When I started following Cardi B on Instagram, it wasn’t just for immediate access to her unfiltered musings on fame, parenting, and politics. I also wanted a closer look at her unique coffin shaped nails. With the help of nail artist Jenny Bui, Cardi is known to rock a very long, and very intricate, manicure. Sometimes her nails are weighted down with rhinestone appliqués; other times they’re painted in a stark design. Either way, they’re the ultimate nail design inspiration.
Part of her nails’ standout charisma comes from their distinct shape. Of all the ways nail artists file and shape nails, coffin shaped nails, also known as ballerina nails, beg to be customized. With tapered sides and a flat edge—and usually a decent length—these nails have the most space for showing off an intricate design. There’s no missing a nail artist’s hard work when it’s dancing across a ballerina shaped nail.
If you’re new to the look, nude ombre polish or a tiny chain embellishment are simple, chic ways to wear coffin nails. But if you’re ready to lean into your extra side, coffin shaped nails can come with cut-outs, glitter, and a whole lot more to emphasize their length. Get inspired to make the most out of your coffin shaped manicure with our favorite nail designs, ahead.
1. Blush Marble
Give a shout-out to your nails’ ballerina name without relying on Ballet Slippers polish alone. Blush pink, cracked marble, and blush glitter combine three of the chicest nail designs in one mani.
2. Chain Cuticles
Consider this the Instagram-ready equivalent of your favorite rose quartz facial roller: a rosy-pink polish with a delicate chain detail on the index finger.
3. Indigo Stones
A diagonal swatch of rhinestones along the cuticle draw your eye up to the color of your choosing. Like Cardi B, we’re partial to this deep blue.
4. Gorgeous Grape
If you’re leaning towards a solid color for your first coffin shaped mani, pick up a juicy purple. It’s regal alone and playful in glitter.
5. Meet in the Middle
Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” has been reincarnated in manicure form. Splitting this manicure down the middle with engagement band rhinestones creates the illusion of extra length.
6. Matte Graffiti
Streaks of ’80s spray paint tones pop even more next to nude matte nails.
7. Sherbert Ombré
The sunny sweetness of a sherbert cone, in nail form.
8. Lavender Marble
Acrylic coffin nails don’t just provide more room for a creative design; they also allow nail artists to play with light. Exhibit A: this nail design that goes from clear to opaque with a lavender-tinted marble.
9. Glitter Waves
Short coffin nail wearers, this tiny design is for you. A wave of metallic glitter set against an orange fade gives the illusion of a beach at sunset (and stands out on the ‘gram).
10. Marbled Tie-Dye
No need to choose one nail color. With a coffin shaped nail, you have all the space in the world for a candy-colored tie-dye.