24 Gorgeous Short Acrylic Nails You'll Fall in Love With

A long-lasting finish without the lengthy tips.

hand with coral manicure on a striped towel

Lazar Gugleta / Unsplash

Having your nails done regularly should feel like a treat, but if the reason you go so often is because of perpetual chips and breaks, it might not feel like it. While all manicures are bound to show wear and tear at some point or another, acrylic nails are known for lasting longer while remaining strong.

But before you cringe at the idea of two-inch-long nails that make simple life tasks significantly more difficult, understand that just because most acrylics are done in crazy lengths and coffin shapes doesn't mean that yours have to be, too. Opting for short acrylic nails has become a common request for those that crave strong, long-lasting nail art. Keep in mind that the term "short" is relative when it comes to acrylics, as even #shortacrylicnails (the top Instagram hashtag for the budding trend) feature tips beyond the end of the fingertip.

Keep scrolling for nail art ideas ranging from square-shaped to round acrylic nails.

01 of 24

Red French Tips

Short Acrylic Nails Red French Manicure

@paragonnails / Instagram

Love the look of a French manicure but crave a pop of color? This red French mani is just what you're looking for. You can use the same five colors on each hand, or if you're feeling fancy, ask your manicurist to mix it up with different acrylic colors on each digit.

02 of 24

Neat and Nude

manicure with nude nails

@misslizheart / Instagram

There's nothing like a perfect nude mani. Unfortunately, classic neutral polishes can chip so easily that the coveted natural effect rarely lasts. Nude acrylics, on the other hand, are here to last.

03 of 24

Cotton Candy Ombré

manicure with Cotton Candy Ombré nails

@spiritnailsandbeautybyfaye / Instagram

Can't pick a single color? Opting for a faded acrylic ombré lets you show off two of your favorite shades in a way that will make you glad they'll last for a couple of weeks.

To preserve the life of your mani, reapply the topcoat every two to three days.

04 of 24

Bedazzled Ombré

Short Acrylic Nails Bedazzled Ombré

@nailsbyhelenattheivy / Instagram

Nude nails are pretty in their own right, but when you add glitter to the mix, they're even better. When getting your acrylics done, let your manicurist know beforehand that you'd like to have glitter on your end product as it will change their process.

05 of 24

Rounded Nudes

manicure with rounded nude nails

@polishedbyellie / Instagram

If you fancy a nude manicure but can't get behind super squared tips, consider asking your manicurist to round out your acrylics. Not sure what to ask for? Look up almond, squoval, oval, and round nails to help you choose.

06 of 24

Art Deco

Short Acrylic Nails Art Deco

@paragonnails / Instagram

Add a pop of color to your day with these Art Deco-inspired digits. With bold color choices, modern lines, a splatter of black, and an easy-to-rock short length, we're confident they'll be the source of daily compliments.

07 of 24

Classic Red

manicure with classic red nails

@nailsbyamy_nz / Instagram

If Ruby Woo were an acrylic nail, we think we found it. Perfect for the holidays (or year-round), you can't go wrong with a classic red.

08 of 24

Glitter Bomb-lettes

glitter bomb nails

@katesobsession / Instagram

Everyone loves an accent nail, especially on longer, bolder acrylics. But when your nails are shorter (and therefore more subtle), you can afford to go all-glitter, all over.

09 of 24

Floral Details

Short Acrylic Nails Floral Details

@heygreatnails / Instagram

Another way to enhance a classic nude manicure is by adding floral details. While professional acrylics will deliver an adorable design that lasts for days on end, you can easily DIY with regular polish and a pushpin at home.

10 of 24

Simple White Lines

Short Acrylic Nails Simple White Lines

@reds.amber / Instagram

Single white lines are minimalism at their finest, so if you're looking for a delicate nail look, search no further. You can layer the lines over nude nails, as was done here, or go a bit bolder with a lime green or red base.

11 of 24

Rosy Nails

manicure with rose colored nails

@nailsdonewright / Instagram

Give yourself all the good vibes with a set of these rose quartz-inspired acrylic nails. The pale pink jelly color gives off an ethereal vibe that's sure to make for a stunning photo op.

12 of 24

Barely There Nude

barely there nude nails

@charlieellen / Instagram

If the goal is to achieve strong, natural-looking nails that won't chip for weeks on end, this simple nude mani is worth adding to your inspo folder. Snag a barely there nude polish or copy the look by switching off with jelly holographic glitter.

13 of 24

Matte Red Mani

matte red manicure

@nailsdonewright / Instagram

Let's get one thing straight: You can never go wrong with red nails, which manage to be both classic and trendy. If you're worried that they'll be too bold for your day-to-day, simply subdue them a bit by forgoing a shiny finish in favor of a matte effect.

14 of 24

Pastel Mismatch

Short Acrylic Nails Pastel Mismatch

@nailsonpoiint / Instagram

The rainbow nail art trend shows no signs of slowing down, so if you're looking for new ways to test out the bold beauty statement, consider going a bit lighter with your shade selections. These mismatched nails feature pale colors and are also inverted in terms of which nail they're on, on each hand.

15 of 24

Pink Yin and Yang

Short Acrylic Nails Pink Yin and Yang


Feeling moody? This yin and yang mani will set all the vibes. Best of all? It's so easy to achieve. Just apply two coats of primer, create a squiggle down the center of your nail, use a nail brush (or the polish itself if you're steady-handed) to fill it in, and mark up your dots.

16 of 24

Starfish Charm

manicure with starfish charm accent nails

@an_mazingnailsat_palazzon / Instagram

Summer calls for bright colors and nautical prints. To get in on the look, ask your manicurist to recreate these precious starfish acrylics.

17 of 24

Rainbow Bright

Short Acrylic Nails Rainbow

@nails_lewandowska / Instagram

Sure, pastels are pretty and white accents are minimalist, but for the days when you want to go all out, look no further than these gorgeous rainbow nails. The hot and cold color selections make for an easy-to-match mani that you'll want to wear time and time again.

18 of 24

Larimar Dreams

Short Acrylic Nails Larimar Stone

@paragonnails / Instagram

Just because the Larimar stone can only be found in the Dominican Republic doesn't mean that you can't bring its beauty stateside via your nails. With a tie-dye-like mix of blues and a silver outline along the entire nail and tips, you don't need a ton of surface area to show off these beauties.

19 of 24

Baby Blues

baby blue manicure

@nailsdonewright / Instagram

If you can't get on board with Skittles nails⁠—where each nail is painted a different color⁠—try adding one white nail to your mani. In this example, the bright white makes the periwinkle pop.

20 of 24

Black Lacquer

Black Lacquer nails

@nailsdonewright / Instagram

These high-shine, almond-shaped acrylics are so glossy you can see your own reflection. Perfect for a special occasion.

21 of 24

Natural Ombré

Short Acrylic Nails Natural Ombré

@skyspanorwood / Instagram

A softer take on the classic French manicure, these trimmed acrylics create a blurred gradient that goes with everything.

22 of 24

Constellation Cuticles

Short Acrylic Nails Constellation

@leleloveleigh / Instagram

We love constellation piercings, so it's only natural that we pin these constellation nails. Pro tip: customize this mani with your zodiac sign.

23 of 24

Neon Nail Art

manicure with green neon nails

@fancybrownhands / Instagram

Neon is having a major moment. If you want to play it up a notch, consider adding glittery nail art on top of the already eye-catching neon color of your choice.

24 of 24

Green With Envy

Short Acrylic Nails Green

@paragonnails / Instagram

We're green with envy for this whimsical mani. Best part? You can do the same style, but with whatever color spectrum you want.

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