Nail shapes 101. How to shape your own natural nails at home

It’s nail shaping time. We share the nail tech knowledge you need to do your own nails like a pro. We won’t tell anyone how easy it is if you don’t.

Tools of the trade

You don’t need much to get started shaping your nails. For all these shapes, we do recommend using a glass nail file. Not only are they more hygienic than a standard emery board, but the fine grit allows you to be precise with your filing. They also smooth and seal the freshly filed edges as they go, preventing breaks and peeling. It’s quite the eco-beauty flex, as glass nail files will never go blunt. And everyone loves an eco-beauty flex.

hand holding glass nail file by sienna

Almond nails

Almond nails are a classic, elegant look on everyone. A-listers, your neighbour, your Pilates teacher, your nana; absolutely everyone can rock this look. Almond nails are long, before tapering in at the nail bed to a softly pointed tip. If you want to extend the look of your nails, fingers and hands, this is the shape for you.

Starting from the outside and working your way in, use your file to shape each nail towards the centre to create a soft tip.

Prep your nails with a base coat and a gorgeous colour like Serenity and you’re ready for anything.

almond shape nails with nude nail polish by sienna

Oval nails

Oval nails are a super-flattering look for everyone, as long as you’ve got a bit of length to work with. Baes with small hands should lock this look in, as oval nails elongate the overall appearance of your hands.

Again, starting from the outside in, use your file to shape the tip of your nail into an oval shape. The look you are aiming for is a rounded but flat, blunt tip. And that’s all there is to it.

Choose a stunning neutral shade like Rosie and finish with a glossy top coat and you’re good to go.

round nail shape with dusty pink nail polish by sienna

Square nails

Square nails are best suited for those with long fingers and slim nails as this look visually shortens fingers and adds width. Your mani time is going to be a breeze as square nails not only look modern and are cool-girl approved, they’re also very low maintenance.

Using your clippers, trim your nails straight across the top to create a straight-line finish. Use your file to smooth the edge and you’re ready to go, you clever nail-pro, you.

Choose a soft pink in a full crème finish like Melody for instant chic.

square nail shape with light pink nail polish by sienna

Squoval nails

The natural nail shape to rule them all. If your nail goals include low maintenance, natural nails, say hello to squoval nails. As you can guess from the name, the squoval shape is the lovechild of the square and oval nail shapes. They are best described as a square tip with gently rounded edges.

File the sides of your nails to create gently rounded edges but keep the line across the centre straight.

A colour like Wategos is perfect for a fresh finish.

squoval nail shape with pastel blue nail polish by sienna

Round nails

Mani trends come and go, but round nails remain ever-popular. This is one of the easiest shapes to create at home and works across all nail lengths – especially short nails. Round nails are perfect for those with a wide nail bed or people who want to optically elongate the length of their hands and fingers.

File your nails in one direction to create a gentle rounded tip that follows the natural line of your cuticle and Voila ! You have achieved round nail glory, just like that.

Give your mani a little something-something and paint your nails with a bright and cheering polish like Sunflower .

Round nail shape with yellow nail polish by sienna

Now you know everything there is to know about natural nail shaping. We can’t wait to see you get your DIY nail bar on and shape your own nails to a salon standard at home!

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