Short and Sweet: 75 Chic Short Nail Designs

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Short and Sweet: 75 Chic Short Nail Designs

Are you looking for some new short nail designs? If so you’ve come to the right place. In this post we’ll check out the most popular designs of all time, what’s trending this year and we’ll look at the hottest nail colors and shapes too. Read to the end and I’ll show you some of my favorite press on nails as well.

Easy Nail Designs for Short Nails Without Tools

Are you’re looking for some easy short nail ideas that you can DIY even if you’re not a nail professional? If so then I have some for you in this post. Read on and check out some of the best easy DIY designs such as:

  • A Modern Dotticure
  • Micro Tips
  • Minimalistic Nails
  • Marble Nail Design

We’ll explore all of these nail designs and more in this post!

Classic Short Nail Designs

First, let’s take a look at some short nail patterns that never go out of style. Try one of these nail designs with a modern twist and your nails are sure to look on point.

Short Nails French Tip

The French manicure is a timeless choice for short nails that never goes out of style. The classic design is with a nude or light pink base with white tips. But if you want to modernize this classic try a bold color, glitter tips or a fun pattern.

One of the modern trends right now is micro tips, which is a French manicure with a thin tip. Check out the best modern short French tips below.

French Tips with Ring Stacks

Image Source | lillypalm_

Micro French Nails

Image Source | nailsbyjennifer93

Short French Tip Nails

Image Source | lindseybeautylounge1

Square French Tips with Flowers

Image Source | gelsbybry

Floral Short Nail Ideas

Floral designs look pretty on short nails and are especially popular in the spring and summer time. If you want to add a little femininity and charm to your nails try painting small flowers, in various colors over your entire nail or on the tips. An easy DIY option is to use floral nail stickers.

Flower Accent Nails

Image Source | kcnailsx

Floral Tip Nail Design

Image Source | rachelsbeauty

Almond Floral Nails

Image Source | nailsquad_25

Short Pink Flower Nails

Image Source | lindseybeautylounge1

Modern Dot Short Nail Designs

Polka dots are always in style. I’m loving the modern dot design called a dotticure. To get the look add a straight row of dots in the same color or different colors. Check out some inspiration below.

Rainbow Dotticure

Image Source | tessa.lyn.nails

Pastel Polka Dot Nail Design

Image Source | lindsybeautylounge1

Colorful Dot Nail Design Idea

Image Source | onenailtorulethemall

Modern Dot Nail Design

Image Source | m.o.n.a.j

Short Nail Design with Flecks

Image Source | gel.bymegan

Animal Print Nail Designs for Short Nails

For an edgier look how about incorporating some animal print like leopard, zebra or cow print onto your short nails? This too is another design that will never go out of style.

You can use a thin brush or even a toothpick to draw the design on your nails. Try a design on just a few nails or even just the nail tip. Check out some inspiration below.

Leopard Print Nail Design

Image Source | mir_dizaina_manikura

Cow Print Nails

Image Source | mir_dizaina_manikura

Animal Print Short Nail Design

Image Source | mir_dizaina_manikura

Marbling Short Nail Designs

Marble nails looks sophisticated and chic on short nails. To achieve this design drop a small amount of different nail polish colors onto a plastic sheet and then gently swirl them together and press your nail into the pattern. The result is a unique design that looks like natural marble.

For a little extra add some gold flecks. Get inspired by some gorgeous marble nails below.

Short Marble Nails

Image Source | _by_shelley

Pink Marble Nails with Gold Flecks

Image Source | beauty_nailsgdl

Marble French Tip Design

Image Source | amberlilynails

Short Nail Ideas with Accent Nails

An easy way to add a little interest to your nail design is with accent nails. Choose one or two nails on each hand and add glitter, a different color, or a design and to really make them stand out. Check out some of my favorite ideas for accent nails below.

Short Pink Nails with Accent

Image Source | nailsbypaulin

Floral Accent Nail

Image Source | verenisse_nailsart

Matte, Nude and Glossy Finishes

Another way to switch up your nail design is to experiment with different finishes. A nude manicure will give your nails a classy, understated feel. Matte finish is perfect if you’re looking for a more sophisticated and contemporary look.

Try a glossy finish if you really want your nails to pop. Don’t be afraid to mix and match finishes within the same manicure for a truly original nail design.

What is so fun about all of these designs is you can do them yourself. Pick your favorite and give it a try.

Short Nail Designs 2023

Do you like to try out the latest nail trends for yourself? If so then read on I’ll show you some of the hottest nail patterns this year that look amazing on short nails.

Minimalist Nail Art

Nowadays, it’s all about minimal nails also called negative space design. What this means is that you leave a portion of your nails unpolished so you see the natural nail beneath. Then you can create a pattern on top like stripes or florals.

Minimal Nail Design

Image Source | _pgoo

Retro Inspired Nail Design

Image Source | truebeautybycarrie

Abstract Short Nail Designs

One of the hottest trends right now is abstract nail designs. Experiment with different colors and shapes to create a truly one-of-a-kind look. Remember with this design it does not have to be perfect and two nails do not be exactly the same.

Bright Abstract Nail Design

Image Source | kcnailsx

Abstract Squiggle Nail Design

Image Source | peachinails

Half-Moon Short Nail Ideas

The half moon design is one of my new favorites and it looks great on short nails. This design features a small moon shape either at the base or tip of your nail.

Add a half moon to make your manicure look modern. An easy way to create this design is by applying circular stickers and then painting over them and removing them.

Half Moon Dot Nail Idea

Image Source | tessa.lyn.nails

Boho Short Nail Design Idea

Image Source | _by_shelley

Half Moon Gel Nails

Image Source | thedailynailofficial

Yellow Half Moon Nails

Image Source | gel.bymegan

Checkerboard Nail Designs for Short Nails

Checkerboard is another nail design that is both on trend and looks great with short nails. You can DIY this look by using nail striping tape or freehand with a fine brush. For a modern look stick to a two-tone color pallet.

Bright Checkerboard Almond Nails

Image Source | polishedbypayt

Trippy Nail Design

Image Source | _polishmepretty_xo

Short Green and Checkerboard Nails

Image Source | larkandsparrownails

Rainbow Short Nail Ideas

Rainbow is one of the most popular nail designs and there are several ways to pull it off. You can paint each of your nails a different color for a bright and fun feel. You could also paint small rainbows on some of your nails for a playful look.

Tiny Rainbow Nail Design

Image Source | thedailynailofficial

Rainbow Valentine Nail Idea

Image Source | cindypaola.nails

If you need a little more Valentines Day Nail inspiration, then you should check out this post…

The Hottest Valentine’s Nails to Try This Year

Short Pastel Rainbow Nails

Image Source | _kaiinails

Short Galaxy Nails

Galaxy nails are a new trend that I’m loving which is inspired by the solar system. Check out what I mean below.

Short Pastel Galaxy Nails

Image Source | nailartbysofia_

Short Nail Ideas with Retro Stripes

Retro striped nails are so the rage right now. Choose a few of your favorite colors and add a whimsical stripe and maybe even a little glitter.

Green Retro Stripe Nail Design

Image Source | cindypaoloa.nails

Pink Glittery Swirl Gel Nails

Image Source | peachinails

Short Yellow Nail Design

Image Source | yvonne.ocasio

Square Pink Striped Nails

Image Source | beautybyspace_charlotte

Short Pastel Squiggle Nails

Image Source | peachinails

Mix and Match Short Nail Designs

If you want to try a nail design that is fun and very unique try creating a different design on each nail. The trend now is everything goes the colors and the designs don’t have to match. Get some inspo with the fun nail sets below.

Happy Mix and Match Nail Design

Image Source | peachinails

Pretty Nail Designs

Image Source | nailsbyantofigueroa

Bright Nail Art Idea

Image Source | dreamsnail_art

Short Nail Ideas for the Season

I don’t know about you but I love to change up my nails based on the season. I want to show you the hottest nail designs for short nails for each season so you can do the same.

Spring Short Nails

Spring is the perfect time to break out those light colors like lavender, pastels and flowers. Below check out some of my favorite spring nail designs.

Square Mint and Floral Nails

Image Source | ida.babaie

Lavender Square Nail Set

Image Source |

Round Spring Nail Design

Image Source | thedailynailofficial

If you’re looking for some more Spring Nail inspo then check out this post…

Spring Nails (Ideas Trending in 2023)

Summer Short Nails

Summertime is when you want to break out the bright colors and fun patterns. Let’s look at some nail designs that are perfect for summertime.

Fruity Short Nail Designs

A fun new trend that I am seeing right now is fruity nails. Add some lemons, cherries, or oranges to your nail designs for a fun playful vibe that is perfect for summertime.

Lemon Nail Design

Image Source | nailitmedia

Cherry French Manicure

Image Source | nailsbyemmaess

Grapefruit Nail Art

Image Source | simoneradleynails

Round Orange Nail Art

Image Source | elbeauty

Bright Short Nail Ideas

Another summertime favorite is to add bright colors to your nails. Check out some inspiration below.

Bright Square Nails

Image Source |

Neon Matte Nails

Image Source | taryn.nails

Need more summer nails ideas?  I got you, check out this post…

39 Gorgeous Summer Nails You Need to Try

Short Fall Nails

To add a little autumn, feel to your nails get inspired by nature. Think trees with changing leaves and pick any shade of orange, red, green or brown. Check out some inspiration below.

Autumn Nail Inspiration

Image Source | kt.geelkyyned

Fall Leaf Nail Art

Image Source | _paolalaureano

If you’re looking for more fall nail ideas, then check out this post…

The Hottest Fall Nails for 2023

Short Winter Nails

For winter try white, silver or a light blue to get into the spirit of the season. Check out some of my favorite winter nails below.

Classy Winter Nail Inspiration

Image Source | ideai_nogtey

Pretty Blue Winter Nail Design

Image Source | lillypalm_

You can find tons of fun ideas for Christmas nails here…

77 Fun Christmas Nails to Copy in 2023

Short Nail Prep and Care

One of the most important things when you have short nails is prepping and care for them before you start your design. To maintain healthy short nails, follow these steps:

  1. Start by gently removing any existing nail polish with a non-acetone remover.
  2. Soak your nails in warm soapy water for a few minutes to soften the cuticles.
  3. Push back your cuticles using a cuticle pusher or an orange stick.
  4. Trim and file your nails to your desired shape.
  5. Moisturize your hands and nails with a hand cream or cuticle oil.

Keeping your nails clean and healthy will not only keep your nails looking better but it will also help your manicure last longer.

Short Nail Shapes

Now let’s take a look at some of the most popular nail shapes this year that look amazing on short nails.

What are the best shapes for short nails?

The nail shapes that look best on short nails are:

  • Round
  • Square
  • Almond
  • Squoval

Let’s check out each of those below.

Short Round Nails

This classic shape is perfect for short nails, as it follows the natural curve of your fingertips, strengthens the sides of the nails, and gives an overall clean look.

Round Gel Nails

Image Source | gel.bymegan

Square Nails Short

If you prefer a more modern and geometric look, square nails are a great option. This shape can make your fingers appear slimmer and works well with both minimalistic and bold designs.

Lavender Square Nails

Image Source | nailsby.antofigueroa

Short Almond Nails

For those who like a slightly elongated and feminine appearance, almond-shaped nails can be a perfect choice. This shape is characterized by slightly tapered sides and a rounded tip, giving the illusion of longer nails.

Almond Floral Nails

Image Source | elbebeauty

Squoval Short Nails

Squoval is a combination of a square and an oval shape. Try this shape for an on trend look.

Pink Sherbet Squoval Nails

Image Source | lillypalm_

Short Nail Colors

Ok so now you’ve chosen your favorite nail shape now let’s check out some different short nail color choices. For those of you that like to paint your nails a solid color without a pattern let’s check out the top nail colors for short nails.

Pink Nails

Pink will always be a top nail color. If you love pink you can mix it up and try different shades for each manicure. For a softer look try a light pink and go bright in the summer for a more playful vibe.

Short Pink Nails

Image Source | nailjoyable

Short Red Nails

Red nails will never go out of style and in fact it’s one of the hottest nail colors this year. Try a vibrant red if you want to go bold.

Short Cherry Red Nails

Image Source | nails_genas

Neon Short Nails

Do you want to go bold with your nail design? If so then try a bold color or a neon hue. If you really want to make your nails stand out and express your personality this is the way to go. Mix different colors like neon green with metallic accents or gold flecks for an eye-catching design.

Short Neon Gel Nails

Image Source | my_nails_ig

Pastel Nail Colors

One of the most popular color choices for short nails is light and pastel colors. Try a soft hue of pastel blue, lavender or light pink for nails that compliment any outfit and always look chic and professional. Patterns like flowers, abstract swirls or color blocking looks great in a pastel color scheme.

Short Lavender Nails

Image Source | lackfrisch

Short Nude Nails

Natural nails are another classic that is always in style. Nude nails look clean and professional. If that’s the look you’re going for check out a little inspiration below.

Short Natural Nails

Image Source | raelondonnails

Metallic Short Nail Designs

Metallic nails also called chrome nails are on trend this year. Try one a metallic color if you want to make a statement. You can either paint your entire nail a metallic polish color or you can add a metallic accent.

Try experimenting with different metallic shades like gold, silver, or even holographic glitter to find the one that you love.

Orange Chrome Nails

Image Source | qwjluna

Short Shimmer Nails

Shimmery nails are in style right now. Add a little glitter and gloss to your short nails to make them stand out a little more and look more glamorous. You can either glitter the entire nails, try a gradient effect on each nail or opt for a glitter accent nail.

Short Glitter Nails

Image Source | lillypalm_

Short Press on Nails

Here is one of my new secrets that I want to share with you. Have you tried press on nails recently? I used to get my nails done at the salon but I heard that press on nails had improved a ton so I tried them and it’s true.

Here are my tips for press on nails:

  • If they are too long you can just cut them with nail clippers.
  • You can paint them with nail polish and they will dry super-fast.
  • Press them on for at least 90 seconds to make them last longer.
  • Don’t get them wet for at least an hour after you put them on.
  • Carry a little nail glue in your purse incase a nail gets loose while you’re out.

Best Short Press on Nails

Ok now, I’m going to show you some of my favorite short press on nails. There are a few brands that I’ve found that are quality and look natural. There are also a lot that don’t. I am just going to show you the best ones!

Oval White Stripe Press on Nails

White Stripe Press on Nails | Where to Find

Short Light Pink Squoval Press Ons

Light Pink Fake Nails | Where to Find

Short Nude Artificial Nails

Nude Square Fake Nails | Where to Find

Short French Tip Press on Nails

French Manicure Fake Nails | Where to Find

Square Black Press on Nails

Black Fake Nails | Where to Find

Short Light Pink Artificial Nails

Kiss Fake Nails | Where to Find

Glossy Nude Press on Nails

Short Glossy Glue on Nails | Where to Find

Hopefully you got inspired by all of these short nail designs and are going to treat yourself to a DIY or a professional manicure. Feel free to save your favorite ideas to you Pinterest boards. To do that just click on the picture and then the P and choose your board. If you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Here are some more posts all about nails that I think you’ll love…

Nail Designs 2023 (59 Art, Color & Shape Ideas)

75 Press on Nails (That Actually Look Real)