All over social media, we are all pretty envious of the nail-goals photos posted on Twitter or Tumblr. Designs online don’t only seem unobtainable but also impractical for everyday situations, as the nails always are super long and usually fake! Wearing long acrylic nails to school or to work isn’t always practicable, but we all want our nails looking gorgeous whatever the length. We have got the top 35 designs for shorter nails to help you get your nails looking on point!
11 Short And Sparkly
Though it may seem like a simple option, just applying a coat or two of sparkly polish can do the trick! Put a layer of clear polish on your nail before using the glitter polish to make sure the sparkly chunks stick on properly. If you are as mad about the color as we are, the shade of this glitter polish is Star Hopping by China Glaze.
1. Short And Sparkly
22 Matte And Simple
We do love a good mash up of two styles – a glitter polish and a sleek matte polish that will also last longer! Short and subtle, this style will do for any occasion. Plus, mauve will go with anything, whether it is your kaki jeans or denim jumpsuit, it will always look cute! Dollskill have the exact same color for you to try out this look!
2. Matte And Simple
33 Scumptiously Sweet
You can never go wrong with a cupcake design! Full of super girly colors, this delicious design will make your friends feel jealous at school or for a special occasion. It is very simple to do, the only tools you will need are a dotting tool and a nail art brush.
3. Scumptiously Sweet
44 Daisy Design
Floral designs don’t need to be detailled to look cute on your short nails. A style as simple as this one can look fabulous on your nails and fit for every occasion. It also has a top summer color in there – turquoise, that will look stunning with a gorgeous tan.
4. Daisy Design
55 Owl Style
Another unique design you can try out is this owl one. Yet again, this one is pretty simple and different, no one around you will have this! Be ready to stand out from the crowd and receive so many compliments on your sweet look!
5. Owl Style
66 Marble Effect
Some designs look even better on shorter nails and we feel the water marble effect is one of them. Your nails will feel like mini canvases, as well as stunning. We love the choice of colors here – grey and coral are not only on-trend but look divine together.
6. Marble Effect
You can never go wrong with a blue and white ombré. Though this design may seem on the summery side, just change to darker colors for the winter, we are thinking navy blue to light blue for the colder seasons.
88 Tiny Design
Your nails may be shorter, but you have still got a bit of space to try out designs on. Aztec patterns are pretty and add edge to a simple look, without going over the top. Add a bit of wine-colored polish for a very fashionable look that works with any outfit.
8. Tiny Design
99 Cut Out
Instead of just applying a layer of polish, change it up by trying a cut-out inspired design. As well as adding texture to your design, it changes your simple everyday look. The polish you will need for this look is the shade Shearling Darling by Essie!
9. Cut Out
Nothing beats a lovely floral pattern! It is a classic and timeless design that is very simple to do and wear! This style looks classier on shorter nails and can finish off a smart look for a job interview or for a party!
1111 Multicolored Aztec Design
This Aztec design is perfect for summer thanks to the use of several bright colors. Paint your nail tips bright pink for a real stand out look, we recommend Essie’s shade Fiesta if you want to replicate the photo! Use tape for precision and accuracy!
11. Multicolored Aztec Design
1212 Leopard Print
Though it may be more fiddly to do on a smaller finger nail, you can still have a totally cute and fun design. Coral adds a summery feel to the look, along with the light color scheme. For winter, use greys and metallic colors!
12. Leopard Print
1313 Follow The Line
This design is original and simple to do. For the girls who don’t like acrylic nails and fancy designs, this is the look for you! Monochrome is very sophisticated, perfect for making an impression. Use a bit of cardboard for a cheap and simple way of getting super straight lines.
13. Follow The Line
1414 Super Shiny
Have you got any old polishes laying about? This look will help you recycle some of your old shades! This look would be ideal for a special occasion – a party, a dinner date, or just a dressier occasion. It uses different colors without being too in your face, perfect for your next outing!
14. Super Shiny
1515 Black And Coral
Coral has been at the center of some of our previous designs, and it’s pretty understandable. It is usually quite an underestimated color, as it is sometimes difficult to find colors to go with it. Black and coral make a classy combination, and though this could work for an everyday look, we also recommend it for your next important event, let your nails do the talking!
15. Black And Coral
1616 Beautiful Birds
This design was inspired by the tattoos you often see on Tumblr. We loved the design, and someone had the ingenious idea of using them for their nail art. Birds are spiritual animals and represent freedom and beauty. It is simple, and is different to your average everyday look. Though we love the white base coat, why not use other colors such as lilac or mauve?
16. Beautiful Birds
1717 Navy Blue
This style looks effortless and gorgeous. Just apply your favorite navy blue polish – we recommend Essie’s shade Style Cartel for the deepest blue – before adding gold nail tape. SallyBeauty has what you need, as they have CinaCreations’ striping tape in gold and in silver too!
17. Navy Blue
1818 A Touch Of Pink
Pink and black always seem to make sense, especially with black and white geometric shapes. For the zig zag, there are many stencil kits out there that will help you achieve a flawless and accurate look. If you love the pink polish used here as much as we do, then the shade is Like… Totally Valley Girl by NCLA.
18. A Touch Of Pink
1919 Crazy Paint Splatters
We do love a good crazy design and paint splatters totally match that description. Using a white base coat makes your nails look like little pieces of art. It is simple to do but messy, so always practice this design on a covered surface, otherwise you will have a room to match your nails!
19. Crazy Paint Splatters
2020 Sparkly Blue
You have seen gold, silver and pink glitter, but blue glitter is underused. Layer it over a blue polish for the under the sea look. This is a very versatile look, as it can be worn everyday or even for special occasions!
20. Sparkly Blue
2121 Horizontal Stripes
You can’t go wrong with a simple nautical look. This would look cute with a navy blue blazer and white floaty dress for the end of the summer or the beginning of fall. Well, fact is, stripes go with everything, so you can wear this at school or work for a sophisticated look.
21. Horizontal Stripes
2222 Perfect Pink
Pink and lilac look beautiful together and very girly. If you have dyed your hair grey or lilac, then you should do this design for matching nails! NCLA has you covered for everything pastel! As If (lilac) and Pacific Coast Pirouettes (pastel pink) are the shades you will need for this look.
22. Perfect Pink
You can never have too much yellow! This bright yellow makes us feel cheerful and happy about the day ahead. The little flowers help us feel summery even when the weather doesn’t. To get perfect flowers without the hassle, Moyou London has the stencil set you need – Flower Power 11 has the exact same flowers!
Since your nails are shorter, you can go crazy with the nail jewels! Daily Charme will have everything you need to create an expensive-looking design. Use a deep and rich color with the jewels for a classy look – we adore this Laura G by Liveglam polish in the shade Madrid, which is a mix of burgundy and wine.
2525 Zebra Pattern
Show off your wild side with this fun design! Keep your outfit simple so that your nails grab everyone’s attention – we are thinking perhaps with a monochrome outfit? All you will need is a thin nail art brush for the most accurate zebra stripes.
25. Zebra Pattern
We love spots as they give off such a retro vibe! They are classy and simple to do. You will only have to invest in a dotting tool to get the most perfect dots. Color-wise, we recommend keeping it to black and white for a timeless 60s-inspired look.
Bows are super cute and are perfect for the girlier nail artists! There are so many styles you can try out – a little bow on its own like in this photo, or, for a Hello-Kitty inspired look, draw them on in a cartoon-style. Check out our article here on different Hello Kitty nail art designs.
2828 Disney Design
If you are a huge Disney fan or are nostalgic about your last trip to Disneyland? This pretty design is for you! We love the touch of glitter, which really represents the magic of Disney. You can find Disney nail stickers and stencils sets all over the net for you to get the perfect Disney look!
28. Disney Design
This floral design is a complicated one, and is not for the fainthearted! If you are not yet at ease with your nail art tools, we recommend finding yourself some fake nails, and cutting them to the length you want. This is a tip used by many beauty bloggers to avoid super scary long nails!
3030 Pink And White
This pink and white design is perfect for short nails. This look is sweet and really on-trend right now. Use tape to get a straight design, and peel off once you have finished. This is an ideal everyday look that will look cute with most colors!
30. Pink And White
Go for smaller shapes on your shorter nails for a salon-quality look. Geometric shapes always look best in black and white for a simple and subtle design, that will go with anything in your wardrobe. For the winter months, you can change the coral for a khaki or burgundy instead.
3232 Burberry Inspired
We love Burberry, and the pattern is emblematic of the British brand. This design needs a lot of tape for the straightest lines, giving you the most resembling design! For the base coat, you will need Essie’s Jazz for the perfect match.
32. Burberry Inspired
3333 Mandala Design
Mandala designs are difficult, and in particular on short nails, but there is no need to panic, as you can find many stencil sets out there to perfect your look! Moyou London has everything you will need to replicate this gorgeous look.
33. Mandala Design
3434 Almond Blue
What would be a top 35 without a bit of almond blue? The versatile color looks gorgeous with this pastel pink on shorter nails. This look, particularly on shorter nails, looks great for an every day look, whether it is your first day back at high school or for a day out shopping at the mall, your nails will look on point!
34. Almond Blue
3535 Blue Flower Design
Last but not least, we are bringing you another pretty floral design to try out on your short nails. What is there not to love about this? The color scheme, the pattern… The list could go on! This is a gorgeous design for spring and summer in particular, so make the most of the season and practice this design now!
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