46 Nail Art Ideas For Short Nails

If you hadn’t noticed, short nails are officially in. Definitely more practical, quicker to paint and often preferred than the longer alternative, short nails can be equally (if not more) chic, … Sure, we have less nail space to play with but when has that ever stopped us?

It’s time to stop working against the short nail stereotypes (boring and stubby) and embrace the neat, cute and practical vibes they are serving.

Still not convinced to go to the short side and need some inspiration? Keep scrolling to see our favourite short nail designs, that prove you don’t need long nails to have a super-cute, on-trend manicure.


There’s nothing we love more than a chic, dark manicure on short nails. Thanks for the inspo @bambinailss


We are obsessing over this star set from @bambinailss. Showing our nail tech RN.


Make the most of the space you have and simply fill it all like @bambinailss! This abstract flower design is one of our faves.


Switch out your French tip and go floral like @_beautybungalow. Short nails have never looked so cute.


Sweeten up your short mani with some lil’ hearts like @becky___lit. So cute.


Introducing the perfect design for short nails… @byjaex, you have nailed it.


This pastel, colour blocking mani by @ellzabethm is a vibe, and looks to die for on this short set.


Pink is always a good choice. Thanks for the inspo @glamby_jacqueline.


Keep your next mani dark and classic like @jessjnailsandbeauty, we’re obsessed with this set.


There’s no doubt that short nails make the perfect canvas for a mix n match detail set. @jxckhxrperart understood the assignment with this one…


We are living for this super cute, hot pink set from @kirstnailartist


If in doubt, go for orange! We are beyond obsessed with this bright, short mani from @levonatxnails.


Short, sweet, and so up our street. This abstract dot set from @nails_byanniebey is a big yes from us.


Pink and red is a colour combo we’re always down for. This mix n match set from @nailsatluce is ticking all of our boxes.


Simple but such a vibe, this set from @sophiescutenails is giving us major mani envy.


We are beyond obsessed with this neon, wavy French tip design by @sophiescutenails. Screenshotting RN!


We’re kicking things off with this negative space design from @_alwbeauty. It’s funky and bright and a vibe for short nails.


@_alwbeauty has nailed this super dainty floral design, guaranteed to brighten any dull day.


You know we love abstract designs, so let us introduce @_laurensnails_. This negative space, blue tonal look, with a pop of orange is so up our street.


Pastel+ glitter+ short nails= the ultimate combo. @aishasarts we’re obsessed.


Serving retro floral is this set from @aishasarts. We love.


French tips have always been a go-to style, even for the shortest of nails. We love this classic set from @bambinailss.


We just love this yin and yang set from @by_hannahwilson. It’s understated but never boring and suits short nails so well.


We love to mix n match, this marble hot pink design from @by_hannahwilson is showing us how it’s done.


You can never go wrong with a simple block colour on short nails, like this stunning green polish. @charsgelnails_ this is painted perfection.


Although summer is nearly over (cry), we just can’t stay away from the tropical vibes of this set by @gonailsusa. This proves you don’t need long nails for a funky manicure.


You’re going to want to screenshot this green quartz set from @jen.the.nail.lady. Consider us inspired.


Wow, cutting our nails ASAP! This super simple baby pink set from @jessicaleenails is so clean and timeless. We. Are. Obsessed. 


If you want something super clean but super sweet, look no further than this set from @lkbeauty_9. This dainty daisy look is never going out of style.


We are living for this mermaid shimmer set from @lkbeauty_9. With an application as neat as this, we’re ready to never go back to long nails.


If you can’t settle on one design, opt for something like this. @maisies_manicures has nailed this super cute marble combo.


You can never go wrong with a clean simple set. It’s timeless, its classic and we are obsessed. Congrats @maisies_manicures.


This set from @mua_hannahtaylor is right on our wavelength. Mixing primary colours and wavy lines is a vibe we want to be on. 


Can you tell we love negative space? What can we say, it looks so good on short nails and with an application like @nailenvy.xo’s, it’s hard to resist.


@nailsandlashesbylilly has nailed this chrome and navy squiggles set. Screenshotting ASAP.


Serving super sweet, why can’t valentine’s day be every day vibes, is this set from @nailsbyjennaturner. We love this colour combo.


Putting a literal spin on French tips is this cuff design from @no.24houseofbeauty. If you don’t have enough free edge (the nail at the edge of your fingers) then why not place the  colour in the opposite direction? It’s genius.


If you want to add a little something without going over the top, choose a design like this one from @ramua__. These little accent hearts are adorable and will enhance any simple mani.


Bling up a plain mani with glitter cuffs like @sophie.walsh.nails. It just makes sense. 


French tips tend to elongate super short nails, and this ombre tip design from @sophiekathleenmua is doing just that. We’re obsessed.


Here to brighten your day is this gorgeous set from @teiganwillbeauty. Orange and pink will always be a vibe.


@thebotanic.studios is giving us all the minimalist inspo with this orange and pink line design. BRB just cutting out nails. 


Putting an original spin on a classic French tip is @thenailroommanchester. It’s so clean and we so need it.


This design is never going out of style, thank goodness. French tips can be done in any colour of the rainbow, literally. Thanks for the inspo @thenailroommanchester.


This one is for the fun funky gals. @yaygrls, you have smashed this pick n mix look. Long nails who?


Make waves with a set like this one from @thehotblend. Blue and gold is a colour combo we need to try.


FYI: This article was previously published at an earlier date and has since been updated.