Beauty

32 Manicures That Look Great on Shorter Nails

Long nails are like the Marcia Brady of manicures — they get all the attention and are always showing off, displaying their intricate designs on the internet. But let’s be honest: short nail designs are long overdue for some time in the spotlight. We’re talking much longer than that library book you forgot to return to the school librarian back in the fourth grade, or that one-word text you were supposed to send to that guy you’ve been talking to on Tinder. Short nails are like Jan Brady, the middle sister who sometimes gets overlooked but definitely deserves the attention just like her big sis.

If you’re someone who will never succumb to the siren song of acrylic nails, are a nail-biter, just aren’t a big fan of long nails, or are cursed with weak nails that just won’t grow no matter how many supplements you take, don’t fret. You and your adorable short nails can still hang.

“As a former nail-biter, I can attest that nail art makes every length look extra fabulous,” says New York City-based nail artist Miss Pop. “If you have very short nails, consider focusing the design down by the cuticle — try a half-moon or a negative-space look.” In fact, these manicures look amazing on all lengths, especially on shorties. Better yet, each of these sets comes in a variety of colors and designs that are sure to satisfy almost everyone’s aesthetic palette. Not into pastels? We’ve got several ideas that fare more on the neutral side. Fancy pink over neutrals? We’ve got those, too. Consider all your nail art needs to be covered. 

Ahead, keep scrolling to find 32 short nail designs that we can guarantee you’ll want to copy, add to your nail art mood board, or show to your nail tech at your next salon appointment.

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