12 Perfect Nail Shapes

This guide will help you pick the perfect shape for your next set of nails.

It’s always a special treat to get a new set of nails at your favorite nail salon. When you pick the perfect shape, it will not get in the way of your daily life, and it will make your hands look amazing. To help you choose the best nail shape for your next set of nails we created this handy guide. What shape is your favorite?

Popular Nail Shapes

12 of the most popular nail shapes


This shape is clean and straightforward, you can add an accent nail to get those second and third looks at your nails. An amazing manicure is a must with this minimalistic design. Most people that choose this natural design get it with gel polish, but you can do a hard-gel or acrylic overlay too. It’s a safe and straightforward shape that doesn’t get in the way but can look amazing when done right.

  • Clean and simple
  • Great on all fingers
  • Great with gel polish


Oval nails are similar to natural nails but with more length. People with shorter fingers or those with wide nail beds can use this shape to create the illusion of longer fingers. This shape is great for people that have long fingers and wide but short nail beds.

  • Best on short or longer fingers with short nail beds
  • This shape mirrors the shape of the cuticle, so it’s very flattering
  • A versatile nail-shape looks great on all finger types


Square nails are similar to the round shape, but it has the top of the nail flattened to give it a square look, the goal with this shape is to match the nail at its widest point. There are different variations of this nail design; some square nail designs are tapered to the tip.  This shape works great for those with shorter nail beds or long and narrow nail beds.

  • Flat and sharp edges can snag
  • Ideal on shorter or long narrow nail beds
  • Creates the illusion of extra width


If you want the flat edge of square nails but you don’t like your nails to snag, this shape is for you. One of those nail shapes that is very versatile that can be used confidently by anyone because it looks great on any finger shape.

  • Elegant design
  • Pairs up great with all finger types
  • Snag-free option for those that like square nails


Almond nails are pointier than ovals but softer than stilettos. They were inspired by those that want the stiletto style with none of the danger. This shape has a broad base, slightly rounded on the sides of the free edge and pointed to the tip. Almond nails naturally create more nail real estate making them the ideal shape nail art. 

  • Safe alternative to stiletto nails
  • Ideal for nail art lovers
  • Works on all finger types


Rounded nails are the ideal shape for people that want to maintain the natural nail look but want more length. Thin longer fingers look amazing with this shape. This shape is perfect for those that bite their nails and those that want to start growing their natural nails. 

  • Good for those that want a natural look with nail art
  • Great shape for long thin fingers
  • Ideal for nail-shape for nail bitters


Stilleto nails are a fierce shape that can also be used for protection. The shape alone will surely get you many second looks. All finger types can rock this shape with confidence and can be paired with nail art when you have long nail beds. This sharp design can also be used as an accent nail to draw attention to a single finger.

  • Sharp and fierce!
  • Nail art with this shape looks best on fingers with longer nail beds
  • Try this shape as an accent nail

(aka Ballerina)

This shape is similar to stiletto nails in that both sides are tapered to the tip, but that is it. Stilettos (coffin nails) have a flat tip and resemble a coffin or ballerina slipper. The flat tip creates an optical illusion and will make your nails look wider than they are. Ballerina nails are a delicate nail shape that is prone to break if you are not careful throughout the day or new to using it.

  • Sharp like stiletto nails with the tip flattened
  • Delicate shape must be handed with care
  • Will make your fingers look long and amazing


This edge shape is very edgy in more ways than one. It’s a pointy nail-shape like many others, but the tip of the nail is on a spine. The spine sits slightly above the nail plate, and a slight crease is formed from the nail bed where the spine starts to the tip of the nail.  

  • Unique attention grabbing shape
  • Less aggressive point than other pointy shapes
  • This shape lends itself for nail art


This shape is very dramatic. It is created by filing one side to the other forming an angled tip. The tip resembles a lipstick. It’s a nail shape that takes some getting used to wearing. The angled tip makes tasks a bit harder to do, but you can have a hard time doing work looking FABULOUS. If you are not ready to try a full set of lipstick nails, try one as an accent nail to make your design pop. 

  • Sharp shape formed from one edge to the other  
  • Will make your daily tasks harder to do
  • Great accent shape

Mountain Peak

Mountain peak nails look like a not-as-dangerous version of stilettos but the tip is not as sharp, and the sides of the nail is curved inwardly slightly to a tip that is not as sharp. This is a classic shape that has a cult-like following by many nail salon enthusiast. This shape doesn’t work well on natural nails. It’s a shape that has to be reinforced by acrylic or hard get.

  • Delicate pointy shape
  • Popular design that works well with your daily tasks if they aren’t too long
  • Classic shape 

Duck Tip

Duck tip nals

Duck Tip nails flare out from the bottom of the nail and create a duckbill shape at the end of the nail. This is one of those shapes that will naturally get more attention because of it’s unconventional look. It works well with all finger types when the shape is formed following the natural curvature of the nail. 

  • Attention-grabbing shape
  • All fingers look great with this shape
  • One of a kind unconventional shape

Those are 12 of the most popular nail shapes. Every location has a shape that is more popular than others.  In our hometown of El Paso, we find that most of our clients ask for ballerina nails and rarely choose duck tip nails. When you are picking a shape, it’s crucial to remember all that the things you need to do, so your look doesn’t interfere. What nail-shape do you want to get next?