The world of nail artistry is rife with shapes and styles that ebb and flow with the changing tides of fashion. Tapered square nails, often referred to as “soft square” or “squoval”, stand at the crossroads of two popular nail shapes: square and oval. The result? A shape that provides both the edgy flat tip of the square and the gentle curvature of the oval.

Characteristics of Tapered Square Nails:

  1. Flat Top: Unlike completely rounded oval nails, tapered square nails retain a flat top which is a defining characteristic of the square shape.
  2. Softened Edges: While traditional square nails have sharp corners, tapered square nails are filed down slightly to achieve a softer, more rounded corner.
  3. Universality: This nail shape is flattering for most finger shapes and lengths, offering a balanced look that isn’t too edgy or too rounded.

Achieving the Tapered Square Look:

  1. Initial Shaping: Start with a basic square shape by ensuring the nail tip is straight across.
  2. Tapering the Edges: Using a nail file, gently round off the sharp corners of the square. This doesn’t require a lot of filing – just enough to soften the edges and give a subtle curve.
  3. Final Touch: Once you’ve achieved the desired shape, smooth the edges further with a buffer for a clean and polished look.

Design Ideas for Tapered Square Nails:

  1. Classic French Tip: The flat top of the tapered square provides an ideal canvas for a timeless French manicure.
  2. Negative Space Art: Play with negative space designs by leaving parts of the nail clear or nude and creating patterns or designs with color on other sections.
  3. Geometric Patterns: The straight edge combined with the gentle curve on the sides complements linear and angular patterns.
  4. Marble Effect: Swirling colors to achieve a marble effect looks particularly chic on this nail shape.
  5. Ombre Shades: A gradient effect from the nail bed to the tip can be a stunning look, especially when paired with colors that complement the skin tone.

Maintaining Tapered Square Nails:

  1. Regular Filing: To maintain the shape, regular filing is essential. Due to the soft corners, any chips or breaks can alter the shape more noticeably than with sharper-edged nails.
  2. Moisturize: Keeping your cuticles and nails moisturized helps prevent breakage and keeps your nails looking fresh.
  3. Protection: As with any nail shape, it’s crucial to protect your nails when undertaking activities that might cause breaks or chips. This can be as simple as wearing gloves when doing chores or being cautious when opening cans or lids.


Tapered square nails offer a harmonious blend of elegance and edge, making them a versatile choice for those torn between square and oval nail styles. Whether you prefer a minimalist nail design or a more elaborate pattern, this shape provides a canvas that complements almost any design.

Elite Nail Designs