Reminder: You Don't Need Crazy-Long Nails to Rock Cute Nail Designs (2024)

These short nails designs are fun and manageable.

By Katie Bourque
Reminder: You Don't Need Crazy-Long Nails to Rock Cute Nail Designs (1)

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What's better than a brand new manicure? If you’ve spent some time in a nail salon lately, you have probably noticed plenty of people walking out with the latest nail craze: long, colorful acrylic nails à la Kylie Jenner. While we love the confidence boost that comes with a fresh set of stylish nails, but we're not crazy about some of the drawbacks these trendy long nails have. As anyone who has worn these type of long nail can tell you, it makes typing, picking up coins, putting in contacts, and clasping a necklace pretty tough to do.

Lucky for those of us who enjoy having full use of our fingers, there are some pretty cute and stylish short nail designs out there, too. You can downsize the length of your acrylics, or you can just embrace your natural nail length. After all, if your nails need a little TLC, prioritizing nail health over nail length is one of the recommended ways to keep your nails healthy and happy. Whether you're looking for the right nail shape for your finger or painting your nails with a drugstore polish like Meghan Markle, these are the best short nails to try for your next manicure.


Nail Stickers

A perfect match for pattern lovers, nail stickers are a low commitment way to change up your nail art. Plus, the stickers attach to your natural nail, so there's no added length.



Short Dip Nails

Dip-powder nails, also known as an SNS manicure, are preferred by those who want softer-consistency nails, or want to avoid the UV light used in gel manicures. Like gel manicures, they're applied to your natural nail, but can also be applied to the ends of your nails for a (controllable) extra length.

RELATED: The 10 Best Dip Powder Nail Kits to Get a Salon-Quality Manicure at Home


Short Gel Nails

Gel manicures use UV lights to lock in the polish, which creates a chip-resistant manicure. The longtime salon favorite has plenty of colors to choose from and no added length.


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Natural Nails

Some designs look better au natural. Like these nails, a clear coat base is all you need to make a bit of color pop on the tips and cuticles of your nails.


Short Square Nails

This classic nail shape is probably what you think of when you picture fake nails, but by asking your nail technician to file them down to the height of your nail, you can get a manicure that looks just like your natural nails, only better.


Short Oval Nails

This nail shape mirrors the rounded edges of your natural nail, and a smaller set with some polish can honestly probably pass as your natural nail.

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Short Squoval Nails

Squoval nails are, you guessed it, a nail shape that mixes the square and oval shapes. They are basically square nails with rounded edges, but that name doesn't really flow as well.


Ombre Nails

This tan to white ombre design is the most stylish way to mimic the natural pattern of your nail.


Round Nails

This style refers to the rounded tip of your nail. Whether its the way you are cutting your natural nail or the finish your asking your acrylic nail technician, it can easily be added to any short, simple nail design.

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Short Stiletto Nails

You can still have fun with short nails! Though the name refers to the highest of high heels, a pointed stiletto nail tip can add some fun to shorter nails, too.


What's Your Sign?

Attention astrology-lovers: This zodiac pattern is for you. If you don't think that you can draw your zodiac sticker, have no fear, that's what nail stickers are for.



Shooting Star

Bring the constellation to your nails with far-out, celestial pattern like this one.


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Polka Dots

This bright and colorful pattern is actually the easiest to do! Try using a nail pen to control the size of your dot.


Reminder: You Don't Need Crazy-Long Nails to Rock Cute Nail Designs (15)

Katie Bourque

As an Editorial Fellow for Good Housekeeping, Katie covers health, beauty, home, and pop culture. Outside of the office, you can find her killing it on the karaoke machine or listening to true crime podcasts.

Reminder: You Don't Need Crazy-Long Nails to Rock Cute Nail Designs (2024)


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