How to Find the Best Nail Shape for your Hands
Looking for ways to give yourself a makeover? Instead of reaching for the scissors and attempting a haircut, why not reach for a file and try a new nail shape? We’ve scoped out the best nail shapes for your hands, with a few tips to guide you along the way.
The world has more nail shapes than we have fingers, but we’re on hand to help you select the right angles for your nails, so you really can enjoy your perfect mani. Before we get started, take a good look at your hands. To flatter those tips, you’ll need to find the best nail shape for your hands by figuring out the shape of your cuticle and nail bed. Simply push back your cuticles with a cuticle stick to look at your true cuticle shape, then get started.
Start shaping by filing the sides down and narrowing them out a bit. Depending on the shape you're going for, you will go more or less narrow. For best results, file in one direction to lessen the fraying of the nail. Once you get the sides down, start to refine the tip to get your final shape.
Looking for more insider info on how to shape natural nails? If you're a nail pro, head to our OPI Service Education course on Nail Anatomy here, or watch the video below to get started.
Best nail shape for your hands: Round Nails. This shape elongates your fingers and makes them look slender. Round nails also make wide nail beds appear thinner. Start by filing and following the natural shape of the fingertip. Then, flip your hands and check the symmetry of the curve.
Best nail shape for your hands: Oval Nails. This runway favorite elongates nails in both width and length. It’s similar to an almond shape but a tad more blunt. File each side of the nail, and slightly curve your file toward the center of the nail to create an egg-like shape.
Best nail shape for your hands: Almond Nails. Slender at the sides and slim at the base, this is an instantly flattering shape. File each side of the nail, and shape the tip by narrowing the free edge to create a peak.
Best nail shape for your hands: Square Nails. If you have long, narrow nail beds and like a short length, this is the shape for you. Looking for extra length? Acrylic fans rejoice, long square nails are the perfect canvas for trending shades and nail art. Achieve this shape by filing in a straight line across the free edge.
Best nail shape for your hands: Squoval Nails. It looks good on everyone! This universally flattering nail shape looks good on short and long fingers. Part-oval and part-square, this is super easy to maintain on short nails. Start by filing straight across, then round of the corners in one long stroke, connecting the free edge together. Flip your hands towards you and adjust as needed.
Best nail shape for your hands: Stiletto Nails. This is a shape made for long nails (we recommend with acrylics) that ends with a sharp statement point. This is like an almond shape, but more pointed. Find the center of the nail tip, then shape both sides by filing into a slight taper towards the nail tip. Next, begin shaping the tip by narrowing the free edge to create a peak.
Best nail shape for your hands: Ballerina Nails or Coffin Nails. This shape requires salon maintenance. Long, slim and squared off at the tip, this suits long, slender fingers and angled cuticles. They’re called ballerina nails (or coffin nails) as the tip resembles a pointed shoe. Looking for something with a bit more edge? Try a related shape with coffin nails, this shape is slightly more angled than ballerina nails and is less rounded when it comes to the sides of the nail.
Best nail shape for your hands: Lipstick Nails. Be a trendsetter! Like your favorite shade, this squared nail style slants diagonally for a seriously unique nail shape.
Best nail shape for your hands: Long Square Nails. If you have long, narrow nail beds and prefer a long length or acrylics, this is the shape for you. Trending shades and nail art like an ombre look well on long square nails. Achieve this shape by filing in a straight line across the free edge and parallel to the sidewall. Perfect for filing down into other shapes when wanting to switch up for something different. This shape is also one of our fave nail tech @chaunlegend's signature shape for the Kardashians.
You’ve found the best nail shape for your hands, now it’s time to choose your perfect shade. Browse our trending shades!