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File these nine nail shape types under safe keeping for your next manicure

nail types

Rounded, square, almond or coffin, there is a range of nail shape types to choose from when having a fresh manicure. Whether you prefer shorter or longer nails, playing with the shape is a fun way to change up the look of your manicure every couple of weeks. If trialling nail art isn't your fancy, why not change your regularly almond-shaped nails to lipstick? Or rounded-square? For inspiration for your next manicure, we've rounded up the nine nail shape types to know. But first, a little housekeeping.

How do I care for my nails?

Before playing with nail shape types, it's important to understand how to care for your nails to ensure they are their healthiest between manicures. Keeping your nails dry and clean by wearing gloves when dishwashing and cleaning helps prevent bacteria from growing under nails. Using sharp manicure tools – like nail scissors and clippers – will ensure treatment is seamless, ensuring you cut nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curving action.

Avoid biting your nails as this can damage the nail bed, alongside using nail clippers to cut hang nails rather than tearing. Cuticle oil goes a long way, and daily application will help strengthen the nail in addition to hand lotion use. And, prior to applying polish, always apply a nail hardener as a protective layer.




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Ideal for short nails, round shaped nails extend only slightly beyond the nail bed and maintain their natural shape. It is typically the most popular nail shape, with many salons employing it as their go-to style when completing a manicure. For those who want stronger nails, the shape is ideal for supporting greater nail strength.




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Consider this an alternative to the round shape, yet with a touch of edge. Still easy to maintain, square style is when the tip is filed flat with a slight point at the edges of the nail and can be executed on both long and short nails.


Rounded square

Porque no los dos? Rounded, square nails are a staple for manicures across all salons. The shape is universally flattering as it is softer than its angular counterparts, while still maintaining a timeless quality. The shape allows for the nail to be an ideal canvas for nail art, if you fancy feeling adventurous.




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Popularised in the last three years, almond-shaped nails are an elevated take on traditional oval shaping. Narrow, with a rounded tip, the shape elongates hands and talons making them appear slenderer and delicate.




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As it sounds, stiletto nails are all about the point, height and packing a punch. Stiletto nails are an extreme, pointed take on the almond nail shape, bringing the drama and length. Beware of rubbing your eyes when this shape is your choice of nail.




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Much like stiletto nails, this contemporary take on nail shaping is one to handle with care, or scratches may ensue. Lipstick nails are angled, much like their namesake beauty product. If looking to change up your regular manicure shape, the lipstick nail shape is calling your name.




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Those with naturally long, strong nails frequently employ the oval shaped nail for a quintessentially feminine look. Much like the almond shape it has spawned, oval nails elongate fingers and hands, aiding in a slimming appearance.




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Square oval, squorval – whatever you call it, it’s a mash up much like square with rounded edges. This shape combines the angular contouring of square nails in tandem with the elongation of oval nails. If you have length and prefer more dimension than simple square, break it up.



An extended, tapered shape, the coffin nail is ideal for those with longer nails looking to combine a more angular look with a filed, squared-off tips.

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