11 Square Manicure Ideas You'll Want To Try ASAP

Including mood-boosting smiley faces.

11 super-chic square nail art ideas to try ASAP.

You know that choosing your nail art is a process (so. many. options.) but it’s easy to forget that you also have to settle on a nail shape. In that realm, you’ve also got numerous choices, including the classic round, a piercing stiletto tip, or squared-off ends. For the latter category, there are plenty of prime square nail designs that’ll take your manicure game up a notch.

There are two persuasive reasons to choose square nails. The first is the more obvious: You might simply prefer the aesthetic allure of the straight, angular finish and the way it plays off the roundness of your cuticles. The second aspect has to do with practicality. Nail care brand Orosa founder Carolyn Chen previously told Bustle that the shape is low maintenance, easy to DIY, and optimal for short nails. That being said, when square nails have length, the tip style can add a dash of chicness along with more real estate to experiment with.

For what it’s worth, you can find a way to make practically any dream nail design fit onto your nail beds, regardless of shape — including fall’s biggest trends, like vintage-style graphics and color blocking. But if you’re looking to experiment — nail shapes are temporary, after all — or are in need of ideas for your go-to square tips, these square nail designs will help you decide what to get (or create) for your next manicure.


Pop Art Polka Dots

For a bolder interpretation of simple polka dots, try something like this. Not only do the circles offer an interesting contrast to the square shape of the nails, but the design also feels like a subtle homage to pop artists Roy Lichtenstein and Yayoi Kusama.


Monochrome Mix ‘n Match

Nostalgia is it right now, and these nails know it. This power-clashing manicure art gives off hours-spent-at-the-mall’s-Hot-Topic vibes mixed with Sharpie-doodling-on-Converse-sneakers energy. The design is perfect for embracing the back-to-school season while the checkerboard plays off the angular nail ends.


A Powerpuff Girls Tribute

Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup get their well-deserved recognition: This manicure is a tribute to the beloved trio and features subtle nods to each character on each fingertip.


Fall Color Blocking

A different color nail on each finger — aka the Skittles-style manicure — is one of fall’s biggest nail art trends. Keep your square-tipped mani simple by sticking to an autumnal color scheme of leafy greens and Chai latte beiges.


Smiley Faces

Glancing down at nail art is a small but powerful way to boost your mood throughout the day. To take that happiness to the next level, opt for literal smiley faces to adorn your nail beds (bonus points if your clothing matches).


’70s Waves

The ’70s are still thriving. Embrace the retro vibes with simple but attention-grabbing wavy stripes in the burnt orange and mustard yellow hues that defined the era.


Ballet Slipper Glimmer

Essie’s Ballet Slippers is one of the most recognizable nail polish shades. To rock the classic pink with some added oomph, go for sheer jelly nails with hints of glitter on square tips for added glamour.


Starry Night

The days are getting shorter, and while that means less vitamin D, it also means more hours for stargazing. Encapsulate the beauty of the night by turning it into constellations that add intergalactic magic to your manicure.


The French Manicure 2.0

Yes, the French manicure 2.0 is still going hard. Experiment with the staple nail design by wearing the rounded tips on square nails. Take things to an especially fall-ready level by adding in hints of chrome.



Another old-school trend that’s still very much in style is tie-dye, which translates easily onto your nails, whether they’re round or square-shaped. Play around with a bunch of different colors or wear various hues of one for an ombre effect.


Dainty Florals

Florals are always a cute nail art choice. The world of flowers is your oyster — pick your fave and draw it all over your square nails for an easy but adorable manicure.