All the Different Nail Shapes — Decoded

Long or short, your nails have so many pretty options!

Heading to the nail salon is always a treat, but with so many shaping options, it can be a little overwhelming to choose. Should you do almond? Try square? Squoval? Here's a quick refresher on each shape so you know what to ask for:

1. Round

This simple shape is perfect for short nails (even nail biters!), extending only slightly past your nail bed and maintaining its natural shape. But if some of the lengthier styles below appeal to you, try a formula like Sally Hansen NailGrowth Miracle ($7, ) to work your way toward stronger, longer nails.

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2. Square

If you want a shape other than your natural rounded one that doesn't take a ton of effort to maintain, ask your manicurist for a square shape with the tip filed flat. You don't need much of an edge to achieve it, so it's great for shorter nails.

3. Rounded Square

This version of square nails is a little less intense than its more angular counterpart, but it still looks put-together and is a great canvas for simple nail art.

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4. Oval

If you have longer nails and desire a slimmer, more feminine look, try this shape. Oval nails also make your hands look longer, so if you want to slim the appearance of your fingers, this is a good way to go.

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5. Squoval

As you might guess, this style combines the length of oval nails with the contouring of square nails.

6. Ballerina

If you have naturally long, sturdy nails and have the urge to try something unconventional, ask for this shape — or you could always test it out with fake ones! Use the Gold Finger Gel Glam Ready-to-Wear Gel Manicure ($8, ) for a trial run.

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7. Almond

If you want to take oval nails a step further, try almond nails. Narrow and ending at a rounded point, this shape elongates your hands and makes them look more slender.

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8. Stiletto

While impractical, this nail shape is undeniably cool. If you want to try it out, look for pointy press-on nails, like YuNail Chameleon Chrome Magic Mirror Stiletto Nails ($9, ).

9. Lipstick

This funky shape has a niche fan base. It could be fun for a special event — we just hope you don't wear s!

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