60 Short Nail Design Ideas That Make A Statement for 2023
Main image – chillhouse
It can be pretty difficult to wear long nails when you’ve got a busy lifestyle, a hands-on job, or kids to run around after – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have GREAT nails, too!
In fact, short, clean nails with bold designs (or a more understated look) are seriously on trend at the moment. Seen on the likes of celeb royalty including Hailey Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Kim K – everyone seems to swapping the long acrylics for a more understated look.
I’ve personally always preferred a short mani, avoiding the risk of my long nails accidentally liking my ex’s new Insta photo or making it easier to share a new TikTok vid that you just. can’t. click with longer talons.
Another bonus is that short nails are much less likely to chip or break, so you can expect your mani to last longer – which is perfect in the current climate!
Whether you’re an acrylic addict, a fan of press-on nails, an on-the-go gal who loves quick and easy nail wraps or prefer to use your fave nail polish – we’ve got a short nail design for *literally* everyone!
After all, who said you need long nails for jaw-dropping designs? Definitely not us!
60 of the best short nail designs
Best short acrylic nails
1. Nude acrylic short nail design
Nude nails *never* go out of style, we love this mani with a dainty reversed gold French tip!
2. Matte acrylic short nails
Matte nails are a great switch up from the usually glossy mani, and you can always mix it up by using a combination of both gloss and matte. Although this style looks great on short nails, we *personally* love a matte on any length or shape.
3. Glossy acrylics
Who said shorter nails have to be bland and boring?! This groovy set is perfect for the summer, and the lime green makes the purple really POP! In. Love.
4. Minimalist acrylic short nail designs
The embellished tips are a *perfect* balance between minimalist and statement.
Best short coffin nails
5. Minimalist short coffin mani
Coffin nails are a style that demands attention, but they don’t have to be extra-long. This short mani is a less dramatic finish that looks neat and feminine.
6. Iridescent short coffin nails
7. Groovy flower short coffin nail designs
Coffin shape? Check. Cute design? Check. Matte finish? Check. This mani *literally* has it all.
8. Milky short coffin nail ideas
This OPI ‘Funny Bunny’ milky polish is perfect for any season, but particularly frosty winters!
Best short French nails
9. Short nude Frenchies
Classic nude Frenchies *never* go out of style and, if you know us, you’ll already know we just love a French mani.
10. Short pink French nails
Looking for something a little more bold? Try a shade of pink on your French mani! These hot pink ones are perfect for summer.
11. Colourful French nail design ideas
Swirls, French tips AND pretty pastels? Call my nail tech and book an appointment, pronto.
12. Short modern Frenchies
The literal *queen* of cool short nails and nail tech to the biggest celebs of the moment, Betina Goldstein has nailed it (pun intended) with this perfect purple set.
Best short almond nails
13. Short nude almond nails
Nude and almond nails go together like PB & jelly sandwiches – clean, chic and classy.
14. Colourful almond mani
The Barbenheimer weekend will go down in history, and so will this mani inspired by the films! Okay, maybe not, but *Seriously*, how. cool.
15. Clear almond nail design ideas
This *dreamy* set of clear almond nails will go with literally anything you decide to wear. You do you!
16. Short almond nails with intricate nail art
You can still achieve AMAZING nail art on shorter nails, and we really can’t get over the amount of detail in this incredible set. It’s giving Greek holiday vibes.
Best stiletto short nails
17. Black and white short stiletto nail design ideas
This swirly set of black and white stiletto nails, complete with moon and stars, truly are *spellbinding*.
18. Colourful short stiletto nail designs
Okay, so this set isn’t super-short, but they’re certainly shorter than a lot of the stiletto nails out there. This mani is perfect for cool summer days at the beach bar.
19. Short stiletto nail design ideas with gems
This shimmery mani with pink gems is mesmerising. In. Love.
20. Stiletto short nails with intricate nail art
These intricate cherry nails with a nude background look good enough to eat!
Best short square nails
21. Nude square mani with nail art
The *perfect* mani for working in the office – short enough to type easily and not too ‘out there’!
22. Colourful short square nail design ideas
Would you believe us if we told you these nails glow in the dark? Well, you better believe it, baby! How perfect would these be for going out?!
23. French tip short square nail design ideas
French manis don’t have to be nude and white! Try a twist on the classic with some glitter tips.
24. Glitter square nails
These shorter-style glitter nails are giving disco vibes and we are *so* here for it.
Best cute short nails
25. Short nails with shimmer polish
This opulent polish looks AMAZING on a short set of nails.
26. Short nails nail art
This set was apparently designed around an ASOS skirt pattern – We NEED to see this skirt!
27. Bright short nail design ideas
Bright colours don’t have to cover your *entire* nail!
28. Short mani with groovy flowers
Harking back to the 70s – one of my FAVE eras for fashion and trends, personally – this design is *clearly* perfect in any shade.
Best ombre short nails
29. Pastel ombre short nail design ideas
This subtle ombre pastel set is giving us *serious* ice cream vibes. And we are here. for. it.
30. Neon ombre short nails
Perfect for summer, this glossy pink and orange mani is sure to turn heads at festivals and beach bars. All you need now is a cocktail!
31. Rose gold ombre short nail design ideas
Rose gold looks great on *literally* all skin tones. We recommend keeping the jewellery on your hands to a minimum when using rose gold – let your nails do the glam.
32. White ombre short nail design ideas
Tons of people add a really light pink or nude hue, but these purely white ombre nails look so chic.
Best white short nails
33. Plain white short nail design ideas
This is embarrassing, but I recall painting my nails with tip-ex at school trying to achieve this look – take it from me, skip the correction fluid and emulate this look with a high-quality polish for a classy look.
34. Short white French tip nail design ideas with nail art
Level up your French tips with some dainty blue nail art like this super pretty set.
35. Short nails with white nail art
We are seriously *obsessed* with this set of dreamy nails complete with little shit clouds and tiny evil eyes. Swoon.
Best pink short nails
36. Neon pink mani
Neon can look a tad garish on super-long nails, but you can still keep your mani looking classy by keeping the length shorter.
37. Pink nails with nail art
There are some really incredible nail art designs out there these days, and this set with neon pink feature nails is up there at the top.
38. Pastel pink design ideas
Stuck on which shade of pastel pink you want to go for? Use a different tone on each nail to emulate this fun and playful look that will fit in *literally* anywhere.
39. Glitter pink short nails
Carrying on with the Barbiecore theme, this pink glitter mani is a set Barbie would *definitely* wear herself!
Best red short nails
40. Frenchies with red nail art
Another shoutout to the classic French mani! This time with dainty red nail art.
41. Red glitter short nails
This *perfect* set of short red glittery nails would fit right in at Christmas… But hold your horses, as they say, we’ll get to festive winter nails soon!
42. Classic glossy short red nails
You can’t go wrong with a classic red glossy nail, in our opinion.
Best blue short nails
43. Baby blue short nail design ideas
True blue, baby we LOVE you.
44. Royal blue short nails
Go for plain royal blue on your short mani, or dare to wear leopard print!
45. Shades of blue short nail design ideas
With so many shades to choose from, sometimes it’s *really* difficult to decide – so don’t!
Best spring short nails
46. Chequered short spring nails
Fancy a game?
47. Lemon short spring nails
When life gives you lemons, paint them on baby pink nails and wear them ALL spring.
48. Iridescent purple spring short nail design ideas
These purple iridescent nails are giving real Lavander Haze vibes – Taylor Swift fans, ASSEMBLE!
49. Clear short nails with dainty spring flower nail art
Clear nails always look cool, but this mani is cool AND cute.
Best summer short nails
50. Orange summer mani
Nothing says the arrival of summer, sun, and sangria like a set of bold orange nails.
51. Swirly summer short nail designs
It’s not necessary to be chilling by a pool to pull off these *super* cute tropical nails, but it definitely doesn’t hurt.
52. Mermaid summer short nail design ideas
The film world and Disney fanatics alike have been going crazy for mermaids at the moment after the release of the live-action movie. And who doesn’t want to be a mermaid in summer – either in the pool or the sea? I know we do!
53. Yellow summer short summer nails
These cute short yellow nails will *defo* brighten up your day! Even if the typical British summer doesn’t pull through on the sunshine, as usual.
Best fall short nails
54. Brown short fall nail design ideas
Nothing says fall, cosy clothes, pumpkin-spiced lattes and cooler weather like a brown mani.
55. Leaf short fall nail design ideas
Leaves falling off the trees, long walks wrapped up, take-out coffee and shorter days… Anyone else daydreaming about fall?
56. Gold short fall nails
These light gold nails with art and gems are the *perfect* transition from summer into fall.
57. Halloween short fall nail design ideas
One of my FAVE things about fall is Halloween, and I know I’m not alone in this! And there are some seriously spooky nail art designs out there to finish off your fancy dress outfit.
Best winter short nails
58. Frosty winter short nail design ideas
Nothing says winter like snowflakes and gold!
59. Black glitter winter short nail design ideas
Black doesn’t have to be bold, this shimmer set with painted stars is perfect for those Christmas parties.
60. Christmas winter short nail design ideas
How *sweet* are these Christmas nail designs?! They look like they could have arrived straight out of Whoville!
Well, we think these 60 short nail design ideas have definitely proven that longer ISN’T always better!
Shorter nails make it *way* easier on a day-to-day basis than super-long talons (ever tried buttoning up your shirt with extra-long coffin nails? It’s difficult, let me tell you).
So, there’s only one thing for it – to the nail salon!