30 Coffin Nail Ideas to Bring to Your Next Manicure

30 Coffin Nail Ideas to Bring to Your Next Manicure featured image
IG: sweeetpeanails / IG: tod_nail_bar

Choosing a color at the nail salon is only half the battle; here’s also the question of which nail shape to go with. Lipstick nails will have a completely different vibe from, say, an almond-shaped manicure.

Should you choose to go with coffin nails, the result will be striking. “As a nail, a coffin shape gives a more edgy vibe than an almond nail and tends to also be a more feminine version of a square nail,” says Chaun Legend, a celebrity artist who’s partnered with Lottie London.

Like an actual coffin, the nail shape is tapered with sharp corners. “A coffin nail can be easily identified due to its square tip that is narrower than the base,” says Legend. “It’s very similar to a style called the ballerina—only it differs on the outer edges as a ballerina nail is rounded with a squared off tip, unlike the straight lines on all edges of a coffin nail.” The coffin shape is also distinct from square nails, which share sharp corners but aren’t tapered.

The coffin nail shape is best suited to those who desire length, says celebrity nail artist Natalie Minerva. “I would say the coffin shape is best suited for medium to longer lengths,” she says. “It can be a little odd looking to taper a shorter nail, making the coffin shape less impactful.”

Provided you’ve got the length for it, you can achieve the coffin nail shape at home. “File your nails into a square tip before starting to file the edges in on both sides of the nail at a slight angle to narrow the tip,” says Legend. “This softens the square to create an elongated, feminine nail.”

From there, you can dress up your nails with anything from solid neutrals to intricate patterns. On that note, here are 30 coffin nail designs that you can look to for inspiration.

  • Chaun Legend is a celebrity nail artist
  • Natalie Minerva is a celebrity nail artist

Coffin Nails: Ideas to Try

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Long, clear coffin extensions allow nail art to stand out. Case in point: this flower nail design that’s perfect for spring.

IG: nailedbycyn
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Black glitter

Nothing says “I’m in my villain era” like long, black coffin-shaped nails. A sparkly finish is a bonus.

IG: nailsby_avril
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Light pink

You’ll never regret a light pink manicure. It’s timeless and plays up the feminine quality of the coffin nail shape.

IG: sweeetpeanails
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Purple aura

Aura nails — which have splotches of color with soft edges, similar to aura photos — and chrome finishes are two recent nail trends that pair together beautifully.

IG: nails.miastudio
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Fall shades

Rather than an ombre effect on each nail, this manicure gradually fades from brown to orange across each hand. The color combo is perfectly suited for fall.

IG: elize_nails
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Hearts and lip prints

Whether Valentine’s Day is coming up or you just have a soft spot for romantic designs, red and pink nail art is an obvious choice.

IG: kikinails_ebeauty
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Dark brown

The best way to emphasize the coffin nail’s edgy quality is to choose a deep color like this glossy brown manicure.

IG _leonanails
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Orange shades

When you want something unique but don’t want to commit to nail designs, choose two shades of the same color for each hand. Going with bright orange is all the more fun.

IG nailsbynurse
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The level of detailing that went into this manicure is maximalism at its best. From translucent color to aura designs to 3D details, this set has it all.

IG nailsby_avril
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Negative space French manicure

If you have a detailing brush and a steady hand (or access to a nail artist), you can pull off a “negative space” French manicure, which is essentially an outline of traditional French tips. 

IG tod_nail_bar
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Leopard print tips

You may be sitting in the salon chair for a while if you request leopard print tips, but the payoff is always going to be worth your time.

IG thenailmuse.co
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3D art

Sculpting gel is the key to cool, abstract 3D nails. Throw in a coffin nail shape and aura designs, and you’ll get a true work of art.

IG sarahnailss87
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French manicure

The coffin nail shape might just be the best backdrop for a crisp French manicure.

IG scaviar.nails
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Eye nail art

Evil eye-inspired nail art really pops when it’s set against a natural-looking base.

IG jassnaileditt
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Rainbow swirls

If the “dopamine dressing” movement was translated into nail art, it’d probably look something like this.

IG emilyrobynnailartist
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When it comes to marbled nail art, instinct may tell you to opt for black swirls on a white base, but selecting multiple shades of green can be just as pretty. 

IG prettywth.julia
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Crocodile skin

No animals were harmed in the making of these crocodile-inspired accent nails.

IG nailsby_avril
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Off White

If you’re partial to neutrals, consider a creamy, off white shade, as shown on this mid-length coffin manicure.

IG clawedbyjamey
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Neon details

No matter which shade you choose, neon colors are a flashy pick. If a solid neon color feels too bright, you can go with neon details on an ombre base.

IG _nailsbyjocylen
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French ombre

Instead of harsh lines, this take on the French manicure has a gradient effect for a more natural-looking end result.

IG candacembeauty
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If you’ve already hopped on the mermaidcore bandwagon, might as well try channeling the trend with your nails. Scalloped, purple tips will only add to your iridescent dress or mermaid waves.

IG nailzzbysteph
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Pair nude nail polish with chrome powder, and you’re practically guaranteed to get showered with compliments.

IG clawsxcollxtion
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Tortoiseshell Tips

Long coffin nails provide plenty of room for a tortoiseshell design, even if it’s just on the tips of the nails. This nail design incorporated gold foil flakes as a finishing touch.

IG driptipsbyjen
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Cat eye

Those glittery, reflective manicures you’ve been seeing on Instagram are a product of magnetic “cat eye” nail polish. Here’s what the finish looks like in a coppery color.

IG setsby.lex
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Flower gems

You can channel a botanical garden on your nails by combining green tips with multicolored flowers. The result is, in a word, charming.

IG setsbysenia
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Choosing a nail color close to your skin tone is one way to play into the coffin shape’s elongating effect.

IG amirabynaomi
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Cheetah print tips

If cheetah print tips aren’t dramatic enough for you, add a metallic detail at the base of each nail.

IG nylove_nail/ piscesnail.oc
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Glitter, gems, airbrushed butterflies, an ombre effect: What’s not to love?

IG nailsby_avril
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Pink French manicure

If you’re interested in a spin on the classic French manicure, your options are virtually limitless. For example, you could opt for a negative space manicure with opaque colors, as shown here.

IG mjramirez88
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Bold solid

This gorgeously bold cobalt blue pairs perfectly with the funky coffin nail shape.

IG smnailz

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