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Best Nail Shape For Wide Nails [And The Shapes To Avoid]

If you have wide nails, you will naturally want to find a shape that compliments them. So many shapes seem to make your nails seem even wider instead of just lengthening or shaping them. Luckily, there are a few shapes that have the opposite effect. So, whether your next manicure is an at-home job or you’re going to a salon, you’ll soon know exactly what to ask for to get the perfect results you deserve every time! 

What Nail Shape Is The Best For Wide Nails?

For wide nail beds, the best choices are almond- and oval-shaped nails. You can use any round shape with a good chance of success. Try to avoid pointed styles or square styles since they can make your nails look wider.

If you’re familiar with the nail art world, you probably already know the various shapes that nails can come in.

But, if you’re not, don’t worry! There are a few, and we’ll give you a quick run-through so that you’re not confused.


Round nails are often the choice to make for those with wide nail beds.

The simplest and most natural look is, of course, the natural shape. 

That’s a fairly short, gently-rounded shape that matches the average look of a natural nail. 


For a more dramatic look without widening your nails, there’s oval. 

Oval nails are those with a tip that is rounded while being more extended than natural. 

If you’re looking for something that’s the perfect mixture of pretty and easy to live with, ovals are for you!

Nail Shapes To Avoid For Wide Nails


Then there are the square shapes. The classic square tip is the simplest and ends in just that: a square-shaped tip. 

It’s a blunt look with hard lines, making it unforgiving if you don’t have a nail bed that suits it. 

A less intense version is the square round, which rounds off the hard edges of the nail without completely taking away the square shape. 

Still, it’s probably too much for wide nails. There is one major exception to the “avoid square-shapes” rule: the squoval! 

It’s a combination of both the square shape and the oval shape, cutting back much of the square’s harsh lines.

Of course, there’s the ubiquitous pointed looks. 


The stiletto is perhaps the most famous, with its thin body and long, pointed tip.

That’s just the reason to avoid it, though. 

The long, thin look will only serve to make nails look wider. 


A combination of pointed and square is the ballerina tip, which is long and thin but ends in a square. 

This, too, will only make your wide nails more prominent. 

But, if you do like the sharper look, and are upset that it might not look great on your nails, don’t give up hope! 

There is one option that can give you the best of both worlds, so that you can have your cake and eat it, too. 

Almond nails have enough of a point to give you the look, but are rounded enough to give you the benefits of a round nail shape!

If the trend of square nail shapes has made you interested, I’ve got some bad news: they’re probably going to make your nails look wider. 

And if you’re hoping for a pointed look, then… it’s probably going to make your nails look wider.

Anything with hard edges isn’t going to suit your natural nail bed very well. 

You should stick to round shapes.

What Nail Shape Makes Fingers Look Thinner?

Round shapes can help make fingers look longer by adding subtle length to your nails. While long, pointed nails or square nails may add to length, they’ll take up a greater percentage of your overall finger size, making them look wider overall.

First, we have to explain why adding a lot more length to your nails can make your fingers seem even shorter.

(It sounds like an oxymoron but, trust us, it’s true.) 

We tend to measure finger length by the base of the finger to the tip of the nail. 

However, when the nail is much longer than normal (as is often the case with pointed nails), it tends to take up more of the entire finger, making them look shorter, not longer. 

The best rule of thumb? Make sure the nail is longer than it is wide, but keep the length undramatic.

Because of this, people with short nails should look to add subtle length with a round shape. 

This can help elongate and thin out your fingers far better than the longer stiletto tip ever could! 

Sticking to short lengths is the key here, so oval is likely to be the best choice. 

If you’re looking for a square- or pointed-shape that will minimize the shortening effects, the squoval- or almond-shape will be a good choice.

The biggest no-no to take away from this? Nothing. Overly. Long. Unnatural length is your enemy here, so try to keep it as close to natural as possible.

How Do You Shape Wide Nails?

It depends strongly on the style of the nail that you’ve chosen. You’ll need a nail clipper and a good file for all styles.

As with anything, the answer to this question depends on the choices you’ve made. 

What look are you going for with your manicure? 

If you’re doing this yourself, then you’ll want to make your decision about shape before sitting down to get started. 

It might seem like a daunting task, but it’s not actually that difficult to get the shape down right.

Before you begin, make sure you have your work area ready. 

A good light, a towel or cloth to work over, a pair of straight clippers (sharp and easy to use), a pair of curved clippers (if possible), and a good file. 

Better yet, a variety of files and emery boards for the best results, since you’ll be able to choose between grits. 

This is perhaps the best set to get on Amazon; and its cheap too!

Any other manicure must-haves that you want can be brought as well, to finish out your look once it’s done. 

A bit of cuticle oil after shaping is often a great way to finish it up, make it look neater, and promote the health and longevity of your nails too. Here’s the one to get from Amazon.

Nevertheless, onto the actual shaping!

For Squoval-shaped Nails

You’re going to want to start with the wide, blunt end. 

With your clippers, carefully snip off the closest to a straight edge that you can manage. 

Use multiple, small clips, not one big one, for a more natural result. If it isn’t perfect, no worries: we’ll be working on that next! 

Once the tip is done, it’s time to file. 

Use a 90 degree angle, and make a single stroke with the flat edge in only one direction. Do the same for the other side. 

Repeat until you’ve blunted the edges to your taste.

For Round Nails

Round nails, including natural- and oval-shapes, are normally much easier to shape. 

This is because it’s the shape most nails already are! Start by clipping your nails into the appropriate shape with your curved clippers. 

Don’t have any? 

It’s possible to do this with normal clippers by making small, careful clips and then smoothing it out with your file. 

If you go this route, be careful to keep it even! Once the shape is correct, simply file with a curving motion from one side of the nail to the center, and repeat on all sides. 

Make sure there’s no ragged edges under your nail. If there is, file them down!

For Almond Nails

For an almond shape, you’re going to start off with a square nail. 

Then, with your clippers, you’re going to cut off the corners from the end of your finger to the middle of the square end, leaving a very sharp point on the nail tip. 

That’s your basic shape! From there, you’ll carefully file. 

Do one to three strokes in the same direction, starting at the far edge and ending at the center. 

Repeat until you’ve reached the bluntness that you were looking for. 

These can be made longer or shorter depending on the length of the square nail that you start with. Keep in mind, mid-length is better.

Important Tips on Disguising a Wide Nail Bed

Don’t draw attention to the widest part of your nail. And, of course, choose the right shape.

We think we’ve mentioned how important choosing the right shape is. 

If we haven’t made it clear, we’ll go ahead and say it again: choose rounded nails, along with squoval and almond. 

Stay away from anything square or pointy. It’s just not going to work.

When it comes time to paint or decorate your nails, there’s one particular rule to keep in mind: don’t draw attention to the widest part of your nail. 

A horizontal line across the widest part will only make it look even wider. 

Try to keep anything like that to the very tip, or don’t do it at all. 

If you’re really trying to add length to your look, a solid nude is probably the best color you could have.

Wondering what nail shapes are best for other types of fingers/hands? Check out my other guides below: