8 Simple & Sexy Acrylic Nail Shapes for Any Style (Video List Style)

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Acrylic Nail Shapes

Let’s get straight to the point. Acrylic nails are in. The beauty of having acrylic nails is that they can be filed and shaped just the way you want them to be.

Whether long or short, square, rounded or pointed, acrylic nail shapes to fit your personal style and flair. Regardless of the acrylic nail shapes you choose, you are bound to find a style that not only suits you but also attracts attention.

Read on to learn more about the different types of acrylic nail shapes that are available to find the best one for you.

Different Types Of Acrylic Nail Shapes

If you’ve ever thought, “Acrylic nails? They’re just like any other nails, right?” then hold your nail file, my friend! 

Acrylic nails have a charm of their own and once you understand their magic, you’ll be hooked. They’re versatile, durable, and the perfect canvas for all your nail art masterpieces. 

On top of that, they’re your go-to solution for those times when your natural nails decide to break before an important event and leave you in despair.

Here is the list of the different acrylic nail shapes that you must see for your next nail inspiration.

1. Square Acrylic Nails: The Classic Go-To

Square-shaped acrylic nails are one of the most popular acrylic nail shapes. This shape is all about boldness and symmetry. 

Square acrylic nails look clean, neat, and sexy with a hint of sophistication. Regardless of whether you have long nails or short nails, the square acrylic nail shape will look great.

In fact, square acrylic nails are also less likely to chip or break when compared with other shapes, making them a perfect option for everyday use.

Filing and shaping your nails to achieve the square shape can take a little time, but we promise it will be well worth it, especially if you are a fan of square acrylic nails.

First, file the sides of your nails straight, along the skin. Then, file along the tips of the nails until you acquire the desired square shape. 

Once you are finished, don’t forget to smooth out the edges and nail beds with a buffer. Watch the video above for a quick tutorial.

2. Squoval Acrylic Nails: The Perfect Blend

Is this even a thing? Yes. Some manicurists refer to this shape as “squoval”, which is a combination of square and round. The squoval shape is the best of both worlds – the sophistication of the square and the softness of the oval. 

You can still have the square look on the sides, but the nail tips can be slightly rounded to soften the shape.

Many prefer the square but rounded acrylic nail shape look because it looks less “rigid”.

Again, much like square nails, the square but rounded look also looks fabulous with any nail size or length, however, many find that this particular shape looks best with short or medium-length nails and is a great choice for everyday life.

Similar to filing square nails, begin filing the sides of the nails until they are straight. Then, when filing the tips of the nails, give the edges a rounder look so that the edge of the nail rounds into the skin. 

Repeat this process until you achieve the desired shape – watch more above.

3. Round Acrylic  Nails: Versatile and Timeless

The round acrylic nail shapes are incredibly popular but still have that classic look. The round shape is a classic beauty. It’s soft, feminine, and perfect for those who prefer a more subtle look.

Round acrylic nails are also easy to maintain as filing them is relatively easy, and they are also less likely to chip or break compared to square or stiletto (which we will talk about more in this article).

Filing your nails to achieve a rounded shape is probably the easiest compared with some of the other acrylic nail shapes. 

Take a nail file and simply file the nail wall surrounding the skin. Then, carefully round the edges at the tip of the nail. 

Watch the super quick YouTube video above to learn more.

4. Oval Acrylic Nails: The Everyday Elegance

The oval shape is elegantly personified. It’s perfect for making your fingers look longer and more slender.

If you prefer a rounded, traditional, and classic acrylic nail shape, then oval might be the best option for you. If you like the square yet rounded look, but not too square and not too round, then the oval acrylic nail shape is the best of both worlds.

To achieve this nail shape, start by filing your nails into an egg shape. Then, begin filing and straightening the sides of the nail. 

Finally, focus on rounding the tops and edges of the nails to give them that oval look.

 Check out the video above for more tips and tricks on giving your nails the oval shape.

5. Almond Acrylic Nails: For the Sophisticated Soiree

Think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s but with a modern twist. Almond-shaped acrylic nails are the epitome of class and sophistication. These nails are chic and stylish, but they do require some maintenance.

With their slim, elongated shape tapering to a soft point, these nails are ideal for those who prefer a feminine, delicate look. But don’t be fooled by their elegance; these babies are as sturdy as they come.

This particular shape is best for longer nails, however, this shape can also easily chip and break. Additionally, shaping your nails to achieve the almond shape can be a bit trickier than some of the other types of acrylic nail shapes that we have already explored.

But once you “nail” it, you will be pleased with how your nails look. In order to make the filing process as easy as possible, we recommend marking the center of your nails to start, either with a marker or a drop of nail polish.

This will give you a reference point for when you begin to file your nails. Begin filing your nails at an angle, and be sure to leave a flat tip to round out. Then, work on filing the corners of the nail to achieve that sharp appearance.

Finally, blend the sharp edges slowly and carefully into an almond shape. Need help? Watch the video above for some tips on how to get the almond acrylic nail shapes.

6. Coffin/Ballerina Acrylic Nails: The Show Stopper

The coffin also known as the ballerina shape is a unique acrylic nail shape that is a blend between square and almond. The nails are shaped to a point similar to the almond shape, but the tips are squared off. 

These are the divas of the nail world. Bold, dramatic, and effortlessly glamorous.

With this particular shape, the tips are less likely to break than the almond or stiletto acrylic nail shapes since the square tips are more durable than a point.

However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that this nail shape won’t break or chip at all.

This particular acrylic nail shape is incredibly unique and also highly attractive, especially for long fingers and longer nails, but does require some maintenance.

In order to achieve this shape, start by following the same filing process as the almond shape, but rather than bringing the tips of the nails to a point, carefully square them off. 

Finally, buff out the tips, sides, and nail bed for a completely smooth look.

Check out the video above to learn more about how to do coffin/ballerina acrylic nails.

7. Stiletto Acrylic Nails: The Edgy Extravaganza

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… the stiletto shape. If you’re looking to make a statement, stiletto nails are your best bet. They’re daring, edgy, and totally Insta-worthy.

There’s something about this particular acrylic nail shape that is sexy with also a hint of danger.

Stiletto nails look awesome, but they are also the least durable and can break easily. Because the tips are so sharp, this makes them sensitive to breakage and damage.

 As a result, this particular nail shape is likely best for a single occasion, such as a wedding, party, or a night out.

If you are looking for a nail shape for everyday use, then the stiletto shape may not be the best option. For those of you who are daring enough to give this particular nail shape a try, start by filing your nails in a square shape.

If you have longer nails, then clip the tips of your nails straight across and clip the sides of the nail on an angle with a nail clipper. Now, take a file and begin filing and curving the edges accordingly. 

The goal is to file your nails into a soft triangle and to keep both sides as symmetrical as possible. Watch how stiletto nails are shaped in the video above.

8. Lipstick Acrylic Nails: The Trendy Trailblazer

This lipstick shape is a relatively new trend that is quickly catching on. Named after the slanted cut of fresh lipstick, this shape is quirky and fun.

You can paint these nails with a bright red or pink or even decorate them with glitter or a wild design to achieve the full effect. With their asymmetric slant, these nails are bold, edgy, and totally unique. If you’re all about breaking the mold and setting your own style rules, these nails were made for you.

Although this particular acrylic nail shape is easy to break, if you are looking for an acrylic nail shape that is wild, crazy, and different, then this shape might be the best option for you.

The first step to achieving this acrylic nail shape is to forget everything you just learned about filing nails. 

The goal of this acrylic nail shape is to make one side of the nail longer than the other. Watch the video above for a visual tutorial on how to get the lipstick acrylic nail shape.

So, Which Acrylic Nail Shape is the Best?

Here’s the million-dollar question: which acrylic nail shape is the best? 

The answer is…*drumroll please*… it depends! Yes, I know, not the clear-cut answer you were hoping for. But hear me out.

The best shape really depends on your client’s lifestyle, personal style, and nail health. If they’re all about that active lifestyle, a shorter, more practical shape like the square would be ideal. 

If they’re looking to make a bold statement, the stiletto or coffin shape could be the perfect choice.

Remember, as nail technicians, our job isn’t just to make nails look pretty (although that’s a big part of it!). It’s also to help our clients find the perfect shape that suits their personality and lifestyle. 

Here are some tips on how to find the best acrylic nail shape for you.

How to Choose the Right Acrylic Nail Shape

Choosing the right acrylic nail shape is crucial for creating a flawless and flattering manicure. So, let’s dive right in and explore the factors you should consider when helping your clients decide on their perfect nail shape.

Shape and Length of Your Fingers

First things first, take a good look at your client’s fingers. The shape and length of their fingers play a significant role in determining the most suitable acrylic nail shapes. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

Long Fingers: If your client has long fingers, they can pretty much rock any nail shape. Lucky them! Encourage them to experiment with different shapes like stiletto, almond, or coffin to showcase their elegant fingers.

Short Fingers: For clients with shorter fingers, it’s best to opt for nail shapes that create the illusion of length. Square and oval shapes work wonders by elongating the fingers and making them appear more slender.

Nail Bed Width

The width of your client’s nail beds is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a nail shape. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Wide Nail Beds: Clients with wider nail beds should lean towards shapes that help create a balanced and proportional look. Square and squoval (a combination of square and oval) shapes are perfect for achieving this.

Narrow Nail Beds: On the other hand, if your client has narrower nail beds, you can suggest shapes that add width and volume. Round, almond, and oval shapes are great choices for creating the illusion of broader nail beds.

Lifestyle and Practicality

Next up, consider your client’s lifestyle and practicality. Different nail shapes have varying levels of durability and maintenance requirements. Here’s what to think about:

Active Lifestyles: If your client leads an active lifestyle and uses their hands a lot, it’s best to recommend more practical acrylic nail shapes. Squoval, round, or oval shapes are less prone to breakage and are easier to maintain.

Low-Maintenance Clients: For clients who prefer low-maintenance nails, square or squoval shapes are ideal. These shapes are less likely to chip and are easier to file at home in case of a mishap.


Speaking of maintenance, let’s talk about how different nail shapes require different levels of care and upkeep. Here’s what to consider:

Pointed Shapes: Pointed shapes like stiletto or almond may look super chic, but they require extra attention and care. Clients need to be aware of the risk of breakage and the need for regular filing to maintain the shape.

Square and Squoval: Square and squoval shapes are relatively low-maintenance, making them a popular choice for many clients. They’re easy to file and maintain at home, reducing the need for frequent salon visits.

Personal Style

Last but certainly not least, personal style plays a vital role in choosing the right acrylic nail shapes. Your client’s personality and preferences should always be taken into account. Here’s how to cater to their personal style:

Edgy and Bold: If your client loves to make a statement with their nails, suggest shapes like a stiletto or coffin. These shapes have a fierce and dramatic look that’s sure to turn heads.

Classic and Timeless: For those who prefer a more classic and timeless look, you can’t go wrong with square or round shapes. These shapes are versatile and suit a wide range of personal styles.

By considering factors like finger shape, nail bed width, lifestyle, maintenance, and personal style, you’ll be able to guide your clients in choosing the perfect acrylic nail shape.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive guide to acrylic nail shapes. Embrace the freedom to express your style through your nails.

What is your favorite acrylic nail shape or nail art design, and why? We’d love to hear about it! Share your thoughts in the comment box below. If you liked this article, please let us know and share this with your friends!

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I'm Lynda Le, a licensed nail technician with over 20 years of experience in the nail and beauty industry. Passionate about sharing my knowledge, I took up blogging in 2016 to connect with others who love beauty as much as I do. For the latest tips and insights, follow me on Twitter at @polishperfectt.