Woman getting a manicure

Sometimes a good mani-pedi is just what you need to feel refreshed, beautiful, and ready to take on the day. When you walk into a nail salon, it’s hard enough trying to decide which color you want when dozens of options are staring you in the face. Figuring out which nail shape fits your preferences can be a complex dilemma because it can make or break your manicure. 

The next time you feel like treating yourself to a luxurious manicure at a nail salon in La Mesa, go in prepared to pick out the perfect shape for a stunning finished product. Learn all of the various nail shapes and names with this guide! 


Keep your manicure classic and simple with one of the most popular nail shapes—round. This shape has straight sides and curved edges to follow the natural look of your fingertip. Go for round to have a neat and low maintenance manicure that’s pretty, but also functional.

Best For:

The round nail shape is ideal if you have narrow nail beds or want to elongate your fingers. Plus, it looks great with short nails (which is a plus if you’re a nail biter).


Perhaps one of the most beloved nail shape ideas is square. Just like the round nail, square is practical and requires very little upkeep. Ask your manicurist for this look and watch as they file the sides of the nail straight while flattening out the top. In the end, you’ll have sharp, straight corners that’ll give a nice scratch!

Best For:

Opt for square-shaped nails if you love being practical and stylish. These nails work great if you find yourself typing away on the keyboard for work or pleasure. Try it with short or long nails and narrow nail beds and you won’t regret it.

Rounded square nail shape idea

Rounded Square

Need a happy medium between square and round nails? Rounded square is a popular nail shape that’s just as sleek and functional, but with softer edges and corners. Even though it’s less angular than square, rounded square nails have a sophisticated style that can be spiced up with nail art.

Best For:

This nail shape idea is best for those with short or long nails and narrow nail beds.


As you most likely guessed, squoval nails are a mix between square and oval-shaped nails, combining the length of oval nails with the contouring of square nails.

Best For:

Squoval nails are your go-to option if you’re a fan of the flat edge but would rather not deal with sharp corners. Squovals give you a beautiful compromise that’s easy and functional.

Oval-shaped nails


For a slimming effect, try oval-shaped nails. While they may sound similar, oval and round nails are quite different. The oval shape is achieved by filing down the sides as well as the tips of your nails, creating a more obvious curvature.

Best For:

Oval nails are a must if you have longer nails and want a slender, graceful shape. They elongate your hands and slim down the appearance of your fingers. 


If you’ve already tried oval and like it, you can also experiment with another popular nail shape that varies slightly—almond. Chances are, you’ll be obsessed with this nail shape too because it follows the same slender style. Just as the name suggests, almond-shaped nails resemble an actual almond with tapered sides and a round peak. 

Best For:

This nail shape idea works best under the same circumstances as oval-shaped nails; however, it may not be the smartest choice if you work with your hands. 

Natural nails are usually too weak to support the almond shape if put under stress. If you choose almond-shaped nails, we recommend reinforcing them with gel or acrylic to strengthen the structure and avoid broken nails.

Stiletto nail shape idea


What do you think of when someone says stilettos? Sharp and pointy. That’s exactly where this popular nail shape got its inspiration. Stiletto nails are all about fierceness and being bold. Watch your manicurist and you’ll see that shaping starts the same as with almond nails, but finishes at a much sharper point with a wider base.

Best For:

If you want nails that stand out, stiletto might just be the right choice for you. While they’re cool to look at and great for ice cream cone art, you should keep in mind that they’re hard to maintain with easily breakable tips. That being said, if you don’t work with your hands too much, stiletto-shaped nails are a unique nail shape idea to try.


Don’t be fooled by the name! Coffin-shaped nails bring your fingers to life with a creative design. This striking shape is characterized by tapered ends that are squared off.

Best For:

Coffin nails are yet another popular nail shape that will definitely draw attention for their interesting look. Perfect for special events, this shape is best for those with long, strong nail beds that provide plenty of support. If you don’t fall into this category, you can still give them a shot by going with a short coffin nail that is less prone to breaking.

Now that you’re an expert on the most common nail shapes and names, you’re ready for your next manicure at the best nail salons in La Mesa! Whether you prefer simple and practical or bold and dramatic, the perfect nail shape for you is right at your fingertips. Be sure to visit Paradise Nails & Spa or Spa & Co. for exemplary customer service and luxury manicures.

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