25 Short (But Chic) Coffin Nail Looks to Try

woman with dotted short coffin nails manicure


Thinking of switching up your go-to manicure? If length is on your side—or if you're not opposed to acrylic tips—consider short coffin nails. Just remember: Coffin nails typically have extreme length, so even short coffin nails will still have some.

But first, what is a coffin nail shape? Where stiletto nails feature sharp pointed tips and almond nails feature long, semi-pointed, but ultimately-rounded tips, coffin nails feature tapered tips that end in a flat, squared-off shape. If you're on-board with the shape, it's time to think about ways to accentuate it. Ahead, you'll discover more than two dozen short coffin nail ideas. Pick your favorite or combine elements from a few of your faves for a one-of-a-kind nail look you'll want to wear time and time again.

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Minimalist Art Deco

Pay homage to your favorite visual arts style with this vintage-inspired art deco nail art. All you need to recreate the design is a bottle of black polish and a toothpick or fine-lining brush.

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Neon Mattes

If you can't decide between coffin or stiletto nails, opt for this optical-illusion nail art. To recreate the design, use tape to section off the tips, and don't remove it until the polish has fully dried.

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Pretty in Pink

Five shades of pink in one nail look? We're here for this gradient mani.

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Cotton Candy Coffin Nails

Multi-colored and ombré nails are two manicure trends that have withstood the test of time. Here, they're combined for one colorful nail look.

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Evil Eye Coffin Nails

Keep bad vibes at bay with these elaborate evil eye coffin nails.

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Graffiti Coffin Nails

Ready to go bold or go home? These graffiti nails are bound to make a statement.

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Sparkling Champagne Coffin Nails

See-through jelly nails are having a major moment right now, so these glittery champagne-colored coffin nails are right up our alley.

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Peaches and Cream Coffin Nails

These matte nails leave us feeling peachy keen over the stiletto nail shape.

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Daisy Coffin Nails

These gorgeous periwinkle nails look even prettier thanks to a few easy-to-recreate daisies. Start with the perfect blue base (we love Londontown's Nail Color, $16, in Amalfi Love) and, once dry, use a toothpick dipped in white and yellow polish to trace the design on.

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Pastel Fade

Love the idea of multi-color ombré nails but prefer a glossy finish? We're here to deliver.

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Cherry Red

You can never go wrong with cherry red nails. Need a polish to fit the bill? Olive & June's 7-Free Nail Polish ($8) in CV is our fave.

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Pink Ombré

Forget about a classic French manicure—this faded take is the new go-to.

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Mauve Mismatch

Pair nude and mauve nail polishes for a neutral nail look that will still turn heads.

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Bedazzled Nudes

One way to make neutral nails a touch more alluring is by adding a few gemstones to a statement cuticle.

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Nude Ombré

These glossy ombré nails win the neutral mani award in our book.

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Butterfly Tips

Can't get enough of Instagram's butterfly filter? Let it inspire your short coffin nail look.

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Louis Vuitton Tips

Nude and white are a classic combo. Add Louis Vuitton logos to the mix and it's even chicer.

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Milky White

Milky-white nails are another trend worth considering. While we don't love mixing shapes in one mani, here's what it can look like if you've been thinking about doing so.

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Black French Tips

Swap white for black for an instantly moodier French mani.

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Lots of Dots

Instead of opting for a completely different look on each nail, create a cohesive element to any rainbow mani by adding dots on each nail.

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Luxe Lavender

Choose a couple of shades of purple and play around with how you paint them on. We love this diagonal idea.

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Coffee Swirl

Here's a neutral nail art idea that makes our mouth water. Coffee, anyone?

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Statement Cuticles

Love a nude nail look but want to play it up a bit? Add a single gemstone to the middle base of each nail.

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Cloudy Pastels

These faded pastel nails are so bright they remind us of sunnier days.

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Nude Perfection

For all the minimalists out there, you can never go wrong with a well-painted nude.

  • How do you shape short coffin nails?

    Start by filing your nail tips straight across. Then, align your file at a 45-degree angle (more or less depending on how tapered you'd like the shape to be) from the outer edge of your nail toward the center and begin filing. Repeat on the other side. Ensure both sides are even.

  • What's the difference between coffin nails and ballerina nails?

    Coffin nails and ballerina nails are interchangeable. The names are indicative of the nail's shape. It's essentially a version of the stiletto nail but with a square tip (versus a pointy one).

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