55 Short Nail Designs For Your Next Manicure – Glam

55 Short Nail Designs For Your Next Manicure

After years of long nails being worn by almost every celebrity and influencer on social media, short nails are finally reigning supreme in 2022. Unlike Cardi B, if you’ve ever struggled to open a can, type an email, or pick something up off of the floor because of your long nails, you’re going to love this latest trend. But ditching your lengthy tips doesn’t mean you can’t make a statement with your next manicure. Short nail designs can be just as dramatic and bold as longer nails, or neutral and understated. There are no limits when it comes to creative looks for your sporty nails.

The Kardashians helped make elongated tips the must-have look for years, but Kim Kardashian recently revealed that she prefers to wear shorter ones. “I can’t do long nails,” she tells Allure. Kardashian says she sometimes wears lengthier, press-on nails “for a shoot,” but admits they’re not practical. “When I have my nails on, everyone will laugh,” she said. “They’ll be like ‘nothing you’re saying on text makes sense.'”

Saying goodbye to length and embracing natural nails doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Nail artists are creating countless new, innovative styles for trim tips. “I think people are finally realizing the size of the canvas does not matter,” celebrity nail artist Vanessa Sanchez McCullough tells The Zoe Report. “Short nails or long nails, you could still have beautiful trendy looks.”

Check out these 55 short nail designs before you go for your next manicure.

A pop of red

This manicure goes from simple and neutral to bold and interesting with just a pop of red polish. The addition of a bright, cherry red polish on top of a milky white base coat is perfect for holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day. It is also stunning when you are simply looking for just a hint of color to add to your manicure without adding color to the entire nail.

Bold gold

Gold nail polish adds a glowing sheen to shorter nails. The oval shape of these nails helps to elongate their look while still giving you the practicality of trim tips. This gold polish is dramatic enough on its own and doesn’t need any nail art to make it stand out. This is a look that can work for day or night.

Make it spooky

You can still show your love of Halloween without donning long, coffin-shaped nails. If you love a theme manicure but still want to keep your nails short, these designs fully embrace the spooky season by painting ghosts, spiderwebs, and pumpkins on a neutral base. Painting one nail black accents the entire look and completes this very cool style.

Blueberry lemonade

Crelly is a jelly-like, typically opaque, or neutral polish that often contains glitter. This crelly features teal, white, and yellow sparkles on a pale blue base, providing an easy way to give off the look of nail art without being too complicated. Just paint it on and go!

Pink and black simplicity

If you’re looking for something feminine and classic but don’t want to overdo it on the nail art, pink and black make a truly luxe combination on the nails. It totally reminds us of Paris and we can’t help but drool over the addition of delicate black leaf outlines on a clean, pale, pink base.

Pastel abstract

Keep it interesting with unique, abstract art featuring pastel shades for your next manicure. Grey and blue polish is brushed randomly on top of a pastel, pink base coat to give this short manicure an updated look. Add on a few splashes of silver glitter and you have a look that’s perfect for a night on the town or day at the office.

Zodiac nails

Let everyone know your zodiac sign by wearing it on your nails. You can add a lot of personality and astrology to your nails by using these unique nail art appliqués. They can be applied over nails painted in alternating shades of watermelon, pale peach, and turquoise to make your nails a definite conversation piece.

Go retro

Give off those 1970s vibes with this cool, retro-style manicure featuring squiggles in pale shades of blue, brown, green, and yellow. Whether you’re wearing this for a theme party or simply because you love this throwback look, it is a fun way to experiment with multiple colors on your manicure while using a squiggle of gel for added dimension.

Matte black

You may think that you need long, stiletto-shaped nails to make a style statement with your manicure, but these shorter, square-shaped tips painted with matte black polish prove otherwise. A dark polish without sheen gives any nails a dramatic look without the length, and they go with just about everything.

Sunshine yellow

Instantly lift your mood with these pastel, yellow nails. Red accents, painted to look like a section of a flower petal, on the corner of each nail add just a splash of color to this already vibrant manicure. This artistic manicure will not go unnoticed.

Bold outline

Who says you can’t be creative with shorter nails? We love how this nail artist outlined this short, square-shaped manicure with a green polish overtop and an indigo blue base. This is such a simple technique that gives you a totally bold and unique final result.

Floral cuff

A short, nude manicure is timeless, but the addition of this milky white vine design along the cuticle softens the look. This nail art adds a feminine touch, while keeping it neutral. We love how unexpected the effect is.

Skinny French

Black and nude are a timeless pairing, making this twist on a skinny French manicure so gorgeous. The thin, black line on a short, square nail gives this look an updated feel from the classic white tip. This is perfect for any occasion and will definitely make a statement.

Gold shards on a neutral base

Less can still definitely be more when it comes to short nails. Applying an understated, straight line of gold glitter polish down a nail painted with a neutral shade of polish is simple perfection. This is also an easy way to dress up your manicure for a night on the town.

Floral French

You can never go wrong with a classic French manicure on a short, rounded nail. But we love how this nail artist added delicate, floral accents to create an entirely different vibe. An individual yellow daisy is added to each nail to give this look just a touch of flower power.

Brown and pink

Individual accent nails have been popular for some time, but adding two accent nails creates an even more unique look. Using brown and pink polishes together has always resulted a gorgeous aesthetic. But adding floral designs to brown accent nails, alongside the remaining nails painted a bubblegum color, creates a show-stopping look.

Abstract ’80s

These nails give us a total ’80s vibe using black, pink, yellow, orange, and blue polishes to create abstract lines over a milky white base. This stunning look is very reminiscent of “Miami Vice,” and 1980s neon fashion. It’s perfect for someone who wants to add a pop of color to their manicure.

Chrome French twist

The French manicure has given nail artists an endless source of inspiration. This look is inspired by celebrity nail artist Tom Bachik, who swapped out the traditional white tips for a stunning, silver, chrome finish, but he also added in Swarovski crystals for an added touch of glam. Stunning!

Rose quartz with gold foil

Gold accents have become increasingly popular recently, especially when it comes to nail art. Whether you choose gold glitter, polish, or jewels, this precious metal is sure to add a luxe look to your manicure. This nail artist used gold foil on a rose quartz base to create this stunning effect that is sure to make a statement.

Gradient glitter and snowflakes

We love a themed nail. This gorgeous winter wonderland manicure is subtle, but still stunning. Using a nude base, glitter is applied to the tips of the nail with a gradient technique. It appears to be falling down the nails, creating the perfect snowfall effect, while the snowflake decals truly make this nail art seasonal perfection.

Polka dots

Polka dots have been a huge trend in nail art over the years. They’re always fun, adorable, and they’re pretty simple to do at home. You don’t need to visit a professional nail artist to achieve this gorgeous manicure if you have a steady hand and a variety of different polish hues. We love how these different shades of blues and whites give these nails a preppy vibe.

Go chrome

Hailey Bieber may have popularized the current chrome nail polish trend by wearing them on her long nails, but this style looks amazing on any length. This short manicure gives off that perfectly smooth, opalescent glow from the chrome treatment. It is just as beautiful on sporty tips as it is on longer nails.

Pink and gold

Pink and gold is another timeless color combination when it comes to nail art. A bubblegum nail polish is always a classic, but pairing it with an accent of gold foil down the side of each nail takes this manicure to the next level. This pop of metallic gives the manicure a totally cool feeling, while still being clean and simple.

Coral quartz

Duplicate the look of your favorite crystal with this gorgeous coral quartz manicure. The nail artist explains on Instagram that using a special brush, red and coral polish, and a foil palette can help create this unique look. The key to making this style appear as real as possible is to make each nail unique.

Nude water marbling

Water marbling is a difficult nail art technique to master, but it can create a truly stunning effect on any manicure. We love how this nail artist used various shades of nude, pink, and indigo blue to create this look. Even more creative is the use of water marbling on a portion of the nail, accented by a single jewel. This look stands out even more with each nail showcasing a different effect.

Rainbow nails

Chase the rainbow with these cute and colorful nails. Pastel blue, purple, pink, yellow, and green polish gives you all the color you want in your manicure without being too bold. The beauty of this style is you never have to choose which polish you want, because you can wear them all.

Half-moon Skittle

A great way to create an interesting look on your nails is by painting the half-moon below the cuticle a different color than the base. This nail artist used a different Skittle shade for each one and layered it over a soft, cream base polish. It’s a creative twist on a traditional rainbow manicure.

Gold plaid

Nail decals and stickers can be used to create some really unique looks, with just a little imagination. This nail artist used a clear base coat under a variety of gold nail stickers to design a plaid style. If you decide you want to mix it up shortly after your manicure, using stickers allows you to remove and then replace them with different looks.

Wedding manicure

Nothing says “I do” more than this neutral base accented with the actual words handwritten on the side of the ring finger using silver chrome dust, and a heart on the same finger on the opposite hand. This is a unique and clever twist on the traditional wedding nails, while still being understated, elegant, and classy.

Miami vibes

Show off some bright Miami vibes with nails featuring hand-painted palm trees and abstract art using neon pink, black, and yellow polishes. This manicure is ideal for the summer, or when you’re jetting off on vacation somewhere tropical, and you want your nail art to reflect your vacation mood.

Valentine’s nails

This is an interesting twist on the typical red nail look that many wear for Valentine’s Day. Instead of a full scarlet manicure, just the accent nail is painted red while the rest of the nails are done in a pale pink. A red heart is painted on each of the remaining nails, creating a sweet, love day-themed manicure.

Animal instinct

Show off your love of animal print with this cheetah design. We’ve seen this wild look with clothes, handbags, and accessories, so why not take it to your nails? You can choose to paint the design on just one accent nail, or two. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you can do your entire manicure in this pattern.

Spooky season nails

If you’re a fan of the spooky season, you’ll love this nail art. Take your black manicure to the next level with these Halloween theme nails. Use a white nail polish pen to create a variety of eerie shapes on your nails, resulting in the ultimate matte look.

Minimalist Halloween nails

This minimalist Halloween-themed manicure may be for you if you want to show your love of the spooky season through your nail art, but you don’t want something too bold. A tiny cat, ghost, pumpkin, and witch hat are all meticulously painted on a sheer base for a super cute holiday design.

Swarovski crystals

A little bling can go a long way in creating a dramatic effect on your manicure. Adding even the smallest amount of Swarovski crystals takes a sheer, nude manicure for everyday wear to a look that is red carpet ready. You can get creative and use as many, or as few crystals as you like. For a more budget-friendly alternative, you could incorporate less expensive jewels.

Tortoiseshell tips

This French manicure experiment is totally giving us Autumn vibes. The brown, yellow, and black combine to create a tortoiseshell effect, painted in a classic Parisian style on a sheer pink base. This is the ultimate sweater weather glam.

Peacock style

Although a blue eye seemed to be the inspiration for this manicure, we can’t help but get the feeling that these colors are reminiscent of peacock feathers. This milky white base is accented by blue or green dots that have a spot of black polish right in the middle. A touch of silver glitter makes these nails perfect for the holidays.

Feeling blue

These short nails showcase this blue manicure beautifully. Each nail is painted using different shades of blue and incorporates unique nail art. While every design is different, the common color theme ties them all together. Flowers, hearts, and butterflies give this manicure a whimsical feeling.

Matte plus metal

Using a bright, matte nail polish really gives your manicure a sleek and stunning look. It is totally different from a traditional glossy polish, but adding gold gem accents at the base of the nail truly elevates this style. The contrast between the lilac polish and the gold accents really exudes a luxurious, feminine feel.

Black and nude

Here’s another twist on the iconic pairing of black and nude nails, which is also an interesting option for a non-traditional Valentine’s Day-theme manicure. It is so unique to paint just one nail in a French manicure style, while adorning another in black hearts and gold dots.

Getting groovy

We can’t help but feel groovy looking at this multicolored manicure. Pink, blue, orange, and pale green polish is applied in thin, swirly lines on a neutral base to give this nail art a cool and fresh feel. The shorter length is perfect to display the wide array of colors used, without overpowering the final look.

Easy tiger

If an accent nail or two in your favorite animal print isn’t enough for you, then give a full tiger print manicure a try. This look is inspired by nail artist Betina Goldstein who hand-painted the animal print using regular polish. The results are simply breathtaking and are perfect for anyone who likes to take a walk on the wild side.

Pink pride

Show your pride any time of the year with this stunning, bold, pink manicure accented with rainbow-dotted stripes. The vibrant, neon pink base color is gorgeous alone, but adding in the line of rainbow dots really makes this manicure stand out. You could also substitute any color as the base to customize this style to your personal preference.

Bold and beautiful

If you love bold, bright colors on your nails, this manicure will provide ample inspiration. The combination of turquoise, fuchsia, green, orange, and yellow polishes create a powerful work of art. Whether you see butterfly wings, flowers, or simply abstract designs, this manicure is both bold and beautiful.

Fresh as a daisy

Adding hand-painted daisies on top of a matte, navy blue base coat creates a sweet, bold, and feminine manicure. Daisies have always added a youthful touch to a summer manicure, but the navy blue makes this look perfect year-round. Florals will always be in style when it comes to nail art and these ones are easy enough to paint on without having to use decals or nail wraps.

Paint splatter

Give your nails an artistic flair with this paint splatter technique. A neutral base coat is topped with random strokes of color, finished off with a bits of black polish. It truly takes an artist to create such a unique manicure, so it is no surprise that any nail artist would take inspiration from other forms of painting.

Emerald stars

Emerald green polish creates a simply striking manicure, but the addition of these metallic stars truly creates a breathtaking look. The base color works with any season and event, while the constellation decals can be applied sparingly. A topcoat over the stars will help ensure they aren’t falling off after dark.

Cloudy skies

Although clouds usually mean rain is in the forecast, there is nothing but clear skies with this nail art. Light blue nails are accented with fluffy, hand-drawn clouds to give a breezy and airy feel to this manicure. Each tip is slightly different, echoing the individuality of real clouds.

Black and white chic

There is no more iconic pairing than black and white. Regardless of how you combine these colors, the results are always stunning. This manicure is reminiscent of Betina Goldstein’s use of the classic black and white Chanel handbag as inspiration for nail art. Although simple in concept, just like the designer accessory, the results of adding black or white dots on a solid base gives an elegant and classic look.

Gradient rainbow

If you love the look of a rainbow manicure, this gradient style is an excellent alternative to painting a different color on each nail. Take your tips from pink, to blue, with purple, and green in between, adding a gradual and interesting rainbow effect.

Candy cane nails

Theme nails have taken on a life of their own, but these classic candy cane nails are perfect for the holidays. Whether you’re heading to a holiday party, or just want to showcase the festive spirit, these white nails are striped with red glitter polish and accented with metallic stripes, because the holidays are all about the sparkle!

The open side French

We’ve seen a lot of side French manicures recently as nail artists look to update a classic style with a more modern spin — this is an even more interesting interpretation of that. Instead of painting the entire tip blue, you can simply outline where the polish typically would have gone.

Lucky cherry

Although a manicure featuring hand-painted cherries would usually be seen more in the spring and summer months, the emerald green accents painted on the side of the nail really make this a look that can be worn year-round. The pale pink base works perfectly with the hand-painted cherries, making this manicure simply sweet.

Winter florals

Floral designs don’t have to only be worn in the summer months. This combination of black and white flowers on a nude base nail is flirty, feminine, and perfect for those colder months when you need something pretty to look at. Although the design is simple, the results are simply beautiful.

Orange you glad you chose this nail art?

Orange and coral polish combine to make this fun, retro manicure. Using this combination of polishes to create hearts, flowers, swirls, and plaids on the nails is a creative and unique way to use these colors. We totally have ’70s vibes.

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