is simple yet elegant.


3. Round

Round nails are very popular and are always recommended for clients who tend to think of their fingers as short and chubby. Round and almond shapes elongate and makes hands look more slender. This round shape suits most nail types and is the perfect base for trying out new shades and textures.


4. Oval

Oval nails are very similar to the shape of almond, but the tip is soft and much more blunt. Sorry, nail biters – oval and almond shapes only work with longer nails.


5. Almond

Almond and oval nails are a very common pick for celebrities. Almond nails are slender on the sides and wide on the base, coming to a peak — reminiscent of an actual almond. Try this if you have a wider nail bed, as it draws the eye to the narrowing tip.


6. Stiletto 

Stiletto nails are all about the drama. Shaping this spiked look starts off the same as its nuttier counterpart, the almond, but ends at a much sharper point with a wider base. Avoid dark colors like black and semi-black purples and reds. Think haute, rather than Halloween. Try this if you have a short nail bed as the space needed to create the tip adds length.


7. Coffin

This shape is similar to the stiletto but with a squared off tip that makes it look like a coffin. You can pull of the coffin look off with a natural nail, but it will hold up a lot better with false nails.


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