What acrylic nail shapes are there and how do you choose the best ones for you?
If you’re not sure what fake nail shape to get or you’re thinking of trying out a new shape, this post is for you.
In this post, we’ll look at 13 different shapes of acrylic nails.
We’ll explain each shape, look at the pros and cons, and share expert tips and advice for those thinking of getting fake nails done in that shape.
Let’s get straight into it.
BTW, make sure you read to the end because we’re going to answer all of your nail shape-related questions too!
Here’s everything we’ll cover in this post.
Types of acrylic nail shapes
First things first.
Here’s a full list of all the acrylic nail shapes:
- Mountain peak
You’ve probably already heard of most of them, but there may be one or 2 that didn’t know about yet.
Let’s take a closer look at each shape so you can decide which is the best for you.
Acrylic nail shapes: Round
As the name suggests, round acrylic nails have a curved top and are slightly rounded at the edges.
The free edges are supposed to mirror the curve of your cuticle, creating a “round” shape.
Round is one of the most popular shapes because they look very natural and are flattering on all hand shapes and sizes.
Round nails are very easy to maintain and they work very well for those with short nails.
The only downside of round nails is that they can be a bit boring and basic.
According to nail expert and founder of Lottie London, Charlotte Wright, the best way to combat this is to combine round nails with a bold pop of color.
If you want a long-lasting manicure that will keep you looking perfectly put together, then rounded nails may be perfect for you.
Oval acrylic nail shape
Oval nails are very similar to round-shaped nails but are slightly more elongated.
The main difference between oval and round nails is that oval nails are filed down at the sides to make the nails thinner and create a more pronounced oval shape.
If you want your fingers to appear longer and slimmer, oval acrylic nails are a great choice.
Like round nails, oval nails look very natural and elegant. They are also low maintenance.
Oval nails are usually slightly longer than round nails, so you will need your acrylic nails to have a little length to them to pull off the perfect oval.
If you have short fingers, oval nails can help them to appear longer.
Almond nails, like oval nails, are filed at the sidewalls to create an elegant, narrow, look.
The tip is then shaped like the tip of an almond, hence the name.
The almond nail shape looks beautiful but it doesn’t work well on natural nails (it’s not strong enough).
It is, however, the perfect choice of shape for acrylic or any other artificial nail.
Almond nails are typically longer (and a little more glamorous) than round or oval nails.
They also make your fingers look thinner.
Square-shaped nails, with their sharp edges and boxy appearance, are great for those with slender fingers and narrow nail beds.
It’s a popular nail shape that’s easy to maintain and works well for a variety of different nail lengths.
Certain types of angular nail art (think stripes, geometric and plaid designs) work particularly well on square-shaped acrylics.
Square nails are very stylish and chic.
But they’re not suitable for creating the illusion of longer, slimmer fingers.
As the name suggests, this acrylic nail shape is a square-oval hybrid.
The squoval shape is great for those who like the look of square nails but want softer edges for practical reasons.
Unlike the square nail shape, the squoval is universally flattering and works for all finger shapes and sizes.
If your nail beds are wide and or long, this shape is going to be perfect for you.
If you like long nails that make a bold statement, coffin nails might be for you.
Coffin nails are long, rectangular nails with tapered sides and very straight edges.
They get their name from the fact that they look like a coffin (or casket).
Coffin nails are perfect for those who want to add length and drama to their nails.
The only downside of coffin nails is that because of the extreme length, they are more prone to breakage.
Ballerina nails are shaped like a ballet slipper.
A lot of people lump coffin and ballerina nails together, but there are some key differences in the shaping of these two styles.
Coffin nails have very straight side walls and a wide, flat tip that gives them a severe and very angular look.
Ballerina nails in contrast, are more rounded at the sides and the tip is a little narrower.
This creates a much softer and more feminine look.
Ballerina-shaped nails are perfect for acrylics because you need strength to support a shape like this.
Like coffin nails, ballerina nails are not meant to look natural, but they are meant to wow.
If you want an eye-catching nail shape with plenty of attitude, stiletto nails are definitely for you.
Stiletto nails are long and thin with a sharply pointed tip.
They get their name from the fact that they look like the high-heeled shoe of the same name.
Because of their extreme length and sharpness, stiletto nails are not practical for everyday wear.
They are, however, perfect for a special occasion or night out on the town.
Just be careful not to scratch yourself (or anyone else)!
You know how your lipstick has that flat angled edge when you first open it?
Well, that’s the inspiration behind this nail shape.
Lipstick nails are square with a slant on one corner.
It kinda looks like someone took a samurai sword to the corner of each nail.
If you’re looking for a unique nail shape that’ll get you noticed (and a great talking point) then this shape is definitely for you.
Lipstick nails work for short, medium, and long nails and will make you stand out from the crowd.
If you love the look of stiletto nails but like to keep your nails a little shorter, the mountain peak is for you!
This lesser-known nail shape has a pointed end that’s a little less severe than stilettos.
It works best on medium-length nails.
Mountain peak nails are perfect for those who want a little bit of drama without going too extreme.
Edge nails are sleek, modern, and exciting!
The best way I can describe them is that they’re like little 3D sculptures on your nails.
The tips of edge-shaped nails have a sharp ridge in the center, and the sides seem to slope away from the center point.
This is a very unique and creative nail shape that is best done with acrylics.
The downsides of the edge nail shape are the sharpness (so not practical) and the fact that it’s a high-maintenance style that requires regular re-shaping.
Flared nails (aka duck bill nails) are a super fun acrylic nail shape to try.
Flare nails are very wide at the tips with straight sidewalls.
The overall shape is triangular.
This nail style is playful, eye-catching, creative, and unique.
It looks best with bold funky nail art.
It’s not a practical nail shape at all. It will get in the way and it will probably drive you crazy after a while.
Don’t say iI didn’t warn you!
Our last acrylic nail shape is the Arrowhead.
A slightly tamer version of the stiletto, this shape can be a great transition/tester shape for anyone who wants to progress towards longer nail shapes.
Arrowheads have a sharp point but they’re not as long or extreme as stiletto nails.
They look best on medium to long nails.
So there you have it, a guide to the most popular acrylic nail shapes.
Now let’s find out which shape is the most popular and why.
FAQs about acrylic nail shapes
What is the most popular acrylic nail shape?
Round nails are by far the most popular acrylic nail shape.
They look natural, last ages, and are easy to maintain.
What shape should my acrylic nails be?
It depends on the length and look you want.
If you like long acrylic nails, go for a coffin, ballerina, or stiletto nail shape.
If you are more comfortable with short to mid-length nails, round, oval, almond, or square might be better choices.
Maybe you don’t care about your nails getting in the way, then try edge, or flare-shaped acrylic nails.
What is the strongest acrylic nail shape?
Round and oval nails are the 2 strongest nail shapes.
These shapes do not break easily and can last up to 4 weeks without chipping.
Which nail shape is the weakest?
Long square and coffin nails are the weakest types of acrylic nails.
More people visit salons to get square and coffin nails fixed than any other shape.
What is the most difficult acrylic nail shape to do?
The most difficult acrylic nail shape to do is the stiletto.
This is because it requires a lot of precision and skill to get the shape right.
What nail shape is in for 2023?
2023 is all about the stiletto and almond-shaped nails.