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How to find the most flattering nail shape for your hands

16 August, 2017 3 min read

Nail shape inspiration is everywhere, if you’re looking. But your best nail shape inspo should be your own hands and fingers.

Nail shape inspiration is everywhere, if you’re looking. Whether you’re peeping your friends nails, Rihanna’s latest talons, or looking to the catwalks, you’re bound to be coveting any number of styles.

Perhaps, though, you should look closer to home.

Your best nail shape inspiration should be your own fingers. Not to mention your nail beds themselves. When you play to the shape of your hands, fingers and nail beds, you find the good tricks. You know, how to accentuate the good bits and minimise the not so good bits.

You do you, as they say.

So, what works for which fingers? Well, we’ll tell you. But first, let’s familiarise ourselves with the classic shapes we can choose from.

The best nail shape for your fingers: a visual guide

Nail shapes for short, slim fingers and narrow nail beds

You can rock almost any nail shape, but elongating nail shapes are your secret weapon. These shapes will transform your petite hands by creating the appearance of extra length and extra sass.

Almond and oval - These shapes work if you keep longer nails. Both shapes will create the appearance of extra length. As the almond shape is more tapered the effect will be more dramatic than oval. Almond shaped nails also suit naturally long, thin nail beds.

Sky. Image via.


Round - A short style that still creates an elongating effect due to the naturally curved shape. It’s subtle, but it works.

Quartz and Fairy Floss. Image via.

Squoval - Typically you want to avoid square nails as they shorten the appearance of fingers. However, the naturally rounded edges of this shape can make the fingers look wider and longer.

Image via.

Nail Shapes for short, wide fingers

To give the appearance of longer or more slender fingers, avoid any nail shape that blunts the end of your nails. These shapes are your go-to when you want to flirt with proportions. It’s a trick of the eye that is worth playing with.

Almond and Oval - These elegant nail shapes help to make wide fingers appear slimmer and short fingers to look longer. They work best on medium to long nails to really create an elongating effect.

Round - Use this shape if you like to keep your nails short but still want to create the appearance of longer fingers. It also makes the nail beds themselves appear longer and slimmer

Coffin, Ballerina or Stiletto - These are definitely the more dramatic nail shapes. The coffin, or ballerina, and stiletto shapes have serious elongating effects. The coffin comes with the added edginess of blunt tips. Be warned, your nails need to be long and strong to pull this off.

Image via.


Nail shapes for long, slim fingers

Any nail shape will be your friend, but a couple of shapes will give you the extra edge. Blunt styles look particularly flattering on your elegant digits. The added bonus is they are super easy to maintain.

Square - This shape is elegant with an edge. It creates the subtle illusion of slightly wider fingers and hands, and balances out your natural length. It’s straight edges and square tips work with short to medium length nails.

Bubblegum. Image via.


Squoval - This shape is everything about the square shape, just a bit softer with its slightly oval edges. It’s also one of the most low-maintenance styles, as it’s far less prone to breakage.

Nail shapes for long, wide fingers

To balance out the proportions of your fingers, subtle lengthening styles actually work wonders for you. Go for nail shapes that require medium to long lengths and watch your fingers transform.

Almond - The slim sides, gentle tapering, and rounded tip of this style make the hands and fingers appear slimmer. The overall effect is more feminine, elegant looking hands.

Oval - This softer, blunter shape also makes the fingers appear to be more slender. For low-maintenance nails that make your hands look awesome, this is your shape.

The lucky thing is, nails grow back! So experiment with your nail shape until you find the shape you love.