24 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 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 striping 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-toned pink short coffin nails


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

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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.

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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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Iridescent Coffin Nails

Short natural coffin nails with violet base with iridescent fuchsia shimmer


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.

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Ultra-Short Plaid

Ultra-short coffin nails with green and white plaid design and solid green accent nail


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.

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Pastel Fade

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

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Blood Red

Hand with oxblood red black coffin nails holding red bottle of Chanel No. 5


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.

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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 beige and mauve nail polishes for a neutral nail look that's still sure to turn heads.

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Bedazzled Nudes

Nude short coffin nails with crystal snake bedazzled design


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.

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Rosy Neutral Ombré

Dusty rose to light latte ombre short coffin nails


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

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Butterfly Tips

Lavender short coffin nails with iridescent butterfly decals


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

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Louis Vuitton Tips

Neutral short coffin nails with white tips and Louis Vuitton logo design


Peachy nude and white are a classic combo. Add Louis Vuitton logos to the mix and the result is even chicer.

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Milky White

Translucent milky white short coffin nails with some solid and some marbled


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.

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Black French Tips

Short coffin nails with black French tips


Swap white tips with 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

Coffin nails with neutral and lavender shades


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

Muted brown short coffin nails with brown and white latte swirl accents


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

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Statement Cuticles

Pearlescent pink short coffin nails with gemstones at center of cuticles


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.

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Neutral Perfection

Beige neutral coffin nails


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).

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