Here's Proof Acrylic Nails Don't Have to Be Long

A long-lasting finish without the lengthy tips

closeup of short coral pink acrylic manicure

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.

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Red French Tips

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.

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Neat and Nude

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.

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Cotton Candy Ombré

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.

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Bedazzled Ombré

Nude nails are pretty in their own right, but when you add glitter to the mix, 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.

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Rounded Nudes

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.

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Burgundy Babies

Perfect for fall, we love how these champagne and burgundy shades play together.

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Art Deco

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.

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Classic Red

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.

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Glitter Bomb-lettes

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.

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'90s French

The French manicure you know and love is officially back and better than ever. Protect your white tips from noticeable chips by going acrylic, keeping the look natural (as intended to be) with a shorter style.

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Floral Details

Another way to enhance a classic nude manicure is by adding floral details. While professional acrylics will help the adorable design last for days on end, you can easily DIY with regular polish and a push pin at home.

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Simple White Lines

Single white lines are minimalism at their finest, so if you're looking for a simple 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.

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Glitter Tips

Negative space is all about showing off your bare nail in contrast to color. While it always looks appealing, it comes off even prettier when paired with eye-catching glitter. One of the best ways to help the glitter stay in place is to get it done in long-lasting acrylic.

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Rosy Nails

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.

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Barely There Nude

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 folder of mani inspo. Snag the barely-there nude polish or copy the look by switching off with jelly holographic glitter.

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Matte Red Mani

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

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Pastel Mismatch

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.

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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.

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Matching Toe and Tips

Just like there's a fascination with matching bras and underwear, the same can be said for fingernails and toenails. While acrylic toes are not necessary, getting short acrylic tips to match your toes is a good idea, as it will help them last as long as your pedicure.

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Starfish Charm

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

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Rainbow Bright

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.

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Larimar Dreams

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.

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Baby Blues

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.

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Matte Moment

If you're looking for short acrylic nail inspiration, chances are you're into subtlety. Look no further than this matte nude perfection.

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Black Lacquer

These high-shine, almond-shaped acrylics are so glossy you can see your own reflection.

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Natural Ombré

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

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Constellation Cuticles

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

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Neon Nail Art

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.

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Moody Black and White

There's just something so simple yet chic about a black and white mani, and this one delivers on both fronts. To amp it up, try adding a nail jewel.

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Green With Envy

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

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