While nail polish alone is a wonderful way to change up your nails, once you’ve gained a bit of length (either naturally or through extensions), you can start playing with shape. And if you want something sharp and angular, square nails are a great option.

“Square nails are flat at the top with straight sharp corners,” says nail artist Sonia Sanchez. Unlike coffin nails, they don’t taper in at the sides, which gives you a bigger canvas to showcase your chosen color and design.

Heather Reynosa, director of global education design at OPI, explains that there are some looks that really complement the shape. “As a personal rule, I like to pair graphic shapes like square nails with softer, rounded designs to balance the aesthetic,” says Reynosa. However, “nail art is so personal, there really are no rules as far as what kind of art should be worn on this type of nail.”

Whether you’re a square nail stan or trying them out for the first time, we’ve got 35 square nail designs ahead to help guide your future manicures.

Short French

French manicures are usually super soft, as the shape of the tip mimics the arc of a rounded nail. As such, doing a French tip on a square nail adds an unexpected element.

Medium French

The previous look showcased a French manicure on a short square nail, and this one utilizes the design on medium nails. The added length allows for an elongated tip and an overall softer look.

3D Sculpt

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This black French tip design uses thick gel to create an abstract, 3D design on top of the nail. It adds mesmerizing texture while still remaining sleek and modern.

XL Square

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These XL square nails aren’t for the faint of heart. The length adds a ton of drama that’s offset by a simple design featuring baby blue tips with a neon green squiggly accent.

Two-Tone Tips

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White French tips paired with green polka dots make for a fun combination that’s reminiscent of tennis. The look was left pretty sheer so that you can see the full natural nail under the tips.

Green on Green

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A green, crocodile skin-like pattern was used to make airy tips punctuated by thick squiggles dancing across each nail. The look is bold, but not over the top.

Honey Pot

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Orange and yellow blobs add a trippy effect to these tips. The colors are accented with a gold and crystal emblem to add some sparkle.

Black French

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These black French tips are long and sleek. Although French tips are a classic look, the length, color, and shape of this nail make them cooly subversive.

Pistachio Green

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These pistachio green tips are accented with white dots to create a bright and playful look. The colors lend a bit of softness to the graphic square shape.

Arizona Sky

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Bright orange French tips are accented by a hot pink line to create a design the nail artist likened to the Arizona sky.

Cubist Tips

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This design takes the traditional French tip and deconstructs it using two bold tones in a funky, Cubism-inspired design.

Mix and Match Tips

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These fun mix-and-match tips feature cow print, a smiley face, clouds in the sky, a Playboy bunny, and cherries. Because square nails are so wide, there’s room for lots of color and play on the tips.

Line Art

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A milky base is the perfect canvas for this minimalist line art. Each nail features a different abstract face.

Disney Chic

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If you want Disney nails that don’t scream Disney, you can do a French tip with delicate Mickey Mouse ears on one nail. The tips are outlined with glitter for added sparkle.

Pink Patchwork

@klawsbysonia


Perfect for Halloween, these hot pink patchwork nails are a ton of fun. Mixing solid nails with tips and other designs keeps the look fresh.

Nails That Sing

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Inspired by the Bad Bunny song “La Corriente,” these nails are insanely fun. One hand features black French tips with song lyrics, while the other takes imagery from the album artwork.

Baby Pink

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These pastel pink mix-and-match nails are perfect for Valentine’s Day, or anytime you’re feeling sweet. They feature polka dots, stripes, and hearts atop two pale blush polishes, one opaque and one jelly.

Groovy Browns

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Brown, cream, and beige polishes are used to create this groovy look, which is topped off with swirls, flowers, and smiley faces.

Chocolate Swirl

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A pretty chocolate brown was swirled onto this milky nude base. The shapes are thick, but because the nail is long and wide, they don’t overwhelm the look.

Heart Frenchies

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Dress up traditional French tips with red hearts. The high-gloss finish on these nails makes the look extra eye-catching.

Baby Blues

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Baby blue French tips are a fun and pretty take on the classic look. They’re outlined with a thin line of silver glitter to add a little pop.

Brown French and Florals

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Adding simple florals is an easy way to make any design more interesting. This look shows white flowers on top of a rich brown French tip.

Unicorn Chrome

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Instead of using a color with coverage so the tips blend with the natural nail, this look features a wash of iridescent chrome. The base of the nail is accented with unicorny pastels for extra whimsy.

Blinged Out

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Although this look is done in a nude shade, shimmery adornments make it super fun. A few of the nails are covered in little pearlescent beads while a single one gets a row of rhinestones.

Pumpkin Tips

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Perfect for fall, these nails feature a sharp tip painted with a warm and rich pumpkin orange hue.

Birthday Butterflies

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A design crafter for the wearer’s 23rd birthday, this look features clouds, butterflies, and, of course, the number 23, all atop a pink jelly base.

Candy Hearts

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Candy hearts served as inspiration for this pretty V-day look. The colors of the candy are mimicked in the tips — some solid and some made entirely of hearts.

Cable-Knit Tips

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3D gel was used to create these cozy matte cable-knit nails. Each nail is in a different warm, neutral shade.

Agate

@klawsbysonia


These square nails look like a hunk of black-and-white agate crystal. Done with just two polishes and gold leaf, this manicure is easier than you think to recreate.


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