Squoval Nail Shape: How To Achieve It + Nail Care Tips
Nail shapes don't have to be confusing and they certainly don't have to be hard to accomplish on your own. In fact, choosing your preferred nail shape should be based on what's best for the health of your nails and what appeals to you visually. But if you need a little nudge to try something new or you're feeling like you need a transformation for your tips, we're here to talk about the nail shape that looks good on any finger. Enter, squoval nails.
Squoval nails may sound funny, but it's actually a pretty universal nail shape that can be created in three simple steps. We tapped a celebrity manicurist to get the scoop on this trend nail shape, plus a few bonus tips on how to keep nails healthy and strong. Keep reading to learn more.
What are the nail shapes?
When it comes to nail shapes, there are seven that are most popular. (Here, we talk through them clockwise.) To start, there's the very polished-looking almond. "These are slim on the sides and wide on the base and come to a rounded peak," says Deborah Lippmann, celebrity manicurist and brand founder. She also says it's a very European and chic look.
The most traditional of the bunch are oval-shaped tips: "It's a rounded shaped nail with corners that curve inward," she says. It's a go-to for those who want the appearance of longer fingers even if yours are short and stubby.
If you prefer to keep your nails short, rounded tips are probably for you. There's no bells or whistles with this shape, just a basic nail that has rounded or curved sides.
Next is the square-shaped nail. You guessed it, this is when the nail is shaped like a, well, square and extends across the entire width of the nail bed. Nearly as popular as the oval nail, but Lippmann says this shape is ideal for those with long nail beds and long fingers.
The last of the "natural" (read: don't require gels, fake nails, or strengtheners to keep the shape) is the squoval. Read on below for more info on this shape, but a top-line note is that's a good blend of square and oval.
The final two: Stiletto and coffin-shaped nails have a bit more pizzazz and spunk—they also usually need professional tools to achieve them. "Stiletto nails are similar to almond nails, but with a much more drastic point," Lippmann says. You may not find this nail look at your 9-5, but it's certainly a hit among the A-listers. And the same goes for coffin-shaped nails. This is a squared nail with a tapered end, but Lippmann says it's not ideal if you use your hands a lot. But it may be a good option if you have weaker nails that tend to break since it will protect them from breaking or bending.
What is squoval nail shape?
Squoval nails are exactly what you think, a mix between a square and oval shape. "It's similar to the square nails, but the edges are a lot softer," Lippmann says. It's basically a good in-between if you're not sure which nail shape you like most and it's great for nail shape that looks natural since it follows the natural shape of the nail bed.
How to achieve it.
The great news is achieving a squoval nail is really simple and easy to do at home with three simple steps:
Groom your cuticles.
Lippmann says the best way to create any nail shape is after proper cuticle care. "You want to round your nail based on your individual nail bed and mirror the shape of the tip of your nails to the shape of your cuticles. This is also a great time to pull out that luxury cuticle oil to keep them softened and hydrated and create your very own DIY manicure experience.
File the edges.
Next, it's time to file. If you're new to nail care, slow and steady is best because unfortunately, you can't unfile if you overfile. To start, file the edges of the nail at an angle. The goal here is an oval shape.
Flatten the peak.
Once you've perfected the oval edges, it's time to make a square straight across. Lippmann says to file in one direction until the nail is straight and the peak is flattened.
And voilà! You've got squoval nails.
Nail care tips.
Now that you've mastered the nail shape, let's brief you on a few quick tips for having healthy, strong nails.
Improve nail health from the inside out.
Much like your skin and hair, your nails can be an exterior expression of your inside health. Meaning, if you want healthy, strong nails, you need to care for yourself and feed your body adequate nutrients. In addition to lifestyle habits, you can add nail supplements to your routine. Studies indicate that collagen supplements can support healthy nail growth.* One study found that when patients took collagen daily for 24 weeks, their nail health was better maintained1, including faster growth rates, reduced breakage, and improved appearance.* The same goes for biotin, a form of vitamin B that is often used in hair growth supplements.* Biotin has been shown to support the thickness and firmness of nails2.*
Exfoliation is a must.
Lippman says one key to healthier nails is proper exfoliation of both the nail and hand. "Similar to your facial skin, your nails need to be exfoliated. Using a gentle scrub will lift dead skin cells and clear pores (yes, hands have pores, too)."
Don't skip cuticle care.
The truth is even nail polish and nail shapes can't hide untreated cuticles. "Apply a cuticle remover and use a cuticle pusher to gently push the cuticle toward the knuckle," Lippmann suggests. "You'll need to go around the cuticle area several times to get a clean outside and then wipe clean with a piece of cotton."
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
There's not much explanation needed for this one. Moisture is key to any skin, hands included. There's nothing appealing about dry, cracked hands—we recommend always keeping a hand cream, well, handy. Apply it throughout the day as you feel you need, but always after washing or sanitizing, as both actions can dehydrate skin.
Andrea Jordan is a beauty and lifestyle freelance writer covering topics from hair and skincare to family and home. She received her bachelor's in Magazine Journalism from Temple University and you can find her work at top publications like InStyle, PopSugar, StyleCaster, Business Insider, PureWow and OprahMag. When she's not writing, you can find Andrea tackling new recipes in the kitchen or babysitting one of her many nieces and nephews. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and cat, Silas.