13 Doable Nail-Art Ideas Perfect for Short Nails (2024)

It's no secret that long, healthy nails are a feat that sits atop many beauty wishlists. We'realways on the hunt for thebestnail-growth productsand expert practices for achieving extended talons, but that doesn't mean we don't love a goodshort-nail moment from time to time. After all, there are few things more liberating than the carefree attitude that comes along with freshly chopped nails. Opening tin cans and picking up coins are just a couple of simple pleasures that become infinitely easier.

Though keeping your claws cropped means havinga little less real estate to use for nail art, there are still tons of short-nail designs that will satisfy even the most adventurous nail aficionados. Ahead, we've rounded up 13 decorative ideas to try on short nails, along with all the supplies you'll need to get the job done at home.

Abstract Art

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(Image credit: @heartzeena

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Incorporate all your favourite colours and designs into one easy composition. Add as many or as few elements as your nail length will allow.

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Nails Inc.

Naked in Neon Nail Polish Set

We love the neon shades in this polish set.

Reverse French

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(Image credit: @thehangedit)

No matter how short your nails are, there'salways enough space to create a reverse French-manicure design. This spin on the classic nail-art style is modern and oh so chic.

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WHSmith

Clear Hole Re-inforcers

Thekey to getting this design right might already be in your desk drawer. These hole reinforcers are perfect for creating that crescent-moon shape at the base of your nail. Simply stick it on slightly above the cuticle and fill in any nail space between the sticker and your skin with nail polish.

Fine Lines

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(Image credit: @hollyfalconenails

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Fine, curved lines are an easy nail look that brings in an ultra-cool design element without being too flashy. The best part? You can paint your lines in any colour you want.

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Shein

Nail Art Brush Set

These skinny paintbrushes will help you achieve the fine lines of your dreams.

Clouds

(Image credit: @thehangedit)

Can you imagine a dreamier nail design than fluffy clusters of cumulus clouds? You can even make them work on super-short nails.

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Nailberry

L'Oxygéné Oxygenated Nail Lacquer in Flocon

The key to the perfect fluffy-cloud design is the perfect white nail polish.

Simple Studs

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(Image credit: @buffcs)

Looking for a bit of hardware to add to your manicure? Simple metal studs are the way to go.

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Gobesty

Nail Art Gems Stones, Gems and Studs

This affordable collection comes with studs in all different shapes and finishes. The studded possibilities are endless.

Colourful Accents

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(Image credit: @amy_lawrenson)

Sometimes all you need is a little accent here or there to create a full-out design moment. This nail-framing look is perfect for shorter lengths since the details are so small.

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Dior

Nail Polish Set 001 Pastilles

If you're feeling this blue motif, this curated setcomes with a nude base, and a bright cobalt blue for your detailing.

Outlines

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(Image credit: @varnishlane)

This artful take on the classic French design looks beautiful on shorter nails. The negative-space effect is so cool.

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Orly

Half Moon Guides

It's so easy to repurpose your classic French-manicure supplies to achieve this graphic look. Simply trace along the top and bottom of these curved polish guides and then connect the lines on either edge of the nail.

All Smiles

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(Image credit: @thehangedit)

Smiley faces providethe whimsical nail art we all need right now. (Just ask Harry Styles!) No matter how long or short your nails are, you've surely got enough nail spaceto accommodate this happy little design.

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Ciaté London

Stick-On Nail Stickers

Get perfect smileys every time with these easy-to-use nail stickers. They come in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors to fit any mood.

Flower Power

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(Image credit: @bubblyaquarius)

Flowers are the nail-art staple that never goes out of style. Just adjust the sizing to fit your particular nail-length needs.

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Tony & Guy

Bobby Pin Combo in Brown

The best thing about floral nail art is thatit's so simple to create. All you need to do isarrange little dots of polish in a flower formation. You can get the job done using the tiny ball at the end of a kirby grip.

Dots for Days

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(Image credit: @evemeetswest)

Polka dots, anyone? We love the look of the full nail covered in these tiny circles—the smaller the better.

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Nicemovic

Natural Wooden Nail Dotting Tools Set of Five

This set of dotting tools will help you create dots of any size for the perfect nail design.

Colour Swatches

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(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

Make a big impact on short nails by swatching contrasting colours. We love simplicity.

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Deborah Lippmann

Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish in Wild Thing

Nail polishes with wide, rounded applicator brushes are best for this easy design. Deborah Lippman's classic lacquers have the perfect brush bristles for this.

Polychromatic Schemes

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(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

No matter the length of your nails, a coordinated multicoloured look is always a good idea.

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Essie

Expressie Quick-Dry Nail Polish in Saffr-On The Move

Expert nail artist Betina Goldstein shared the exact hues she used from the Expressie line by Essie in a recent Instagram post, so you can re-create the exact look at home.

Wavey Lines

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(Image credit: @evemeetswest)

We love this vibrating design. Grab your favourite muted colours and a solid nail-art brush, and you're good to go.

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Nails Inc

Fashion Fix Nail Collection

This pretty polish set has all the low-keyhues you'll need for beautiful wavey designs.
Up next: 7 autumn nail colours we're alreadyobsessing over

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13 Doable Nail-Art Ideas Perfect for Short Nails (2024)

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