What is the perfect nail shape? This is a question with many answers because each and every one of us is different, our hands have different shapes, our fingers differ in length and our nails are also different. Nail art designs are aimed to help find the perfect manicure for each woman and those who realize the importance of the way they look know quite well that nails should be styled just like you style your hair and clothing.
Whether you are in a salon or you are doing your nails by yourself, the question – how do I want my nails filed – needs an answer. Nail design is not just about color but about choosing the best shape for your hands giving them the perfect contour to match your personality and lifestyle.
Just like with fashion in clothing or hair styling, a variety of nail shapes has been more or less popular for a certain period of time. Even nowadays choosing the right nail art is a serious matter. Women who have to follow corporate rules and strict guidelines for the appearance often face a problem since short nails are mandatory. It is the same with doctors, nurses and women working in many different industries. The good news is that short nails can look modern and neat and there are many gorgeous designs for short nails and of course, for the all-time classic French manicure. Let’s have a look at the most popular nail shapes – square or with rounded corners, round or oval, almond, stiletto and coffin (ballerina) – and see how they are different from each other and how you can achieve the perfect shape for you.
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Square nail shape
Square nail shape follows the natural width of the nails and is the perfect choice for women with long fingers and will look good for both narrow and wide nail beds. This is one of the most popular nail shapes where the sides are filed straight vertically and the tips of the nails are squarely shaped. However, women who have wide beds may consider some of the other options as the square shape may make your nails appear stubby. An advantage of the square shape is that it requires relatively low maintenance. This is the perfect choice for women who work with their hands and works for both short and long nails. However, when long nails are squarely shaped you may experience the problem of fabrics being caught on the edge. When you want to have square nails, you need to trim them to the desired length first and then shape them straight across with the help of a file.
Squoval nail shape – Square with rounded corners
The squoval nail shape combines square and oval and has smoothed corners and a softer look. It is considered as a universal as it looks good on almost anyone. Squoval nails are suitable for both short and long nails as it gives them a natural appearance and in addition, it extends the fingers visually. This shape eliminates the sharp edges of the square and there is no danger of fabrics being caught at the edge of your manicure. Furthermore, the nails are very durable, which is an important consideration for women working with their hands. To do your nails you need to trim them to the preferred length, file them in an oval shape and trim the tip in a linear manner.
Oval nail shape
Oval nail shape is known as the most traditional, elegant and feminine one. It combines round, square and almond options and is ideal for women who have broad nails as it makes the fingers look narrower and longer and gives the nails a balanced look. In addition, oval nails are very strong, easily maintained and the nails are least prone to breaking. Women who are attracted to the oval shape need to file the side walls straight and begin to round the corners by filing downwards from the tip. In the middle, the nail should have a gentle egg shaped curve. Oval shapes can be styled in numerous ways and almost any nail art will look beautifully but even if you used only a clear polish, your fingers will look in an amazingly sophisticated way.
Nail shapes – round nails
Among all shapes, the round shape is the easiest to maintain and the least one likely to break. It works for any length and looks good on all nail types. Short round nails are especially durable which makes this option the perfect choice for women with brittle nails. Round nails look good, elegant and the hands appear well-groomed at any time. Some people think that round shape is old fashioned while others think of it as classic. The fact remains – these nails have never gone out of fashion, so it is up to you whether to choose this universal and versatile, neat and simple nail shape or not. The round shape looks quite like oval on long nails. If you have short fingers, this is the ideal option for you, as it makes the fingers appear longer and slimmer.
Almond nail shape
Almond nails strongly resemble almond nuts with the round pointed tips and is similar to oval nail shape, except for the pointed tips. Almond shape is perfect for wider nail beds and shorter and thicker fingers as it makes them look slender and aesthetically pleasing. As a general rule, the tip of almond nails should be one-third of the length of the nail but it depends on you to decide what length suits you best. Shorter nails appear more natural and in addition they are strong and not prone to breaking.
Coffin nail shape (ballerina nails)
Coffin nail shape, also known as ballerina, is one of the hottest trends and is a combination between square and oval. Some even compare it with stiletto, except for the square tip. You’d hear that the form resembles coffins or ballerina slippers, depending on how the particular person sees the nail shape. Generally, this is a long shape with square tips. This option, however, is not suitable for women with brittle nails. It does require strong, healthy nails that are not prone to breaking or chipping. Ballerina nails provide a lot of opportunities for creative nail art but is not recommended to women who are actively playing sports. It is impossible to type quietly on a computer or wash dishes with such nails so those who work with their hands or need a more practical shape should not opt for coffin (ballerina) nails. However, if your wish to try something bold – this shape is the perfect choice!
Stiletto nail shape
Stiletto nails can look really extravagant and provocative and although some people confuse them with almond, the two shapes do not have anything in common. Stiletto nails have extremely sharp points which some women find intriguing while others find this type of nails too dramatic. This is the perfect nail design for women who are not afraid to experiment with a bold nail design but the most impractical one for everyday life, sports activities or business environment. Extremely long stiletto nails may look like witch nails and when styled in the wrong way, the nails may look vulgar and cheap. Many celebrities wear stiletto nails as the shape makes the fingers appear long and slender and undoubtedly their nails attract everyone’s attention. A major disadvantage of stiletto nails is that this shape is not strong and nails are easily broken. You’d rarely see natural nails shaped in stiletto style, most often it is done with acrylic or gel nails.