The ultimate nail guide: Find your perfect nail shape

Heading to the nail salon or taking time for a DIY manicure is always a treat, but with so many shaping options, it can be a bit tricky to choose. And yes, learning the myriad of nail shapes out there isn't where your nail education stops —you also have to figure out which nail shape is right for you. That’s why we’re here at DUFF to guide you. Take note of our ultimate mani guide that can help you to choose a nail shape that suits your style, nails, and hands.

First, to figure out which nail shape flatter your hands and fingers, check the shape of your cuticles – if you have a round cuticle shape, then a round nail shape will flatter your hands.

Keep scrolling to get our guide to the different nail shapes, including options for short, long, and natural nails, whether you're looking for something classy, simple, fun, or a strong statement shape, so you know which shape to go for when you’re doing your next manicure.

But just like everything else in the beauty world, trying new colors and styles is just a fun add-on to everyday life – plus a great way to express yourself! So, just like experimenting with colors and patterns you normally wouldn’t wear, trying out new looks and nail shapes can provide a sense of empowerment (and maybe, who knows, you’ll find a better, new look).

Round nails

The round nail shape is perfect for short nails (even nail biters!), extending only slightly past your nail bed and maintaining its natural shape. As the tip of the nail is filed like the arch of a perfect circle, this shape is perfect for anyone who wants to elongate the fingers – as it makes the fingers look narrower and makes wide nail beds appear thinner.

Oval nails

If you have longer nails and desire a more feminine look, try this shape. Oval nails are natural looking, but gently filed in on the sides to elongate the nail, and it can give the illusion of making your fingers look longer and slimmer – which may be partly because you need longer nails to achieve the shape, why your nails must grow slightly beyond the fingertips.

If you have longer nails and want a more feminine look, then the oval shape is definitely worth trying. And if you want to treat yourself with a gorgeous and easy mani, the On The Edge, Modern French, Golden Peach, and Wild Berry press on nails all have a beautiful, oval shape. In addition, the shape is perfect for experimenting with trending colors, especially a vibrant pink, which is one of the season's most trending colors in nail art. And with Wild Berry, you’re set up for success – both in shape and color!

Square nails

If you want a shape other than a natural rounded one that doesn't take a ton of effort to maintain, try a square look with the tip filed flat. You don't need much of a tip to achieve it, so this nail shape is great for shorter nails. If you have narrow nail beds and slim fingers, the look is the perfect shape for you too.

On the other hand, if you're concerned with short or chubby fingers, let your nails grow out a bit longer – ‘cause short and square is the hardest shape to wear, as it can make hands appear stumpy and fingers look shorter.

If you wanna experiment with this elegant and stylish look, our Marble Arch and Ballerina press on nails both got the beautiful, square shape – definitely worth trying!

Squoval nails

As you might can guess by its combined name, this style combines the angular contouring of square nails with the length of oval nails. It's great if your tips have some length and you prefer a bit more dimension.

The squoval nail shape is a universally flattering shape that looks good on short and long fingers.

Coffin/Ballerina nails

If you have naturally long, sturdy nails and have the urge to try something unconventional, try this extended, tapered shape with a flat squared-off tip. The look is mimicking the shape of a coffin or a ballerina pointe shoe and is tapered on the sides with a straight edge on the tip – both chic and strong.

The beautiful ballerina nails are a favorite among people who are really into nails and love everything about them.

If you don't have long or sturdy nails yourself, but have completely fallen in love with the look of dancing ballerina nails, then you should take a look at our Vintage Rose and Double French press on nails!

Almond nails

If you wanna take oval nails up a notch, try an almond shape. Almond nails are narrow and end with a rounded tip. The shape elongates your hands and makes them look more slender. In addition, the shape is the perfect canvas if you want to experiment with colors and patterns.

It’s sexy, slenderizing, and strong – why it’s the chicest nail shape in the fashion world. Milky Way and Cappuccino Swirl are both designed with an almond shape and are a perfect choice if you wanna give your look a feminine, sexy touch.

Stiletto nails

Long, pointy, and dramatic – perhaps the three best words for describing the stiletto nails – as the nails are filed to a point, like a claw. While perhaps not being the most practical shape, this nail shape definitely makes a statement – why the shape has seen a recent surge in popularity.

The stiletto nails are a perfect match for you, if you got a more daring fashion style, and want to sport a nail look that is outrageous and noticeable.

If you want this shape to be truly wearable, look for pointy press-on nails, gel, or acrylic nails to reinforce your nails.