42 Short Nail Designs to Inspire Your Next Manicure


Despite having a saved folder on Instagram of elaborate manicures decorated with butterflies, cherubs, and bedazzled crosses, the closest I ever get to short nail designs is a single sticker. The issue isn’t my lack of skills—I know exactly what salon to go to instead of DIYing—it’s the fact that my nails are constantly a short, jagged mess due to chronic nail biting. (Thanks, anxiety!)

For years I’ve been unable to grow my nails longer than a couple millimeters past my fingertips, so I’ve always stuck to solid polish under the assumption nail art for short nails just wasn’t in the cards. But thankfully the tides are turning: short nails and round and square nail shapes are in, according to Michelle Nguyen, nail expert and founder and CEO of PLA Nails.

“It seems like quiet luxury is here to stay for a bit,” she continues. “Many people are now embracing a sleek, minimalistic look for their nails, and we’re seeing a lot of sheers and pigmented skin tone and nude shades trending.”

You can already see the short nail movement happening with celebrities like Selena Gomez, who has been wearing short yet stylish manicures for some of the biggest events of the year.

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But best of all? All those looks look incredible on short nails. So whether you’re planning to DIY or bring a screenshot into the salon, keep reading for the best short nail designs to inspire your next manicure. Biters, you’re welcome.

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