Sure, long nails are nice, but a couple of weeks in and they can start to feel more high-maintenance than they're worth. (We've had the random jagged tips and scratched eyelids to prove it). What's more is that short nails, even if they seem to be having less of a moment as of late, can still be super chic.
In fact, certain nail designs almost seem to lend themselves better to a shorter length than long. Don't believe us? We scoured the Internet for 24 of the most eye-catching nail designs for short nails we've quite possibly ever seen—and succeeded.
Keep reading for the must-see looks we'll be trimming our nails for ASAP.
Shake up a classic checkerboard look by swapping out black for pastel blue. These from Chillhouse are press-ons, so you don't even have to worry about carefully painting the design.
Multi-Color Abstract Strokes
Light and feathery strokes featuring bold colors add a pop of intrigue, whether striped against a stark white base or clustered together on their own.
Mid-Size Burgundy Stars
The combination of light pink and deep burgundy, plus a dusting of eye-catching stars, looks stunning on short nails.
For a sleek and simple (but still stunning) nail design for short nails, simply start with a neutral or bare base, paint a subtle color as an abstract tip, and finish with a single shimmering stripe down each nail. It's super easy to maintain, but chic enough to wear to a formal event.
We can't handle the chicness of this delicate plaid pattern in the perfect neutral color scheme.
If you can't actually be lying beneath the palms, having them on your tips might just be the next best thing, right?
Scenic Winter Mountains
Slightly Frozen–esque in inspiration, we're head over heels (or should we say fingers?) for this icy and edgy nail design.
One Subtle Addition
Truth: A broken heart adorning our nails is the only broken heart we want in our lives. The small design adds a pop of bright orange to an otherwise neutral mani.
Rainbow in Negative Space
Not only do whimsical rainbows add a dose of graphic appeal to short nails, but they simultaneously channel the negative space trend.
Between the eye-catching graphic and candy-apple base, this nail design couldn't be better for short nails.
Another unexpected option? A glossy iteration of camo in moody shades of blue and striking pops of black and white.
Art Deco Squiggles
Unconventional color pairings like cobalt blue, bubblegum pink, silver, and white keep short nails anything but boring.
"Heart print" is the new "polka dot print," as far as we're concerned.
Metallic Green and Delicate Leaves
A metallic green base adds an air of festive cheer, while leaf stencils stand out on contrast nails for a whimsical finish. While these leaves look hand-painted, you can always opt for a sticker like the What's Up Nails Leaves Vinyl Stencils ($5) for an easy go-to.
Cranberry Toned Stripes
If you're not yet a nail design expert, try a halfway style like these bold two-tone stripes. They're easy enough to recreate—just apply crafty tape and get to work. Plus, you can use this stylish and simple look with any color combo your heart desires.
These vacation-inspired nails are decked out in sweet treat stickers that have us seriously longing for a cabana and some sun.
A beige base makes for a neutral-toned look, but an added plaid-style design amps up the impact for a subtle yet interesting finish. Make it easy on yourself by grabbing a set of the Winstonia Super Fine Nail Art Brush Set ($8) to get the crisp lines needed to complete the look.
Pastel French Mani
Keeping shorter nails doesn't mean you skimp on fun. These pastel French tips are so lovely and cheerful.
Half and Half
Can't decide on one color? It's okay—choose both (in this case, a neon green and a shiny sliver) and paint in vertical (or diagonal!) half-and-half sections.
Create dimension across your nails with some perfectly placed lines for a fashionable and minimalistic design.
Red Negative Space
Red nail polish adds an extra bright pop of color when painted in this chic negative space design.
Taste the Rainbow
Decorate each nail with a burst of cheerful color. This simple manicure adds the perfect dose of joy with its array of colorful tips.
Glitzy Negative Space
Keep it party-ready with this sparkly negative space design. Use tape to keep the lines clean and add as much glitter as your heart desires.
Burgundy and Gold Foil
A simple burgundy mani gets a serious upgrade with gold foil accents. Get creative with the design and give each nail a unique splash of gold.