Why you should care

Length doesn’t matter. We show you why.

Whether it’s cause you’re a subscriber of contact lenses or a texting addict, short nails are just way more practical. These nail designs proof that they can be pretty and practical.

Short nails look neater, cleaner, and sometimes, chic-er! Try these nail designs and colours and you’ll see why length doesn’t matter…

1 Solid Colours

Dark, pastel, and nude colours look amazing on short nails. A dark grey, navy, or burgundy nail will give you a crisp look. To create an illusion of length, leave a sliver of the sides of your nails unpainted – this makes your nails and fingers look slenderer.

Navy nails

SOURCE: hercampus.com

Pastels inject the same amount of fun as a bright colour without its burdens of obvious chipping and the highlighting of short or uneven nails. Opt for a trendy blush or powder blue, similar to Pantone’s colours of the year.

Essie pastel pink nails

SOURCE: beutifi.com

As for nudes, choose a similar colour to your skin tone, in a shade lighter. If you have warm undertones, choose one with a pinkish tint; if you have cool undertones, choose one with yellowish tint. Find out more about nail colours that flatter your skin tone.

Nude manicure

SOURCE: dailybeautyhack.com

Nude nail colours extend the visual line of your fingers, making them look longer. To add pizzazz to a nude nail, add jewels, glitter, or metallic stickers to an odd nail.

If all else fails, you can always fall back on good ol’ reliable red.

Red nails

SOURCE: peanutbuttereddotcom3.wordpress.com

2 Matte Texture

While a glossy nail will highlight a stubby nail, matte textures give your nails a subtle, contemporary finish.

Matte black manicure

SOURCE: sonailicious.com

You can either buy a nail polish with a matte finish, or DIY with cornstarch! Simply mix in a bit of cornstarch to your top coat or nail lacquer – this makes it dry to a matte finish.

CREDIT: YouTube user AndreasChoice

3 Vertical or Diagonal Stripes

You’ve probably heard about vertical striped clothing making you look taller. Well, the same theory applies to nails!

Try elongating vertical or diagonal stripes on one or a few nails as accent.

A photo posted by Yukako♡Nail (@kikikinoko) on

4 Blank Space

Designs with blank spaces in the nail give them breathing room and an illusion of space and length.  Also doesn’t hurt that it’s so trendy.

A photo posted by Jovial Nail Spa (@jovialnail) on

5 Outline

Speaking of trendy, have you met the outlined nail? Get acquainted fast, because it’s clean, contemporary, and chic, especially this black and blank space look.

Not a fan of the basic? Then try it in 2 tones – what did we say about blush and powder blue?

6 Nail-by-Nail Ombre

Since you can’t fit a few shades into 1 nail, do a nail-by-nail ombre instead! We love this one cause you won’t get charged extra at the salon.

Also, a bit of confetti never hurt parties, cake, or even nails.

all nail ombre

SOURCE: chalkboardnails.com

7 Hcnerf Manicure

That’s reverse French, geddit? If you don’t have tips for a French tip, flip that concept on its head and paint the inside curves of your nails.

A photo posted by Julia (@chokurate) on

8 Metallic Lines

These subtle metallic stickers are understated but no less beautiful. Repeat them to create stripes, diagonal lines, or vertical lines – hello, length illusion!

A photo posted by Ayumi Namaizawa (@ayumililb) on

9 Mini Polka Dots

The classic polka dot pattern has a grownup cousin; it’s tiny and usually painted in neutrals or glitter. Plus, smaller polka dots leave more breathing space on a short nail.

glitter polka dot manicure

SOURCE: thepolishsquirrel.com

10 Marble

Marble is a good look on tables, floors, and now, nails. This pattern looks pretty on short nails because of its simplicity and neutral colours.

A photo posted by SHARON 颜嘉仪 (@sharonjiayi) on

Why you should care

Length doesn’t matter. We show you why.

Related Stories