Are you an almond or a coffin? How to find your most flattering nail shape.

Up until five minutes ago, I didn’t know nails came in different shapes. I thought they just kind of… grew. 

My nails are the stuff of nightmares. If I had to describe the shape, I’d say ‘invisible’ given they haven’t grown past the end of my finger in the better part of a decade.

But as it turns out, when you go and get a manicure, you have far more decisions to make than just the colour of your nail polish. You actually select a nail shape.

These are the ten most common requests:

Image via Getty.


Oval nails suit both long and short fingers and can adapt to any width of nail bed. The shape requires a long nail - so won't suit a nail biter. It will make short or stubby fingers look longer, which is something everyone likes.


Like oval nails, an almond shape is great for short fingers. It will elongate fingers and make them look more slender. They are said to show off jewellery well and, fun fact, are particularly popular in Europe.

Image via Universal.


This is a perfect shape if you like to keep your nails short, but aren't a big fan of a round shape. They particularly suit long, thin fingers. Square nails regularly go in and out of fashion and have been adopted by celebrities like Gwen Stefani throughout the years.


Rounded nails are one of the most popular and practical shapes and never go out of fashion. They are low maintenance and look great painted in neutral colours.

Image via Instagram.


Squoval is the perfect hybrid of square and oval and is often said to be the most modern choice. It combines a square base with soft edges and is a great canvas for nail art. Squoval nails suit all types of fingers.



Ballerina nails are sometimes referred to as 'coffin' nails because of the long somewhat symmetrical shape of the nail. They are ideal for long nails and have been championed by social media darling and nail art aficionado, Kylie Jenner.

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Stiletto nails are often confused with coffin nails, but the former has a more pointed end and defined edges.

It is difficult to achieve stiletto nails without nail enhancements, given that the shape is particularly vulnerable to breakage. They are long and don't naturally have enough enforcement at the tip. Stiletto nails are for the brave.

Mountain peak:

If your nails aren't quite long enough for stiletto nails, mountain peaks are the next best thing.

They are perfect for experimenting with a singular statement nail and much more user friendly.

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Lipstick nails are ideal for people with slender nail beds, thin fingers and acrylic nails.

They are modern and edgy.


Edge nails are a lot like mountain peak nails but have more defined and sharp edges. They require long, most likely acrylic nails, and are susceptible to breakage.

So next time you book a manicure, take a look at all your different options and try something new.

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