The Essential Nail Shape Guide

The Essential Nail Shape Guide

The Essential Nail Shape Guide 


Written by Demi International



Want to do a nail manicure at home but don't know where to start, or what nail shape suits you best? Learning how to shape your nails is an important skill to learn, especially if you're dreaming of a career in beauty. To help you choose a nail shape that suits you, we've teamed up with the beauty professionals at Demi International.


Read on to learn about the most common nail shapes and learn which might suit you best now.


Round nails


Round nails are the perfect low maintenance nail shape, and look the most natural. These qualities make them perfect for anyone who loves a subtle look and works with their hands a lot: Think beauty therapists, makeup artists, or anyone who uses a computer daily.


Round nails will go with most nail polish colours, and suit a French Polish or light, natural shade of pink particularly well.


Square nails


A modern and sophisticated take on natural nails, the square nail shape has perfectly straight sides. The straight sides help strengthen the spot where your nail bed meets the free edge (the white part) - of your nail, which is typically a weak spot.


This shape tends to have a bit of length, and is suitable for French Polish, high gloss finishes, and bold, dark colours. Just be sure to watch out for the edges, as they can catch on your clothes!


Oval nails


Oval shaped nails are a longer version of the classic nail shape, and are ideal if you want a bit of length but love a classic, low-maintenance look. This nail shape suits most hands and nail bed types, but does require regular filing to preserve the shape - bear this in mind before deciding if this is the best shape for you.




If you've ever asked yourself "what shape should my nails be?" but couldn't decide between two shapes, the Squoval could be for you. Combining the square and oval nail shape, this is one of the most popular nail shapes and has a rounded edge that is less likely to catch on things.


Squoval nails look great with classic colours like red, nude, or pink, and are perfect for nail art as you have a larger area to decorate.


Ballerina/coffin nails


Named for their tapered ends with a straight tip, ballerina or coffin shaped nails are the most popular nail shape for 2020. The coffin has straighter side walls than the ballerina, which is slightly more rounded and softer looking. Whichever you choose, these nails are sure to make a statement. They're the best shape for nail art and look great with sparkles, crystals, or blinged to the max!




Similar to ballerina or coffin shaped nails, stilettos have long, tapered edges - the difference being that they end in a sharp point. The perfect statement nail shape, stilettos look amazing with strong, bold colours, lots of sparkles, and nail art add-ons.


Find the best nail shape for you today


Finding the right nail shape is about experimenting. Try a few different styles, keeping in mind how you use your hands everyday. Whichever nail shape you choose, let them be an expression of you - let your inner artist out.


Passionate about nail technology? Consider turning your passion into a rewarding career. Learn more about the Certificate III in Nail Technology course at Demi International and enrol today!