Entering the nail salon can feel like stepping onto a battleground. Depending on your nails’ size and shape, it could feel like there are more limitations than possibilities. Whether it’s stressing that your nails are too short for a dark color, or wishing your lifestyle could allow for a stiletto mani á la Cardi B, selecting a shape can mean a war between what you want and what you’ll end up asking for. So, you settle on a non-committal “squoval” or “sqround” shape, without truly knowing what you’re getting. “Those two shapes do not exist in my world,” says Art Nail NYC founder Sataya Stone.
Instead, she prefers modifying tried-and-true styles, such as a true square or round shape. Along with Stone, we tapped celebrity and editorial nail experts Mazz Hanna, Brittney Boyce, and Elle to discuss modern takes on age-old nail shape trends. They explain where to get specific about your nail style (with their shade picks and art tips) so you can request your new nail shape with confidence.
The Look: An oval shape that comes to a soft point.
The Length: Both Stone and Boyce agree that this shape looks best on medium-length nails. “It helps elongate your fingers, making them look slimmer,” adds Boyce.
The Shade: Stone says the main difference between an almond and stiletto shape is that the almond “is going to have three different angles” made up of the two sides and point. A neutral color could add pop to this shape’s dimensions. Boyce added a two-tone french tip to the minimalist look, below.