How to find the best nail shape for your hands in 2024 (2024)

Whether you’re peeping your friends’ nails, scrolling through curated Pinterest feeds or glancing through a glossy mag, you’re bound to be coveting any number of Instagram-worthy styles. But perhaps the answer you seek sits a little closer to home; at your own fingertips. When you play to the shape of your hands, you find the best tricks to accentuating the good bits and minimising the not-so-good bits. So, what works for which hand types and how can you get the look at home? Well, we’ll tell you.

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How to find the best nail shape for your fingers: avisual guide to nail shapes

How to find the best nail shape for your hands in 2024 (1)

While there are more nail shape types out there than you can count on both hands, here are a few of our favourites for your perusal.

Natural

Whether they’re straight, flared or slightly uneven-shaped, natural nails will grow as they please; as nature intended.

Oval

The oval is a medium to long shape with straight-filed sides that end in a soft semicircle. While you don’t always need long nails to pull this off, a few millimetres of free edge extending over the fingertip will go a long way.

Square

Another low-maintenance style for both long and short nails, characterised by straight-filed sides and a straight-filed free edge. The square nail shape is known to add visible width to the appearance of your nails, so please wield them wisely.

Almond

A.k.a our all-time favourite shape because it looks great on everyone. The almond shapeis achieved by keeping a wide base and filing the sides into a tapered peak at the free edge.

Square Round

The square round nail or soft square is just that; a square shaped nail with softened corners. This is a great low-maintenance shape for growing your nails and can be achieved by straight-filing the sides and straight-filing the top of your nail before gently softening the corners.

Squoval

Imagine a rectangle with soft corners. Nice. Meet the squoval, a shape that captures the elegance of the oval with a flatter tip. Start by filing straight across your free edge, then around the corners in one smooth stroke.

Coffin

Also known as the ballerina, the coffin shape is the perfect blend of edgy and feminine. This lookcan be achieved by filing the nail into a tapered point with a flattened tip. Warning: You will need long and sturdy nails to pullthe coffin shape off.

Stiletto

The striking stiletto shape involves filing your nails into a dramatic pointed tip. While this is usually done with acrylics, you can achieve this look with strong natural nails. Grow your way to greatness with help from our Ultimate Nail Rescue set.

How to find the best nail shape for your fingers: what’s your hand type?

How to find the best nail shape for your hands in 2024 (2)

  • Hi-five hands: long palm, short fingers
  • Groundedhands: wide palm, short fingers
  • Piano hands: wide palm, long fingers
  • Generous hands: long palm, long fingers

You don’t need to be a palm-reader to see that all hands are unique. The proportion of your palm and the length of your fingers all come into play when finding the best nail shape for your hands. Now, let’s take a closer look to see what (great) hands you have:

Hi-Five hands: long palm, short fingers

Best nail shape: Oval. This shape will help make your fingers appear longer and more slender to balance out the length of your palm.

How to: Usea glass nail file to file the sides of your nails straight and gently taper the free edge into a semicircle.

Best for:Dramatic texts and even more dramatic selfies.

Not so great for:A casual round of volleyball.

Wear with:Kester Black Nail Polish in Fairy Floss; the“perfect balance between feminine pink and lilac,” according to customer Rhianna K.

Groundedhands: wide palm, short fingers

Best nail shape: Almond and Oval. Tapered shapes like almond elongate shorter or wider fingers. We recommend that you opt for rounded shapes in general, especially if you have a wide nail bed.

How to: File the sides of your nails so they gently taper to the tip, then round out the tip into a gentle curve.

Best for: Practical, low-maintenance wear.

Not so great for: Playing guitar or the piano.

Wear with: Kester Black Nail Polish in Petal. Fans like Sophie P. say it’s“exactly what I was looking for!” Not too shabby for this best-selling hazy beige.

Piano hands: wide palm, long fingers

Best nail shape: Coffin (or Ballerina). Theedgy coffin shape is enhanced by long fingers and balanced by a square palm. They do require some sturdy nails and regular TLC to avoid breakages.

How to: File the sides of your nails so they gently taper to the tip, then file the tip down parallel to the nail bed.

Best for: Gathering attention.

Not so great for: Weak nails or short nail beds.

Wear with:Kester Black Nail Polish in Black Rose. "So shiny, dark and glam!" saysJacinta G. "It's still on two weeks later."

Generous hands: long palm, long fingers

Best nail shape: Square, lucky you. You can get away with wearing this blunt look at any length. And they are one of the more practical, low-maintenance shapes to wear to work.

How to: Use nail clippers to flatten the tip of the nail down to parallel to the nail bed, smooth out witha glass nail file and slightly round the corners on each side.

Best for: Nail art. These little squares create the perfect canvas for your creativity.Have you tried our Bright Delight Nail Stickers?

Not so great for: Getting that last bit of product out of the tub. Sorry.

Wear with: Kester Black Nail Polish in Narcissist.With reviews like “deep, rich and dramatic”(thanks, Julia), just try resisting this decadent dark red.

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Wait, but what if you have short nails?

That’s cool. Harry Styles happily struts his stuff with perfectly polished shorties. There’s even a hashtag dedicated to celebrating short nails (look up #tortiesforshorties). But if your nails are short because they’re weak, brittle or damaged then it’s time to get your grow-on. Read our blog on how to treat damaged nails depending on your concernand restore them back to their former glory with our Ultimate Nail Rescue set.

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Summary

Before you go choosing nail shapes willy-nilly, we highly recommend you:

  • Find out what type of hand you have by looking at your palm proportion and finger length.
  • Enhance and elongate the appearance of your nails by matching your hand type to a suitable shape.
  • If you have short palms and short fingers, it's best to opt for rounded oval and almond shapes.
  • For longer palms and fingers, consider dramatic stiletto or coffin (or ballerina) shaped styles.
  • Almond shaped nails tend to suit everyone.
  • Incorporate natural nailcarelike our Ultimate Nail Rescue setinto your beauty routine for healthy, stronger nails - the perfect foundation for any manicure.

How to find the best nail shape for your hands in 2024 (3)

What next?

You’ve figured out thebestnail shape(s) for your hands (congratulations!), now it’s time to put it all into practice with 5 steps for the perfect at-home manicure.

Still not sure?

If you're still feeling stuck, we've compiled a neat little quiz to help you find your perfect nail shape.

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How to find the best nail shape for your hands in 2024 (2024)

FAQs

How to find the best nail shape for your hands in 2024? ›

If you have short palms and short fingers, it's best to opt for rounded oval and almond shapes. For longer palms and fingers, consider dramatic stiletto or coffin (or ballerina) shaped styles. Almond shaped nails tend to suit everyone.

How do you know what nail shape is best for you? ›

When choosing a nail shape, it is important to consider your hand type and personal style. If you have short nails, you may want to choose a round or oval shape to help elongate your fingers. If you have wide nail beds, you may want to choose a round or squoval shape to help make them look narrower.

What nail shape is best for aging hands? ›

Opt for a slightly rounded or oval shape, as it can give the illusion of longer and more youthful-looking fingers.

What nail shape makes your fingers look skinny? ›

Almond – The slimmer sides, gentle tapering, and rounded tip of this style make the hands and fingers appear slimmer. The overall effect is more feminine, elegant looking hands. Oval – This softer, blunter shape makes the fingers appear to be slimmer.

What color are summer nails in 2024? ›

Jelly Pink

Jelly nail polishes are an easy way to mimic the “popsicle-stained” effect and the formulas are especially pretty in pink. “The summertime is the perfect time to take advantage of all the different shades of pink… a soft pastel or maybe something neon but jelly pink will be the most popular,” says Janee.

Are ombre nails in style in 2024? ›

Los Angeles-based Celebrity Nail Artist, Queenie Nguyen predicts, “ombré nails with a white chrome topping” to be on trend for 2024. “The chrome finish will add a unique touch to the classic ombré nails,” she adds.

What nail shape breaks the most? ›

What Is the Weakest Nail Shape? Because of their straight-edge shapes, square- and coffin-shaped nails are more prone to breakage, Tuttle says.

Which nail shape is more comfortable? ›

The round nail shape is the most natural shape and therefore the easiest to make. It requires little filing and is suitable for people who don't have time for extensive nail care. Round nails suit people who like a classic and a timeless look.

What nail color looks best on me? ›

Fair Skin: Try a soft, blush-y pink, like Bubble Bath. Medium Skin: Look for a bright coral orange, like Enflammee. Olive Skin: Look for a peachy pink, like Got Myself Into a Jam-balaya. Dark Skin: Look for a vibrant violet, like Bold & Unshaken.

What nail shape is generous hands? ›

Generous hands: long palm, long fingers

Best nail shape: Square, lucky you. You can get away with wearing this blunt look at any length. And they are one of the more practical, low-maintenance shapes to wear to work.

What nail polish looks best on older hands? ›

“If you have a lighter skin tone, the color would differ depending on how fair your skin is, but corals, greens, and red would be good for older hands because it draws attention to the nails,” according to Orly. According to Orly, older adults with darker skin may look best in orange, gold, and gray shades.

What nail shape is best for over 50? ›

As a combination of square and oval shaped nails, squoval shaped nails are highly recommended for older women as they are an appealing of the classic oval and trendy square shapes that are both said to enhance the youthful and slender look of your hands.

What shape nails 2024? ›

According to Lee, geometric nails will no longer trend in 2024. Nails with a swirl design are expected to make a big comeback instead. "They have a fun wavy look that has always been popular," the expert told BI. "Plus you have so many different ways to create these."

Which nail shape looks natural? ›

squoval nails

they're universally flattering so if you're unsure which shape to choose, opt for a squoval. they're easy to maintain, never out of style and look beautiful on any width or length, but especially short to medium.

What is the nail inspo for january 2024? ›

As we kickstart 2024, there are many ways to approach your manicure. For example, the January birthstone is garnet, so sultry red nail looks are fitting for the month. Then there's the fact that January falls in the dead of winter, so anything icy or blue can work, too.

What is the most fashionable nail shape? ›

According to Denney, coffin nails are one of the most popular acrylic nail shapes, noting they look flattering on everyone. “They are super edgy and have the wow factor of a stiletto nail without the commitment and maintenance of a sharp, pointy nail,” she adds.

Which type of nail shape is timeless? ›

Similar to round nails, oval nails also champion a more natural, timeless look. Usually calling for more length, this nail shape tapers slightly towards the end, keeping a rounded edge at the top.

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