12 Short Nail Designs With Tons of Personality

Why do I love short nail designs? Because you can have a ton of personality with shorter nails. Plus short nails are more low-maintenance and hygienic. They are the ideal option for those of us who work with our hands, like teachers, and our friends in the medical field like nurses, doctors, and lab technicians.

I’ve had both short and long nails, but I whatever nail length I’m wearing, I never skimp out on a stylish design. Check out some of my favorite short nail designs in the list below.

1. Minimalistic rainbow

short nail designs
Image via Instagram @jark.nails

These are the perfect everyday nails. With a hint of color across the corner and a nude pink base, they’re perfect for anyone who loves a minimalistic design. These soft pastels add a sweet touch without overwhelming the design of color. Use a fine-line nail brush to recreate the look yourself. And you can customize this simple design with your favorite colors.

2. Colorful French mani

short nail designs
Instagram @dynailsty

A French manicure is a classic that looks classy no matter the occasion. And it’s one of the designs that look best on short nail shapes. Update this favorite by getting playful with the colors. Instead of the classic white French tips, this manicure used a pretty pink for the tips, which adds a sweet feminine twist. Paint the edges of the nail to give your manicure a salon feel.

3. Sweet hearts

short nail designs
Instagram @fairynails_by_leanne

A truly lovely manicure for pretty short nails. These nails feature a pinkish-beige nude nail polish as the base and a little black heart at the bottom of the nails. The dainty little heart adds a pop to a simple nude manicure. And it’s the perfect design for anyone who likes a little romance in their life. Recreate this design with a nail dotting tool or nail stickers.

4. Funky pop art

short nail designs
Instagram @nailmhtech

Can’t decide on one design? Why not have them all with this funky pop art nail art design for short nails? Inspired by Pop art, this manicure uses bright and bold colors to create fun designs like a smiley face, polka dots, cherries, squiggly lines, and an evil eye. And with a transparent nude base, the manicure masterfully uses negative space, a nail trend that’s here to stay.

5. Mod Mondrian

short nail designs
Instagram @nailsbydaovo

These nails look like they could be featured in a museum next with their beautiful abstract geometric design. Using red, white, and black, this design features triangles, rectangles, and thin lines placed artfully and overlapping across the nail on a pinkish-neutral base. This manicure proves that short nails are a great canvas for a stunning nail art design.

6. Delicate flowers

short nail designs
Instagram @jark.nails

Nothing beats a floral manicure because pretty, delicate flowers will never go out of style. And this design makes the most of a short nail with lots of pretty blooms. It starts with a neutral-pink background and features crisp white flowers and leaves across the nail. In the center of each flower are tiny magenta dots for a pop of color. And sparkling gold accents add a touch of glam.

7. Drippy dreams short nail designs

short nail designs
Instagram @nailaddictsllc

Drip nail art is a really creative way to add a pop of color to your manicure with a fun graphic touch. The nail art is on a transparent background, so the color really pops. Then using a vibrant red, start at the edge of the nail and is painted in a way that it looks like the color is dripping down the nail. It’s a great graphic nail for Halloween.

8. Poppy abstract art

short nail designs
Instagram @jark.nails

Anyone who loves color will love this bright manicure. It feels like a sunny summer day with shades of blue, yellow, pink, and orange. Each nail is a little different, with a mix of abstract shapes, thick straight lines, and black dots. Recreate this and play around with the shapes and color combinations. This cute manicure proves nail art [on] short nails can be bold and fun.

9. Desert landscape

short nail designs
Instagram @uglyducklingnails

Have the beauty of the desert on your own cute short nails. The warm tones of orange and yellow are currently in trend and are inspired by the natural beauty of desert settings. The pinky and pointer fingers are painted a solid orange to allow the ring and middle fingers to feature the desert scene, complete with rolling sand dunes, a majestic cactus, and the sun rising above the landscape.

10. Tortoiseshell short nail design

short nail designs
Instagram @nailgarden.harrogate

Tortoiseshell nails are both sophisticated and fun. This nail trend has gone viral again and again for how beautiful it is. And this design creates pretty nails [for] short nail shapes. The nails mimic the classic tortoiseshell pattern by layering shades of brown and black. Make it your own by doing half-nails or a French manicure. What’s cool about tortoiseshell nails is that each manicure features a unique pattern.

11. Micro French tip nails

Instagram @gel.bymegan

I like to call this the invisible manicure. The micro French tips on these gel nails are so subtle you can hardly tell. Polished and classy, this look gives a perfect impression no matter where you’re headed.

For a fun take on this try painting your tips in bold hues like indigo or go glam with a barely-there line of metallic gold or silver polish. For more inspiration check out our favorite short nail designs in French Tip Nails: Swoonworth Designs.

12. Classic short red nails

Instagram @nails_britt

Ever the classic look, short red nails are demurely sexy. From Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction to Rhianna, saturated red nails have graced the hands of almost every Hollywood starlet to walk the red carpet.

For the perfect set of short red nails, check out our favorites for Best Gel Nail Polish to get that chip-resistant finish we all love.

Eye-catching short nail designs to try

What do you think of these short nail designs? Short nails are low maintenance without compromising or giving up on having beautiful nails.

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