Even short nails can have a big impact on your overall image. By creating a stylish design, you can add the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. Whether you’re after something summery and cute or dark and glamorous, there’s a creative idea for every occasion.
Nail Designs for Short Nails
Nail art isn’t just for long nails. Short nails can also be used to create gorgeous designs and unique details. While the designs do have to be suitable for the shorter length, there’s still a great variety of options available. We’ve gathered some stylish looks for inspiration and ideas for your own nails.
1. Red to Black Gradient
As well as being easy to create, this red-to-black gradient design is stylish and subtle. The rich look is perfect for autumn or winter and it features a dark, vampy aesthetic. You can even match it with an oxblood lip for a sultry, date night style.
2. Sailor Nails
These blue and white striped nails have a fresh, nautical appearance. Ideal for adding a fun touch to your outfit, this design is cute and summery. For a simple and subtle version of this look, you can try adding one striped, accent nail and leaving the rest in blue.
3. Pastel Drips
This cool and quirky look adds a little touch of pop art to your fingernails. The unique drip design appears best when partnered with soft pastel hues. Choose between baby blue, soft pink, lilac, mint, and yellow for the perfect summer style.
4. Vintage Floral Mix & Match
A chic floral look, such as this vintage one, is perfect for creating standout short nails. While the feminine and fun design may seem hard to create, it’s simpler than it appears. As the roses appear best abstract, there’s no need to stress about getting every detail perfect.
5. Colour Blocking
By colour blocking your nails, you’ll create a cool and contemporary nail art design. While this tutorial shows the style with lilac, mint, and eggplant shades of polish, it can work with any colours. Just make sure you have striping tape on hand to keep the lines clean and sharp.
6. Newspaper Nails
Although newspaper nails aren’t always simple to create, they can be made into an easy design. Instead of using actual newspaper, you can buy a stamp that’ll make the process quicker. By using the design over the whole nail, you’ll also achieve this cool and creative style in an easier way.
7. Poppy Flowers
This poppy flower nail art design is incredibly chic and stylish. You can wear it to an event, on the weekend or even to the office, depending on how strict the dress code is.
8. Marimekko Inspired Flower Nails
These Marimekko-inspired nails are perfect for any fashion-loving girl. While you’ll need a nail art brush and dotting tool to create the look, once you have the supplies the rest is easy. Just add fewer or smaller flowers for very short nail.
Nothing makes a better autumn accessory than these plaid nails. Chic and fashionable, they’re the perfect nail design to partner with a trench coat and floppy hat.
10. Glitter Cuticle Manicure
This ultra-cool manicure focuses glitter in the cuticles for a unique look. Despite appearing complex, the design is simple to create and a fantastic last-minute party style.
11. Aztec Print Over Neon Gradient
You’ll love this stylish Aztec design for its gradient base and unique print. Although the look requires patience, it’s not overly difficult to create. To save time, you can also consider using a solid base colour and making the designs less intricate.
12. Valentine’s Day Nails
A cute nail design is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style. This look features minimal pink hearts on a red base with a “love” accent nail for a charming and sweet style.
13. Wedding Design
If any occasion calls for perfect, gorgeous nails it’s your wedding. This beautiful swirl design is the perfect option for making the special occasion feel even more glamorous. With just a little practice, you’ll be able to easily recreate the style at home.
14. Tiffany Blue Diamond Nails
If you’re a fan of Tiffany & Co., you’ll love these nails. Glamorous and sparkly, they’re guaranteed to make you feel like you’re wearing a diamond ring without the hefty price tag.
15. Chevron Accent Nail
This incredibly easy design is perfect for creating statement nails quickly. By limiting the chevron print to just the ring finger, the style is kept from becoming overwhelming and time is saved.
Ombre is just as stylish for your nails as it is for your hair. On top of that, the design can also easily be created using a simple sponge application method.
17. Summer Fruits
Fruit is a fun nail art idea for summer. Whether you like strawberries, watermelon, kiwi or lemons, you’re sure to have a bright and happy season with these designs on your fingertips.
18. Gradient Dotticure
This cool, gradient, dotted manicure can easily be created with the help of some dotting tools. While this mint and purple combination is lovely, you can choose any colours you like, as long as they look good together.
Brocade is an elegant and sophisticated pattern choice for nails. As long as you have a steady hand, you’ll have no problem recreating this lovely design at home using a freehand method.
20. Doc Martens Vintage Roses
This dark, vintage rose design is inspired by a pair of Doc Martens. Perfect for pairing with a leather jacket, the stylish design has a gorgeous, rock edge.
21. Blue and Silver Glitter ‘X’
Glitter adds a playful touch to nail designs but too much can be a disaster. This blue and silver style is the perfect example of how it can be used in a modern and minimal way for stylish results.
22. Matte Glitter Cheetah Nails
These matte, glitter, cheetah nails demonstrate another way that glitter can be used without appearing excessive. Although the look is bold, its subtle use of glitter and minimal shine keeps it sophisticated and chic.
23. Geometric Negative Space
Geometric designs are a fantastic way of creating short nails that stand out. This version also utilises your natural nail in the form of negative space to make the look even more eye-catching.
24. Cherry Picnic Nails
Going on a picnic? Be sure to take these lovely nails with you. Featuring polka dot, glitter, cherry, and gingham designs, this chic nail design is feminine and fun.
25. Water Marble
A marble design is a striking and stylish nail art look. While this black and white version is graphic and bold, you can choose other colours for a softer or brighter appearance.
26. Silver Glitter
These silver glitter nails create the perfect party look. Pair the design with a chic, LBD to make your nails the centre of attention all night long.
27. Mermaid Nails
You can easily recreate these quirky mermaid nails by using a sponge gradient on the base and a scale stamp for the pattern. Finish with a layer of clear glitter polish to give your ocean look a little extra sparkle.
28. Pastel Rainbow Ombre
These pastel, rainbow, ombre nails are a playful look for summer. You can wear them to the beach or a festival as an incredibly stylish and impressive accessory.
29. Chevron Mountains
This two-tone, chevron design is both easy to create and fun to wear. The coral hue is ideal for summer but you can also try the look with a light blue for a wonderful winter style.
30. Minimalist Stripe
Nail art doesn’t have to be complicated to be stylish. This super simple minimalist stripe will only take a couple minutes to apply but will keep your nails looking fabulous all week.