Raise your hand if you've apologised to your manicurist for your super-short nails. Why is it that do we do that? Long, elegant tips often get all the love, but short nails are just as chic in their own right and suitable for the season's coolest nail art trends. Plus, they'll never annoy you when you're clicking away on your keyboard, trying to remove your contact lenses, or opening a can of La Croix.
According to the pros, the trick to making short nails feel more glamorous is to make them look purposeful by keeping them clean, smooth, and shaped. "The most important part of ensuring your nails look great at any length is taking good care of your hands," Megan Richardson and Gretchen Tiernan, owners of L.A.-based Sand Spa, explain. "Short nails look best when your cuticles are pushed back and you can see your half moons."
Anything other than groomed, short nails might not be in the cards for some people based on lifestyle, but they are far from limiting. As famed editorial nail artist Miss Pop tells us, "Nail art is not long-nail exclusive. If you’re a nail biter, just focus the attention not on the tip, but down to the cuticle." You can even fake the look of more length by painting them in ways that give the illusion of a longer nail bed.
From maximalist designs to easy nail art for short nails, there are no limits to what you (or a talented nail tech) can create on even the smallest of canvases. Whether you're after the chic, natural look, or just want to rest your nails between gel extensions, we've rounded up the coolest short nail manis to copy now, no long-term growth plan required.