23 Nail Design Ideas for Short Nails That You Must Try

Long manicured talons are nice to have, but they aren’t always a possibility for everyone. Some people, from nail biters to typists, are just stuck with short nails. Or not stuck with them. Actually short nails have a number of advantages over long nails. They’re easy to keep clean and easy to maintain. You’re also much less likely to poke your eye out with short nails, and it’s so much easier to type and pick up those lucky heads up pennies on the sidewalk!

Just because you have short nails doesn’t mean they have to be boring either. Nail art isn’t just for long nails, after all! There are tons of great nail design ideas for short nails out there! Some styles look particularly good on short nails. In fact, some of the short nail design ideas below might surprise you, since they are normally thought of as design ideas for long nails.

Now, onto some of our favorite nail design ideas for short nails!

Polka Dot Nail Design Ideas for Short Nails

Polka dots are super easy nail designs to do! They just require a nail dotter tool, a toothpick, or something similar. They also look great on any nail length, including short nails.

Here’s a super cute red and white polka dot nail design idea.

nail design ideas for short nails 1NailDoctors.net

Or how about some blue polka dots on short nails?

nail design ideas for short nails 2Pin X Nails

Maybe pink polka dot nails are more your style?

nail design ideas for short nails 3Nail Art Designs

Stripe Nail Art for Short Nails

Stripe nail art on short nails is another great option! If you’re trying to draw attention away from short nails, it’s best to stick with stripes that run the length of your nail. This design draws the eye down the nail and creates the illusion of length.

This pretty pastel striped manicure on short nails is the perfect example of this.

nail design ideas for short nails 4Aelida

You can also get a little creative and try something like this stars and stripes nail design.

nail design ideas for short nails 5NailArtBeautiful.com

Diagonal stripes are also some amazing nail design ideas for short nails! The black and red color combination in this next example is just gorgeous!

nail design ideas for short nails 6NailArtBeautiful.com

Half Moon Manicures on Short Nails

The half moon manicure is similar to a French manicure, except the half moon shaped spot of the base of the nails is colored instead of the tips. If you’re looking for nail design ideas for short nails, you should definitely consider half moon manis! Like stripes, they tend to make the nails look a little longer than they really are. Feel free to play around with the colors too, since that’s half the fun!

Here’s a nice example of a pink and black half moon manicure…

nail design ideas for short nails 7Ivana Thinks Pink

…and a red and gold half moon manicure on short nails.

nail design ideas for short nails 8Grit&Glamour

Outlined Short Nails

Outlining you nails can make them appear more narrow and thus make them look a little longer. So, outlined nails are great nail design ideas for short nails! You can play around with the colors, but here are a couple of examples.

Here’s a pretty pastel blue outlined nail design, which looks great on these short nails!

nail design ideas for short nails 9Trusper

The tips are also outlined in this next example.

nail design ideas for short nails 10Street Fashion

But, it’s hard to beat these sparkly outlines!

nail design ideas for short nails 11Street Fashion

Dark Colors on Short Nails

Dark colors on long nails can be tricky to pull off. It can look more gothic than glam. Dark nail polish is much easier to pull off on short nails, though!

Simple short black nails can look smashing!

nail design ideas for short nails 12Reviewing Natural Beauty

If color’s more your thing, why not try a dark purple?

nail design ideas for short nails 13Polish Insomniac

Or a deep, dark maroon.

nail design ideas for short nails 14Nail Polish Diva

Short Neon Nails

Neon colors make fun spring and summer nails! The great thing about neon colors is that there are no rules. They look great on long or short nails. To make the colors more vibrant, start with a white base coat.

Try painting your nails a solid neon color if you’re feeling bold. If you can’t decide on a color, use them all!

nail design ideas for short nails 15Our Vanity

If solid neon colors are a little too flashy for you, you can use neon nail polish as an accent color.

nail design ideas for short nails 16BestStylo.com

Combine a dark nail polish with neon colors for a fun look!

nail design ideas for short nails 17BestStylo.com

French Manicure Nail Design Ideas for Short Nails

Most people think of French manicures are only for long nails. While this classic look is great for long nails, don’t discount French manicures as nail design ideas for short nails!

Done properly, a French manicure on short nails can look amazing! Just remember to keep the white tips thin, so they don’t overwhelm the nails.

nail design ideas for short nails 18Mix Health

Metallic Short Nails

Metallic nail polish can also look great on short nails! Paint your nails solid metallic colors, or use them as accents.

These metallic gold nails look decadent on short nails.

nail design ideas for short nails 19RandomStory.org

But the silver nails look amazing too!

nail design ideas for short nails 20London Beep

But we can’t forget copper nails!

nail design ideas for short nails 21Grosgrain Fabulous

Newsprint Nail Designs for Short Nails

Newsprint nail designs are really easy to create, although they look complex. Start with a light color, like white or a pastel color, and press an alcohol soaked piece of newspaper to your nail to transfer the ink. Cover it with a clear coat to protect it, and you have a totally cute manicure for short nails!

Here’s a nice example of a basic white newsprint nail design on short nails.

nail design ideas for short nails 22Brit.co

But you can also get a little colorful!

nail design ideas for short nails 23Leona Carolina

Whether your nails are short by choice or chance, you can still have fun with nail art! The nail art design ideas for short nails above are just a start too. There are tons of great nail art designs out there, so don’t be afraid to experiment a little! Remember that just because a certain nail art design is usually reserved for long nails, it doesn’t mean that it can’t look good on your short nails too.

Looking for more nail design ideas for short nails? Check out these marble nails, tie-dye nails, and simple nail designs!

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