Square Nails Are Re-Shaping The Manicure Scene

By Charlie Colville

2 weeks ago

This beauty trend covers all the angles

When it comes to perfecting your manicure, the shape is just as important as what’s on the nail itself. Where almond nails were the star of the show earlier this year, as we head into summer the tide is turning in favour of square nails. Here’s how to get onboard with the trend, and recreate it at home.

What Are Square Nails?

‘Square nails are one of the most popular nail shapes, and are characterised by straight sidewalls and a flat, squared-off tip, giving a neat and polished appearance,’ explains Tinu Bello, Senior Mylee Ambassador. ‘Square nails are well-suited for all nail lengths and can be applied to both natural and acrylic nails; they are particularly flattering for those with narrow nail beds, as they create the illusion of wider nails.’

‘Each nail shape exudes its own unique charm, catering to diverse preferences and occasions,’ adds Juanita Huber-Millet, Founder and Creative Director at Townhouse. ‘Square nails are a timeless classic that never goes out of style; they’re a perfect choice for anyone looking for a chic, yet simple look.’

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The trend has especially been picking up speed on TikTok recently – which has accumulated over 45 million posts under the search term #squarenails – as the celebrity crowd. Awards season in particular was awash with square nails, worn by the likes of Dua Lipa, Margot Robbie, Sabrina Carpenter and Olivia Rodrigo.

Tinu tells us that the versatility of this shape is what fuels much of its popularity. ‘Square fingernails are always popular due to their clean, modern look and versatility in styling,’ she says. ‘The straight edges and flat, squared-off tip provide a neat, sophisticated appearance that suits all occasions, jobs, and style. This shape works well with various nail lengths and types, whether natural or acrylic, making it a favourite. From a creative point of view, square nails also offer a large surface area, which is perfect for playing with different nail art designs.’

How To Ask For Square Nails At The Salon (& What To Expect)

‘At the salon, request a square shape for your nails. Describe that you prefer straight edges with angular corners, and mention rounding the corners slightly to avoid sharp points,’ recommends Juanita. ‘Bringing a photo as a reference can also help ensure the technician understands the exact look you want.’

‘Make sure to mention any preferences regarding the length of your nails to ensure they are trimmed and shaped to your liking,’ adds Tinu. ‘Communicating clearly and providing visual examples will help you achieve your perfect look.’

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How To Recreate The Look At Home

Keen to try the look at home? ‘Creating square nails involves a few simple steps,’ says Tinu. Below, she lays out a step-by-step guide to getting square nails:

  1. First, clean your nails and trim them to your perfect length, cutting straight across to establish the basic shape.
  2. Next, use a nail file to shape the side edges, filing them straight and parallel to each other.
  3. Then, file the tip of the nail straight across to create the squared-off edge.
  4. After achieving the basic shape, refine the edges by gently smoothing any rough spots, taking care not to round the corners.
  5. Finally, use a nail buffer to smooth the nail surfaces.

‘Carefully file the top and sides to create straight edges, then softly round off the corners to avoid sharpness, ‘ reiterates Juanita. ‘Remember to file in one direction only, from the sides toward the centre, to prevent peeling and splitting – and avoid using a back-and-forth motion.’

How To Maintain Your Manicure

For general nail health, Juanita recommends you, ‘Keep your nails hydrated by regularly applying cuticle oil or moisturizer. This helps prevent dryness and promotes healthy nail growth.’

‘Maintaining square nails involves regular care to keep their shape and prevent breakage,’ adds Tinu. ‘File your nails every week, ensuring you keep the edges straight and the tips squared off. Use a high-quality nail file and always file in one direction to avoid weakening the nails; it’s best to keep your nails at a manageable length to reduce the risk of snagging or breaking the corners. Moisturise your nails and cuticles daily with a nourishing oil or hand cream to prevent dryness and brittleness. Avoid using your nails as tools to open or pry things, as this can cause damage. Applying a strengthening base coat and top coat regularly to protect your nails and enhance their durability can also be beneficial.’

Nails Inspiration

Square French Mani

Pink Minimalism

Tootie Fruity

Neutral Chrome

Apple Florals


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Daisy Square Nails


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Featured image: Townhouse