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 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.
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 striping brush.
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.
Pretty in Pink
Five shades of pink in one nail look? We're here for this gradient mani.
Cotton Candy Coffin Nails
Multicolored and ombré nails are two manicure trends that have withstood the test of time. Here, they're combined for one colorful short coffin nail look.
Evil Eye Coffin Nails
Keep bad vibes at bay with these elaborate evil eye coffin nails.
Graffiti Coffin Nails
Ready to go bold or go home? These graffiti nails are bound to make a statement.
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.
Iridescent Coffin Nails
Short coffin manicures are the perfect option to try on your natural nails, and we love how the pink shimmer adds depth to this violet polish.
Toeing the line between coffin nails and a classic square shape, this manicure is easy to create on your natural nails with just a tiny bit of length.
Love the idea of multicolor ombré nails but prefer a glossy finish? We're here to deliver.
You can never go wrong with deep oxblood red nails. Need a polish to fit the bill? Chanel's Le Vernis in Rouge Noir ($30), seen here, is a classic you'll be glad you invested in.
Forget about a classic French manicure—this faded take is the new go-to.
Pair beige and mauve nail polishes for a neutral nail look that's still sure to turn heads.
One way to make neutral nails a touch more alluring is by adding a few gemstones. We love how these make a crystal snake design.
Rosy Neutral Ombré
These glossy ombré nails win the neutral mani award in our book.
Can't get enough of Instagram's butterfly filter? Let it inspire your short coffin nail look.
Louis Vuitton Tips
Peachy nude and white are a classic combo. Add Louis Vuitton logos to the mix and the result is even chicer.
Milky white nails are another trend worth considering. If you've been thinking about mixing your short coffin nails with another shape, here's what it can look like.
Black French Tips
Swap white tips with black for an instantly moodier French mani.
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.
Choose a couple of shades of purple and play around with how you paint them on. We love this diagonal idea.
Here's a neutral nail art idea that makes our mouth water. Coffee, anyone?
Love a neutral pink nail look but want to play it up a bit? Add a single gemstone to the middle base of each nail.
For all the minimalists out there, you can never go wrong with a well-painted neutral shade.
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).