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

A long-lasting finish without the lengthy tips

Updated 10/23/19

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, acrylics are known for lasting long, 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. In fact, opting for short acrylic nails has become something of a common request for those that crave strong, long-lasting nail art. Just, 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.

If you can't quite picture short acrylic nails, you're in luck. Ahead you'll find 25 nail art ideas ranging from solid nudes to rainbow works of art.

01 of 25

Rainbow French Tips

Love the look of a French manicure but crave a pop of color? This mis-matched rainbow mani is just what you're looking for. Use the same five colors on each hand or ask your manicurist to mix it up with different acrylic colors on each digit.

02 of 25

Neon Nail Art

It's no secret that neon is having a major moment in 2019. 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.

03 of 25

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.

04 of 25

Cotton Candy Ombré

Can't pick a single color? Opting for a faded acrylic ombre 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.

05 of 25

Pastel Mismatch

The rainbow nail art trend is showing 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 not only feature pale colors, but they're also inverted in terms of which nail they're on on each hand.

06 of 25

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 add glitter to the mix, as it will change their process.

07 of 25

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.

08 of 25

Burgundy Babies

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

09 of 25

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.

10 of 25

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.

11 of 25

90's French

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

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Floral Details

Another way to enhance a classic nude manicure is by adding a floral border along your nail plates. 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.

13 of 25

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.

14 of 25

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 that glitter stay in place is to get it done in long-lasting acrylic.

15 of 25

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.

16 of 25

Barely There Nude

If the goal is simply 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.

17 of 25

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.

18 of 25

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 definitely 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.

19 of 25

Southern Starfish Charm

If you're from the South, you may have heard that summer calls for bright colors and nautical prints. To get in on the look, ask you manicurist to recreate these precious starfish acrylics.

20 of 25

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.

21 of 25

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.

22 of 25

Matte Moment

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

23 of 25

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.

25 of 25

Constellation Cuticles

One matte black nail lets the constellation pop in an ultra-white bright. Pro tip: customize this mani with your own zodiac sign.

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