Short Nails

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15 Nail Art Designs That Look BETTER on Short Nails

Long nails are the Marcia Brady of manicures — they get all the attention and can’t help but show off a little, displaying their intricate designs and shapes all over Instagram and Pinterest. When a new design trend hits, it’s almost always shown on long nails, which isn’t fair to short nails at all! Short nails are like Jan Brady, the middle sister who sometimes gets overlooked but definitely deserves the spotlight just like her big sis.

If you’re someone who will never succumb to the siren song of acrylic nails, a nail-biter, or if you’re cursed with weak nails that just won’t grow no matter how many avocados you eat, don’t fret. You and your adorable short nails can still hang. In fact, these manicures look amazing on all lengths, especially shorties like yours (and mine).

Galaxy nails look super pretty on a shorter nail — it’s easier to see the stars!

This citrusy rainbow manicure is perfect for summer. Grab your SPF and some Skittles and you’re ready for the beach.

While a classic red manicure looks sexy and glam on long nails, it’s chic and posh when you go short.

The classic pink and white French manicure is definitely acrylic territory, but the “reverse French” is cool and unexpected, especially on short nails.

This cool dark manicure is reminiscent of shattered, holographic glass. Very edgy.

Just because short nails have less surface area than their long counterparts doesn’t mean you can’t bling ’em out.

We love a good marble mani, especially during wedding season.

Short, deep purple nails have become a classic, go-to choice that isn’t too goth for the office.

Half-moon manicures have been popular since the ’20s, but they still look hella cool and modern today.

Always go for glitter. Always. (It enhances jazz hands, you know, and this world needs more jazz hands).

OPI’s cult favorite Bubble Bath polish is so popular because it adds the illusion of length to nails and hands. It’s basically the OG Mannequin Hands.

In our opinion, leopard print is a neutral, and therefore it belongs on every mani. It actually looks better on short nails, whether you use it as an accent piece or decorate every nail with spots. As Austin Powers would say, “Grr, baby. Very grr.”

Graffiti nails are a thing, and they’re really cool. Who knew? Invest in some tiny paintbrushes if you’re into this look.

Is it just me or are these pretty pastel nails giving off serious Almond M&M vibes?

Little speckles make your nails look like adorable bird eggs. What’s cuter than that?