8 Popular Nail Shapes & How to Achieve Them


If you're a beginner learning the basics about the nail industry, here's a guide to help you out! One of the quickest methods to determine your ideal cuticle shape is checking your cuticles. However, you shouldn't allow it to stop you from experimenting with various forms. 

There's a variety of styles to choose from, including classic oval-shaped nails and dramatic stiletto-shaped nails. Read on to discover the eight most popular nail shapes and how to file them at home.

1. Oval-Shaped Nails

Oval nails, which were popular in the 1990s, are now considered the standard nail shape. Nails with an oval shape can create the illusion of longer and slimmer fingers. Oval-shaped nails are ideal if you're going for a more feminine and refined appearance.

Steps to get oval- shaped nails:

  1. File the sidewalls of your nails to make them even and straight.
  2. Then, file around the sidewalls to get an oval (egg-like) shape. Make the angles similar on both sides.

2. Round-Shaped Nails

Round-shaped nails are the easiest to maintain. Short-nail wearers will appreciate round nails because they're adorable and reach just past your smile line. In addition to being simple to care for, round nails look great. Nail biters will love this simple design because it only extends a fraction of the way past your nail bed while still maintaining its natural form. As a result, it's the most common nail shape to see people sporting.

Steps to get round- shaped nails:

  1. Prepare your nails by first filing and shaping them into squares.
  2. File along the natural curve of your fingertips or the smile line of your lips. If you have a wide nail bed, round nails might make it appear as if your nails are thinner.

3. Square-Shaped Nails

Nails with square shapes require less management as well. This nail shape is perfect for those with broader nail beds to get the desired effect of making them appear narrower. 

It's easy to get square nails with a bit of experience. Square-shaped nails will last longer if you don't have brittle or weak nails. Try a square design with a flat tip for an alternative form to the naturally rounded one without much maintenance.

Steps to get square- shaped nails:

  1. File the sidewalls of your nails after clipping the tips. Check to see if the sidewalls of your nails are straight and parallel to the tips.
  2. After you've shaped the nails into a square, smooth the edges with a file.


4. Squoval-Shaped Nails

You might be wondering what a squoval nail shape is since it sounds peculiar. A squoval strikes the ideal balance between a square and an oval. It's a unique shape that is manageable to wear because of the curved edges.  

This nail shape blends with square nails' angular contours and with oval nails' long length having a little more dimension rather than square or round; your tips should have some length to them.

Steps to get squoval- shaped nails:

1. Make the sidewalls equal and straight like the square nails by filing them.
2. When your nails are rounded at the tip, continue filing the edges until smooth.
3. Next, file across the tip and edges to remove any roughness.


5. Almond–Shaped Nails

Try an almond shape on your oval nails to spice them up a notch. This nail form, which is narrow and ends in a rounded tip, lengthens and slims your hands.

This nail shape is often known as having a pointed nail shape. Almond-shaped nails get their name from their form, narrow on the sides and wide at the base.

Steps to get almond- shaped nails:

  1. Mark the free edge's center to get this shape. 
  2. File the sides of your nails to form a peak at the central place when you've located it.
  3. Finally, use a nail file to smooth off any rough or jagged edges gently.


6. Stiletto-Shaped Nails

Vibrant and a touch theatrical all in one package. These star-studded claw-like nails are a celebrity favorite because of their star power. This nail design elongates and slims your hands. 

 A pair of stilettos with well-maintained tips suggests a high-class yet low-effort lifestyle. Nails of this form are filed in the same way as almond-shaped nails are. The shape of these nails may not be the most practical, but they certainly make a statement.

Steps to get stiletto- shaped nails:

1. Mark the middle of your nail tips to get a stiletto shape.
2. Begin filing the sides and create another peak in the center. The main difference between this nail type and almond-shaped nails is that the former is significantly more pointed in shape.

7. Ballerina-Shaped Nails

The ballerina nail shape resembles the pointé shoe of a professional ballerina and is also known as coffin-shaped nails. The ballerina-shaped nail is pointed like a stiletto, but it's subtle: it has a flat trapezoid-like tip.

Steps to get ballerina- shaped nails:

1. To begin, choose a central point at the tip of your nails. You can use a ruler or a tape measure to do so.
2. File the sidewalls until you reach the central point, then go to step two. After that, remove the pointed tip from your nails by squaring them.

8. Lipstick-Shaped Nails

Lipstick-shaped nails get their name from the fact that the cut angle mimics that of a lipstick tube. It's a seductive nail shape that's perfect for formal affairs. Nail art fans love this unique angled form. It could be fun to wear for a special event but proceed with caution, especially near your eyes.

Here's how to get these nails in the shape you want:

  1. The sidewalls should be filed in the same manner as the square-shaped nails.
  2. The tip should be filed to be longer on one side than the other. Finish by filing away any rough spots on the tip and edges


There are so many nail shapes that you can try. The trick is looking for nail designs that will suit you and your style. You can always get inspiration from our iGel Facebook community on what your nail design should be.