Having short nails might not be the top trend you see on Instagram these days, but that doesn't mean you can't rock it. I actually prefer my nails short because I don't have to worry about breaking one. If you want something besides a solid color, there are loads of nail art designs that make the most of your short nails. Everything here is from our good friends at fashionisers.com and we cannot thank them enough for sharing these marvelous ideas with us. The only problem now will be deciding which one you love best.
The basis of this elegant short nail design is the gleaming pearl white nail polish. The cute simple design on one nail is super easy to do, and it just uses your natural nail color, so you don’t need to worry about running the different polishes. Plus, it’s a nail design for short nails that’ll be striking any season.
This is a great bohemian short nail design that looks even better when paired with same-styled clothes and accessories. It makes for a great accessory in and of itself, in fact, with the shining gold polish. It makes for a lovely contrast against the solid pearl white.
These cute icons are adorable on a sweet milky pink nail shade. This makes a great design for short nails because the teeny pictures don’t need a lot of space. In this case, lips, a crown, and eyelashes are the cute icons, and are displayed next to a couple of glittery gold nails as well.
The wine color on some of these short nails is a staple nail color, and always a go-to shade for any sophisticated look. The white short nails here are characterized by simple swirling designs made using the beautiful wine color, which is a perfect mixing of the two colors magnificent.
This opulent short nail design is based on soft shades of white and pink on different nails, all with luxurious gold and pearl adornments. It’s basically just like wearing jewelry directly on your short nails, and the result is totally worth it.
This simple yet striking short nail design has great variation, since it shows you can have a different design for each nail without going overboard. This specific picture also shows you don’t have to be a perfect nail artist to have a cute style, since even imperfect designs are quite fabulous, too.
This adorable, girly short nail design is simple and sweet with hearts and glitter. It’s a great design for an everyday feminine outfit. It’ll be especially cute if you keep this in mind as you put together an ensemble for Valentine’s Day next February!
Most of the nails in this short nail design represent an angled French manicure; the rest of the nails use beautiful 3D designs, some with sparkly beads and others with a swirling pearl white design characterized by gold sequins. It’s a very elegant design for short nails.
The smooth, luscious pink used in this short nail design is a beautiful base for the white geometric pattern used on two of the nails. Two more use beautiful sparkly embellishment in a triangle at the base of the short nails. It’s a captivating look, really.
The wicked green base shade of this short nail style is super smooth and enough to make anyone envious. Other nails feature a beautiful black rose design at the tips, amplifying the wicked design. Finally, the cute sequins are the perfect way to lighten up this mysterious look.
Dense pink sparkles are super sweet and chic; the sequin-encrusted nail topped with a white houndstooth design, on the other hand, is young and girly. It’s gaudy and bright, in all the best ways, and you can bet that it’ll look beautiful against the snow this Christmas.
This is a simply beautiful style perfect for any season. The short nail design is a lovely pale blue with a simple yet stunning triangle at the cuticle’s center. It’s easy to do, beautiful to look at, and ideal for short nails since the design falls at the cuticle.
The lovely coral and blue shades on this short nail design are perfect for spring. Polka dots on the coral and a white nail patterned with the blue and two beautifully colored roses make up the designs, and they will be totally stunning when the warm seasons roll back around.
Sunflowers are one of the most stunning if not understated flowers. Here they are sitting on a lovely base of pastel purple with white polka dots; the sunflowers make up a large part of the design, so you can appreciate the stunning flowers all day long with this short nail design.
Try something new with this cute periwinkle shade as the base of this design for short nails. Polka dots highlight some, while others feature the outlines of hydrangeas with bold and beautiful green leaves as the stars.
The matte polish of this short nail design is super fun and easygoing. It’s super easy to interchange the designs to suit the season and occasion, so you can change it up. The designs will look super cute even if imperfect, so have fun with the nail art!
This short nail design takes a fun take on a sophisticated design. The idea of putting silver glitter over a pastel pink is super chic, but in this case the size and sparsity of the silver is playful and unique. It’s a great, easy style with the polish shown in the picture.
Super cute nude nails are mixed here with simple polka dots in red; the color mixing and patterning is super fun and chic on this design for short nails. The symbols are randomized, and small embellishments can be added for a final fun touch.
The short nail design here is a really small and simple detail. All nails but one in this case are a beautiful, luscious pink, with the one-nail design as a sparkly gold chevron. This style is made easy by taping, so you can play around with how many nails you add this detail to.
Perfect for the spring and summer, these adorable little watermelon designs are super sweet as a short nail design. The base orange color is as juicy as the watermelons themselves, and just looking at them makes it seem like springtime is just around the corner again!
The lovely bronze-gold shade is gorgeous as it is shown shimmering over the smooth, milky pink polish. It’s shown here in simple shapes with taped off edges, creating very structured designs on each nail. It’s a beautiful style for any day!
Classy with renovated can be your choice for nail art, particularly matching ethereal shades like black and white coming with some abstracted design interpretations and interesting solutions, especially putting the accents on the proportions of each shade.
Animal print motives can also be your choice, matching those pattern ideas with just as interesting color combinations. So go for matching leopard prints with shades like light pink and gold, and you will really like the results.
One more creative idea that you may try out is the combination of a monotone solution for short nails, matching it with the colorful interpretation of just one nail out of the whole five. So you will get an interesting contrast of different shades and design patterns, securing the tasteful combos.
Cute and sweet floral motives are the designs you may always go for when picking girly patterns for your short nails. So you may combine a simple nude background with appropriate colors, creating some really catchy and appealing looks. Apart from being just cute, such short nail designs are also easy to create.
You can also try out the combination of some patterns with monochrome solutions not putting them on separate nails, but combining those patterns for the one and the same nail, for instance matching tribal patterns with a nude background.
In order to create some more impressive contrasts with your short nails, you can also go create some nice design solutions with thematic prints like eye patterns, and, of course, some monochrome options for a visual background. The inspiration probably comes from pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, and it does look effective.
Golden details do look great when implemented correctly, but when those designs turn into super scrupulous and flabbergasting 3D patterns with mini beads and meticulously elaborated textures, the effect is really incomparable. So this is what you may also try out, picking a neutral shade like blue as a background and creating some really impressive short nail designs.
Picking one single design for each nail yet preserving the overall color palette is just another thing that you may try, for instance, picking some cards themes featuring hearts and spades and keeping all within the thematic color palette of white, black, and red. So this is just another stylish nail design for short nails.
Colors and textures with patterns are always a winning option for short nails. For instance, you may match diagonal stripes with bright color shades like green, keeping the stripes white and really managing to create catchy looks. So just combine creatively laid diagonal stripes with just as memorable background tones, and enjoy the effect.
If you are into super abstracted nail designs, this blurry and painterly printed nail art is just for you. This way you will be able to create some really catchy nail designs for your short nails just going for blurry and abstracted color prints.
Another creative combination with trendy shades is the synthesis of stripy patterns like navy blue and white matched with tones like red and glam golden. So this is a nice solution for parties and everyday looks, why not! Proportions are principal in this case, though.
In order to create more intense and darker toned short nail designs, you can go for final accents of black over colorful pairs, like those of turquoise, blue and white. So this is just another solution of abstracted and messy prints for shorter lengths.
Creative and funny motives like those of cartoon characters can also be included in the list of the best nail art designs for short nails. Traditional colors to try are, of course, black, red, and white, but the patterns and the silhouettes may vary according to your creativity.
Design patterns may also be quite useful for your short nail art options, featuring some black or glittery dark green background for all the nails except for two, which may be the carrier of a unique design image, like a simple flower or a scrupulous pattern. So picking some bright background for the nails is a really good idea.
Ombre themes also seem to have a moment right now, like this design featuring tones of fuchsia, blue and purple, also having some glittery themes made of colorful tones and overall appealing designs.
Simpler combinations with tones like black look chic, as we see the perfect pair of half moon black and golden shades, with clearly shaped out outlines and neat edges. The color synthesis is really noteworthy and try-worthy and will fit any occasion.
Other forms of floral nail design patterns also include some more diversified and multi-colored alternatives, which range from yellow, orange and green to blue with pink. As for the patterns, bigger and more monotype options may be the focus.
Especially for those interested in fashion and politics, Katy Perry suggests going for some trendy nail color and pattern combos matched with real images, like the image of President Obama. So this is really creative!
The renovated design of such patterns as the French manicure is probably the following most impressive and noteworthy short nail design that you may opt for, if you want to have something unique and creative. So think different matching tones of blue, putting all into the classic forms of French manicure.
Messy and abstracted can also have different forms and patterns, coming with a variety of colors and design combinations, for instance, matching the white background with some messy navy blue and red dotted and blurred patterns.
Going for the classiest yet most proficiently worked out nail art designs for short nails, covering the whole length of the nails with monochrome colors, be those of shiny texture or not, is yet another awesome idea. In addition, you may also start with the nail primer to secure the long-lasting chic look. Finally, just sprinkle some golden touches over the monochrome texture like red in order to have fabulous results. Tiny heart designs layered delicately over the shiny texture will be perfect finishing touches.
Another great idea is matching soothing tones like orange with classy combinations, like black and cream, finishing all off with some metallic accents that create borders between the color sections.
For some more diversified color combinations, including black and white tones, you can use silver glittery texture as a background, matching it with tiny dots on the white backdrop and finishing off all with crisscrossed patterns.
Black works with red perfectly, too and, of course, the patterns and proportions you use can be various and really different. For instance, you may go for half moon designs matched with some stripes on a transparent background for a minimalist and edgy effect.
One more thing that you may do with the combination of pale pink and white shades is arranging them into various overlapping zigzag patterns and finishing all with a segmental or a stripy line of a white shade.
If you would also like to have a thematic Valentine’s Day nail art, going for traditional heart shapes designed in a non-traditional way is probably a nice idea. Still, what makes this short nail design special is the way the hearts are created, thus outlining the classic red fill of the shape with a white stripe and marking the heart on the side of the tip of the nails, while leaving the rest with the natural tone still gently covered with transparent lacquer.
Cartoon heroes and cartoonized characters can also become a part of your nail art for short nails, featuring various faces of the most famous or maybe not so famous characters, yet contributing to the creation of really unique and interesting looks.
In addition, you may also go for imaginative themes picking something extraordinary from the most different and interesting sources and combining them for your short nail art. Thus you have a huge variety of colors, images, and motives meeting in one design.
Dark shades also look amazing with shimmery textures and tones like silver. So you may pick a dark shade close to black and add some glittery studs creating a quilted texture. The proportions of the patterns may vary, too. So this will be an ideal nail design for short nails, ideal for special occasions, as well as more casual and everyday looks.
One more flabbergasting nail design for short nails is the combination of matte black with some violet accents. This way, you’ll create some really glam looks with black tones.
Adorning the nails with tiny rhinestones, 3D design patterns, holographic images and a variety of other details, you will also create winning short nail designs, joining shades like black and gold, and black with silver. The arrangement of those design details can be both symmetrical and random.
Super creative and cool short nail designs can be spiced up with some more awesome details and images, for instance, kitty faces, a rich golden background with their black outlines, golden rhinestone-encrusted eyes and a white nose!
Short nail designs can also accompany your coolest Halloween looks, as you incorporate such details into your designs, such as images of spiders put on an orange background and some white dots to complete the color contrast even more. The trickiest part will probably be drawing the eyes of those tiny spiders without blurring the shades. So precision and focus should be the primary things here.
One more interesting short nail design idea for Halloween is this look featuring tiny bats covering the whole nude background! Letting these tiny scary bats become the focus, you’ll be able to create some really amazing and cool designs.
Frankenstein can also become the “muse” of your Halloween nail art for short nails! All you need to do is just create the greenish silhouette of the famous scary buddy we all know, and be careful with the proper decorations.
For more feminine nail designs for short nails, you can go for the classy combination of a pale pink background with the studded dots placed in the central part from the tips to the bottom. Probably this is one of the best and most imaginative nail designs for short nails matching both the classy and formal looks perfectly.
Blurred and colorful can also be interpreted in the way of combining tones like gray, purple, and pink, putting all on a classic white background. What makes this short nail design different is the big proportion of the other colors almost entirely covering the white layer.
Picking lovely tones like a glam shade of lilac can also be a nice solution for creating catchy nail designs for short nails. Furthermore, if you combine that with some small details, for instance, a tea pot image appearing on one nail only, you will get even better looks.
Cream zig-zag patterns on a red background are always a great formula to go for, too. Still, you may also combine zig-zag patterns with other colors like pink, green and blue and play with the proportions a bit. You need to start with the red layer, and go on with the rest of the shades, applied in a stripey manner.
Catchier shades of neon can also create fun summer nail designs for short nails, especially when combined with black and white patterns. Taking inspiration from the most various and interesting sources like palm trees is a good idea.
In order to pick something timeless design, you can also go for simple, bright, and colorful patterns, putting the shades in a gradient form, also known as ombre.
If you like such combinations as pink and silver shades, you can apply a thin layer of silver on the outer corners of the nails. It gives a subtle contrast to the pretty pink nails.
Matching silver undertones with shades like pastel blues and pinks is also a good idea, especially when you are good at combining colors together. This is one versatile nail design for short nails you can wear year round.
Simple and abstracted can also be matched quite successfully with pastel shades, thus creating some catchy short nail designs, like with the duos of lilac and mint green. So all you need to do in this case is choose the right shape and the right color combinations.
You can also go for the most minimalist and simplest nail designs for short nails, adding just tiny leopard motifs on a nude background. So if you are into classic looks, this design may be quite suitable for you.
Mythical and mysterious motives can also look cool on your short nails. So matching black patterns with a bright pastel yellow background is all you need to do, finishing it all off with edgy studs for a modern feel.
If you are a real fashion enthusiast, you may let everyone know about that decorating each nail with the logos of the most popular fashion houses, like Versace, Chanel, YSL, Moschino and Givenchy.
Apart from the texture plays created with darker shades, you can play with the tones and textures of lighter tones, too. For instance, pick the creamy shades of different undertones with randomly picked patterned like dots and abstracted motives.
High contrasting color combinations will look cute on your short nails as far as you know how to match them correctly. For instance, match light crimson with variations of blue, coming up with really impressive and creative results for everyday looks.
It may also be all about patterns, involving the most diverse and incredible designs, too. So it may be a third-eye motif, some diamond patterns, or combos of random circles and waves arranged with black stripes on a white background.
If you are ready for the boldest and the catchiest nail designs for your short nails, you may decorate your nails with studs, creating sizzling modern looks, ideal for festive occasions and everyday looks.
Experimenting with textures you can also come up with quite interesting and imaginative nail designs for short nails, for instance, playing with black and matte red shades for a sophisticated effect, finished off with white touches.
If you have a particular favorite shade and really like to wear classy nail designs on your short nails, going for tones like red is one of the greatest ideas. If done professionally you will really create timeless designs, especially when matching your nails with your lips.
Cool shades do make an ideal background and you may just go for the most incredible tiny details to finish them off. Pick something unique for the whole texture, match that soothing background with the rainbow-like stripes, and you are ready to go!
Lilac can make a good combination with shades like purples, and you just need to choose the exact tone and design patterns for your short nails. Just include some colorful solutions for your monochrome pastel lilac nails and enjoy the results especially if you like wearing light shades.
Prints and patterns with floral motives look generally super-stylish nowadays and you may come up with a couple of options designed on your short nails.
Other creative nail designs for short nails can be created with peacock motifs featuring color combinations of lighter and darker shades of green. The cool abstracted patterns and undertone plays will be noticed even better if applied professionally.
If you like darker tones of blue, you may also try the combination with darker blue nails, one featuring something different, something unique and something special, most often some awesome palm tree patterns.
Marine themes are other alternatives for your short nails, especially when coming in various shades of blue, including dark and light blue and a simple white background.
Multiple color tones can be worn on your short nails all together, like matching tones of pastel blue and lilac. Cover the whole texture with sweet cupcake and cloud patterns for the maximum glamorous effect.
Classic checkered patterns created with black and white tones can’t be ignored, either, creating some really great and stunning nail designs for short nails. So classics are sometimes really worth trying.
Houndstooth pattern is also here, coming in dark tones of blue and possibly black. The absence of lighter color shades is probably one of the trickiest aspects about such combinations, making it compatible with elegant garments or casual looks.
Third eye motives, as we noted above, can be used both for decorating just one of the nails, and as the core of the design used for all the nails. Thus you may put the whole thematic focus of the nails on such motives, picking shades like blue and white.
We also present the classiest and most amazing nail art designs for short nails, coming in blue and golden shades, where blue is used as a background color, and the golden color outlines it nicely, matched with black.
Combinations of three matching shades also create quite successful nail designs for short nails, especially when taking the classic black shade as one of those options. Match it with pink and white, arranging the trio in an abstracted and geometric form.
Picking a neutral background and painting the cutest and brightest prints and patterns on it will give you one of the trendiest nail designs for short nails.
One more interesting interpretation that you may try is the creative combination of gold, black and white, creating really energizing nail designs for short nails that you can combine with practically any outfit.
Dots and dotted patterns are the following idea of nail designs for short nails that you may consider. Combine black and light pink shades with either regularly or irregularly arranged design interpretations and you get this simple, yet cool design.
Nude with golden is another formula that you may experiment with, creating some really chic and universal short nail art designs for any occasion. Classic graphic manicure accents will be amazing finishing touches.
If you would like to go even further trying more complex nail designs and color combinations, try this ethnic inspired nail art design, so perfect for short nails.
If you like thematic images like the flag of the USA, you can split the image between the two hands, thus wearing the starry designs on the nails of one hand, leaving the stripy prints and patterns for the other. This may be done with any other theme and image, too.
Polka dots plus bows plus cute floral designs appearing on one of the nails make yet another cool nail art idea for short nails. So if you are a real cutie pie and like pastel shades, this design is the exact thing for you.
Color blocking and mosaic images have also found their place on our list of the best short nail art designs, and what you should do in order to make those images even more vivid and attractive is pick the right shades, creating nice color contrasts.
The choice of the nail polish color is just as important and can become the key to the creation of unique and interesting nail art options even when you decide to go for a monochrome look. Shades like cobalt blue can be the most ideal option in this case.
If black is the background color and milky white is the accent shade, the ideal looks are guaranteed. So don’t hesitate to combine such classic colors adding some modern twists, be those simple dots or a cute bow.
For more specific themes like Christmas, we suggest a nice short nail design, again characterized by the diversity of motives, prints and patterns and, of course, introducing the widest array of color combinations.
One more interesting option of Christmas nail art designs is the snowflake pattern coming in the combination of blue and white tones. Little rhinestones serve as the tiny central aspects of those scrupulously worked out snowflakes.
Going even further, we suggest creating classic Christmas themes using the same colors for all the nails. A good idea is focusing on red and white, also possibly matching them with touches of glitter.
Especially for the fans of music, here is an amazing nail design for short nails featuring black musical notes on a white background. This will make a great finishing touch both for special and everyday looks and will make a strong statement about your personality, too.
Finally, you may match tones like coral and black in a simple combo with half moon designs, thus creating multi-layered and quite impressive nail designs for short nails. The good feel of style and the clear understanding of color compatibility will be the key to success for you.
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