30 Manicure Designs That Are Perfect For Square Nails

hand with blue, orange, and light green manicure


Much like the most-wanted shape of eyebrows has changed over the years—veering away from perfectly plucked and towards fluffy, natural arches—so has the shape of nails. Where nails used to simply be filed down to prevent chips and snagged edges, nowadays there are a myriad of shapes to file your tips into.

While round, oval, and squoval nails have all had their moment in the spotlight, today we're here to talk about square nails. The shape is more early aughts, but with just about every major style and beauty trend circling the block for a second 15 minutes of fame, now's the perfect time to flatten your edges and sharpen your corners in favor of a stylish square mani. To teach you how to do just that, ahead you'll find 30 square nail looks worth considering for your next nail appointment.

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Blue Valentine

We'll admit this nail look veers more towards squoval than strict square, but the elongated sides and flat top are enough to let the shining-star nail art slide.

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Beauty Nap

Score this earthy mani with essie Gel Couture 2-Step Longwear Nail Polish ($10) in Beauty Nap.

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Minimalist Flames

Flame nails are popping up left and right and, if we're being honest, can look a tad overdone. Here's one way to keep the fiery nail look a bit more subdued.

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Star Confetti

All you need to complete this nail look is topcoat—like Olive & June's The Top Coat ($8)—and 10 confetti stars.

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Split in half with a color-blocked design and down the middle with a glittery line, these squared-off nails are geometrically-chic.

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Pale Daisies

Layer a baby-blue base with pale yellow-and-white daisies for a springtime nail look that's sure to brighten your day.

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Disco Days

We love these white square (okay, squoval) nails. The wavy pop of color brings Jenna Rink's infamous mini dress to mind.

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Sage Yin Yang

white, sage green, and yin yang nail art just work. We feel calmer just looking at them.

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Sweet Dreams

To recreate this magically dreamy look, start with curved black tips and layer them with lilac stars and white dots. Don't forget topcoat!

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Neon Diagonals

Use nail tape to create straight edges diagonally across each nail. Easy-peasy!

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Black Marble

Black marble? Yes, please.

To file your nails into a square shape, the shaping process should be roughly 70 percent clipping and 30 percent filing.

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Neutral Stars

A matte nude base with semi-shimmery black stars is one square nail look we want to copy stat.

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If you have a little extra time on your hands (not to mention a steady hand to begin with), this mix-n-match square mani is worth a try.

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Lime Half Moons

Little limes anyone? Just us?

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Gold Dip

Leave it to celebrity manicurist Betina Goldstein to totally slay the square nail art game.

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Muted Hues

Terracotta, sage, and light gray make for a muted square mani that makes quite the statement. Plus, it's super simple to DIY.

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Artsy Tips

Prepare for a little art project with these detailed, hot-and-cold square nails.

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Cloudy Watercolor

Craving a few pops of color? This watercolor mani might fit the bill.

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Evil Eyes

We're a sucker for floral and evil eyes—and square nails offer a touch more space to bring them to life.

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Rainbow Pipelines

If you love color as much as you love negative space, you'll dig these maze-like nails.

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Minimal Arcs

Here's an easy at-home nail look. Start with a nude base and top it off with overlapping white and champagne arcs on a couple of nails.

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Caution Tape

Warning: These nails will make people stop and stare.

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Make Waves

Want to take your nail art to the umpteenth degree? This wave design is worth a go.

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Smiley Faces

Old-school smileys are very in right now. Plus, they offer a way to add pops of color without coving your entire nail in the hue.

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Abstract Faces

If you have a steady hand, try tracing a face on top of nude nails for an artsy mani that you'll want to memorialize on your grid.

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Pastel Half Moons

Rainbow nails anyone?

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Earth-Tone Tips

We love a wavy rendition on the classic French manicure. Add earthy tones to the mix and even better.

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Shades of Nude

A different shade of nude on every nail makes for one neutral mani that's sure not to go unnoticed.

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Puppy Love

If you're feeling particularly artistic, opt for a neutral-hued nail look covered in your furry friends.

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Sunshine French

Don't forget a classic French manicure. This one is jazzed-up a bit with a simple statement star on each hand.

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