Nail Ideas

20 Prettiest Short Nail Trends This Year

Nailing the perfect look extends right down to the tips of your fingers, and with Short Nail Trends This Year, you’re set to discover just how vibrant, elegant, or downright funky you can get.

Short nails have steadily risen in popularity, offering a mix of low maintenance and high style that suits busy lives and minimalist aesthetics alike.

Exploring these trends is an exciting way to keep your look fresh and in vogue, proving that great style truly does come in small packages.

This post to new nail trends is packed with tips on achieving these looks, showing 20 Prettiest Short Nails That Are Trending This Year.

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1. Marble nails

Marble nails are a stunning choice if you’re looking for a sophisticated and artistic nail design that mimics the intricate patterns of natural marble.


This style is perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any outfit and is versatile enough for both everyday wear and special occasions.

The beauty of marble nails lies in their unique texture and the depth they add to your nail art, making each nail a miniature piece of art.

One of the most popular variations is the Blue Marble Nail Design, which captures the essence of blue marble with its cool tones and swirling patterns.

To achieve this look, you can blend various shades of blue and white on your nails, creating a beautiful marble effect.

2. Monochromatic ombré

Monochromatic ombré nails are a stunning way to showcase a seamless transition of shades, from dark to light, capturing the essence of any season. 


Monochromatic doesn’t mean monotonous; in fact, it opens a plethora of creative avenues. You can experiment with different color combinations within the same hue, adding a touch of elegance to your short nails.

To create this look, start with a lighter shade at the base of your nail and gradually blend into a darker shade towards the tip.

Adding some glitter can elevate the glamour of your nails, perfect for both day and night looks.

Apply the lightest color as the base, and while it’s still wet, gently sponge on the darker shade, blending meticulously to avoid harsh lines. The key is to work quickly before the base dries to achieve a flawless gradient effect.

If you’re keen on adding more personality to your nails, consider incorporating fun elements like stamps or stickers.

3. Metallic accents

Metallic accents on short nails are a fabulous way to add a bit of sparkle and sophistication to your look without overwhelming it.


This trend is all about using metallic nail polish to create subtle yet striking designs that catch the light and draw the eye.

One of the hottest trends is the use of metallic gold accents on a few nails, paired with more understated designs on others.

This approach allows you to play with light-reflecting elements while keeping the overall look elegant and not too flashy.

It’s perfect for those who want to combine other nail trends, like cow print or evil eyes, with a touch of metallic.

4. Nude nails

Nude nails have become a staple in the realm of nail fashion, offering a timeless elegance that complements any outfit or occasion.


Embracing shades that range from beige and cream to tan and deep brown, these neutral colors are incredibly versatile, making them a popular choice for those who prefer a subtle yet sophisticated nail look.

The beauty of nude nails lies in their ability to blend seamlessly with your natural skin tone, creating a clean and polished appearance.

This simplicity allows the natural beauty of your nails to shine through, making it an ideal choice for both everyday wear and special events.

One of the most appealing aspects of nude nails is their versatility in nail art. They serve as the perfect canvas for various designs, allowing more intricate art to stand out.

5. Mismatched nail colors

Mismatched nail colors have taken the fashion world by storm, offering a vibrant and playful way to express your unique style.


Gone are the days where manicures need to be uniform in color and pattern. Today, it’s all about the cheerful chaos of combining different hues and designs to create a look that’s uniquely yours.

Embracing this trend means you can mix pastels with bold shades, matte finishes with shiny ones, or even incorporate different textures.

For instance, imagine one hand flaunting pastel tones while the other bursts with neon shades, or one finger with a glossy finish while others have a matte look.

The beauty of mismatched nails is that there are no rules. Each nail can tell a different story, whether it’s with a simple block of color or more intricate designs like tortoiseshell blooms or psychedelic patterns.

Adding elements like glitter or metallic stripes can elevate the overall effect, creating a manicure that’s both eclectic and harmonious.

6. Textured nails (e.g., sand, velvet)

Textured nails, such as those featuring sand or velvet effects, offer a unique and tactile dimension to nail art that can transform your manicure into a standout piece.


The allure of textured nails lies in their ability to add depth and intrigue through materials that catch both the eye and the touch.

For those looking to explore the velvet sand technique, it involves using a super fine embossing powder that can be found at most craft stores.

This powder, when used with clear gel, adopts the color of the underlying gel polish, allowing for a seamless integration into your nail design.

The process begins with a standard preparation of your nails, including a base coat followed by your color of choice.

Before curing the final gel layer, apply your design with gel paint but don’t cure it just yet! At this stage, sprinkle the velvet sand over the wet gel to cover the design thoroughly.

Once satisfied, cure it under a UV light to set the textured effect firmly in place.

The beauty of using velvet sand is its versatility. During the colder months, you might opt for cozy designs like snow globes or winter scenes using white or gold sands to mimic snowy textures.

The fine grains of the sand create a detailed and delicate finish that can elevate a simple manicure to something truly special.

7. Holographic nail polish

Holographic nail polish has captured the hearts of many with its mesmerizing effects that reflect a full spectrum of colors, resembling a disco ball or the iridescent inside of an oyster’s shell.


This trend is ideal for those who love a bit of flair on their fingertips and works brilliantly on short nails, providing a dazzling display without overwhelming the overall look.

The magic of holographic polishes lies in their ability to shine differently depending on the lighting and angle, giving your nails a dynamic and ever-changing appearance.

It’s like having a mini light show at your fingertips, which can range from subtle glimmers to bold rainbow reflections. This versatility makes holographic nail polish a fantastic choice for both casual outings and special occasions.

Creating the holographic effect involves a special pigment that refracts light into a spectrum, much like a prism.

When you apply this polish, especially under direct sunlight or bright indoor lights, it reveals a stunning rainbow effect that’s sure to catch eyes.

8. Checkerboard patterns

Checkerboard patterns in nail art have surged back into fashion, echoing the nostalgic Y2K trends that are making a massive comeback.


This playful and versatile design can be as understated or as bold as you prefer, making it a fantastic choice for anyone looking to add an eye-catching element to their manicure.

The beauty of checkerboard nail art lies in its simplicity and the endless variations it allows. Classic black and white checkers are timeless, but don’t shy away from experimenting with vibrant color combinations like hot pink and peach or even multicolored designs that include shades like pistachio, lime, and white.

These dynamic duos or even trios of colors transform a simple checkerboard into a standout feature of your manicure.

9. Fruit-themed nail art

Fruit-themed nail art offers a refreshing and vibrant touch that’s perfect for the summer season or any time you want to add a splash of color to your look.


This playful style incorporates a variety of fruit designs, from the tropical allure of pineapples and watermelons to the sweet charm of strawberries and kiwis.

Each nail can feature a different fruit, turning your manicure into a delightful fruit salad of colors and shapes.

The appeal of fruit-themed nails lies in their colorful and juicy appearance, which can be both fun and stylish.

Imagine sporting a pineapple nail art on one finger paired with a watermelon design on another, each detailed with vibrant colors that pop.

Creating these designs can be a joyous process, especially if you love DIY nail art. You can use various techniques like stampingfree-hand painting, or decals to achieve precise and vivid fruit patterns.

10. Neon French tips

Neon French tips are a vibrant twist on the classic French manicure, infusing your nails with an array of electrifying colors that stand out.


These aren’t just any ordinary tips; they bring a fun, punchy twist to your nails, perfect for making a bold statement.

The beauty of neon French tips lies in their versatility. You can opt for a single neon color for a uniform look, or mix and match different neon shades on each nail for a more eclectic and personalized style.

This manicure is not only about adding color but also about embracing boldness and creativity in your nail art.

For those who love a bit of drama, the slanted French manicure with rainbow asymmetrical tips offers a modern twist on the classic design.

It allows you to experiment with multiple neon shades, creating a playful yet sophisticated look.

11. Tie-dye nails

Tie-dye nails are sweeping the summer scene, offering a burst of color that’s as fun to wear as it is to create.


This vibrant nail trend captures the essence of summer with its playful swirls and bright, merging colors, making your nails a focal point of your style.

Starting your tie-dye nail adventure begins with a clean slate. You might find yourself removing any old polish and prepping your nails for a fresh design.

A smooth, even base coat of a light color, typically white, sets the perfect background for those vivid tie-dye colors to pop. Once your base is ready, the real fun begins.

The technique involves a simple tool everyone has at home—a makeup sponge. Tear it into small pieces, and you’re ready to dab on your color.

Apply your chosen polishes in dots on a flat surface and lightly dip your sponge piece into them. Dab the colors onto your nails, blending and mixing as you go to create that iconic tie-dye effect. Don’t worry about being too precise; the beauty of tie-dye is in its whimsical, free-form patterns.

12. Polka dot designs

Polka dot designs are a delightful way to add a playful and timeless charm to your short nails. This style is incredibly versatile, allowing you to experiment with different colorssizes, and patterns to create a look that’s uniquely your own.


Creating polka dot nails is surprisingly simple, making it a fantastic option for both nail art beginners and seasoned enthusiasts.

You can use a variety of tools, from specialized dotting tools to improvised items like bobby pins or the tip of a pen, to place perfect dots on your nails.

The key is to dip your tool into the nail polish and gently press it onto the nail, repeating this process until you achieve the desired pattern.

You can explore different color combinations and dot sizes to match your mood or the occasion. For a chic, monochromatic look, try using shades of the same color, like light pink dots on a dark pink base.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, contrasting colors such as black and white or complementary colors like blue and orange can make your nails pop.

13. Abstract swirls

Abstract swirls are sweeping the nail art scene, captivating everyone from everyday fashion enthusiasts to celebrities.


This trend, flourishing across platforms like Instagram and TikTok, showcases a range of designs from subtle to bold, making it a versatile choice for personalizing your nail style.

The charm of abstract swirls lies in their effortless elegance and the ease with which they can be adapted to different tastes and occasions.

You can choose swirls that are finely drawn with thin lines for a delicate touch or go for chunky, bold swirls that stand out with their groovy effect.

The technique for creating these swirls involves using a fine-lining nail art brush, allowing for precision and the freedom to experiment with various thicknesses and shapes.

Pairing swirl nails with other nail art trends can elevate your manicure to a truly unique creation. For instance, combining them with a French manicure or adding crystal embellishments can offer a sophisticated flair or a dash of sparkle, respectively.

This adaptability makes swirl nails a favorite not only for personal style expression but also for professional manicurists looking to offer something special.

14. Gradient nails

Gradient nails, or ombre nails as they are sometimes called, offer a stunning visual effect that blends two or more colors into a seamless transition on each nail.


This technique creates a beautiful gradation of colors, from subtle and soft to vibrant and bold, making it a versatile choice for all occasions.

To achieve the perfect gradient nail look, you can use a variety of methods, but one of the most popular involves using a sponge.

This simple tool helps to softly diffuse the colors into one another, creating that dreamy gradient effect that’s both eye-catching and elegant.

You start by applying a base coat in the lightest color you’re using. Then, on a flat surface, apply the colors you want to blend side by side on a sponge.

Once you have your colors loaded, gently dab the sponge onto your nails, moving slightly up and down to blend the colors together. It might take a few layers to achieve the desired opacity and smoothness, but the result is truly worth it.

15. 3D nail art accents

3D nail art accents have revolutionized the way you can flaunt your nails, bringing an extraordinary depth and realism to your manicure that’s hard to overlook.


This technique allows you to add various elements to your nails, creating a tactile effect that is both visually stunning and unique.

Whether it’s through the addition of crystal clear details or colorful 3D gemstones, these designs transform your nails into a piece of art.

The allure of 3D nail art lies in its dynamic nature. You can opt for subtle enhancements like sweet ribbons or go bold with raised, abstract designs that feature pearlescent finishes.

The versatility of 3D accents means there’s no limit to the creativity or the styles you can achieve. It’s particularly popular for special occasions, where you can sport everything from delicate floral designs to bold geometric patterns.

Creating 3D nail art isn’t as daunting as it might seem. Many nail artists use gel pots to sculpt the design directly on the nails, adding a metallic gold shade for a touch of luxury or using chrome powders to enhance the visual impact.

The technique of flash-curing with a handheld UV LED light helps to ‘freeze’ the design, ensuring that every detail is preserved in perfect clarity.

16. Gemstone-inspired nails

Gemstone-inspired nails bring a touch of luxury and sparkle to your manicure, perfect for those occasions when you want your hands to make as much of a statement as your outfit.


This trend uses the brilliance and allure of gems to create stunning nail art that shines and captivates.

When you’re aiming to add big bling to short nails, it’s crucial to choose gems that complement the shape and size of your nails.

Opting for a large gem that fits within the nail space, surrounded by smaller stones, can create a focal point without overwhelming the look.

This method ensures that each nail looks elegant and not overcrowded, maintaining a sophisticated balance between boldness and subtlety.

The placement of these gems can vary depending on your personal style or the specific look you’re going for.

Some popular gem placement ideas include a single large gem at the base or center of the nail, accompanied by smaller gems trailing along the sides or creating a gradient effect as they diminish in size.

17. Negative space moons

Negative space moons, often seen as the chic reverse of a traditional French manicure, are making waves in the nail art community.


This design cleverly utilizes the natural color of your nail, creating a ‘moon’ at the base while the rest of the nail flaunts color. It’s a style that’s both minimalist and striking, offering a fresh twist on classic looks.

The allure of this moon-inspired design lies in its versatility. Whether you opt for a half-moon shape that hugs the cuticle or a more dramatic crescent, each variation offers a unique take on this trendy manicure.

Popular among those who adore subtle yet impactful nail art, negative space moons work wonderfully on short nails, giving them an elegant and elongated appearance.

Creating this look might seem intricate, but it’s quite achievable with some practice. Start by applying a base coat to protect your nails and ensure a smooth canvas.

Once dry, use adhesive stencils or simply freehand the moon shapes at the base of your nail. Apply your chosen polish around the stencil or freehand area, and then carefully remove the guide to reveal the negative space. Finish with a top coat to enhance the durability and shine of your manicure.

18. Foil stamping

Foil stamping in nail art introduces a shimmering, metallic finish that can elevate your manicure to a glamorous new level.


This technique involves applying a metallic foil to your nails, creating a dazzling effect that’s perfect for both special occasions and everyday glam.

The key to a successful foil stamping is ensuring that the foil adheres smoothly to your nail, which can be achieved by using a specific foil stamping gel.

This gel acts as an adhesive that binds the foil to your nail, allowing for intricate designs and a flawless finish.

To start, you’ll want to choose a base color that complements the foil. A popular choice is a deep, autumnal shade like a rich brown or a vibrant orange, which provides a striking contrast to metallic foils.

After applying the base color, it’s essential to apply the foil stamping gel. This gel is quite thin and requires careful application to ensure it doesn’t run before curing under a lamp.

Once the gel is applied, you can press the foil onto your nail, focusing on areas where you want the metallic effect to show. It’s important to apply pressure evenly to ensure the foil sticks properly and to avoid any gaps.

If you’re aiming for a design that includes specific shapes or patterns, such as pumpkins for a seasonal look, you can cut the foil accordingly and apply it only over the gel-coated areas.

19. Stained glass nails

Stained glass nails are a dazzling way to bring the intricate beauty of stained glass windows right to your fingertips.


This nail art style mimics the colorful, segmented designs typically seen in church windows and art pieces, using a variety of techniques to create a multi-colored, translucent effect that’s both beautiful and sophisticated.

To achieve the stained glass look, you’ll start with a clear or neutral base coat to ensure the colors pop. The key is to use gel polish for its ability to provide a smooth, even canvas.

Once your base is ready, apply strips of thin black lining to mimic the lead cames of actual stained glass. These lines will form the boundaries for your colorful sections.

Next, you’ll fill in the segments created by your black lines with translucent or jelly polishes. These types of polishes are perfect for stained glass designs because they allow light to pass through, enhancing the glass-like effect.

Choose colors that are bright and vibrant to mimic the look of actual stained glass. You can apply these colors using a detailed brush to ensure precision and prevent the colors from mixing.

For a truly unique touch, consider adding a rose or dove design within one of the larger panels. Outline your design first with black gel paint, then fill in with your chosen colors.

20. Tiny animal prints

Tiny animal prints on nails are a playful and chic way to express your style, blending the wild beauty of nature with the art of manicure.


Once considered over the top, animal prints have now evolved into a fun fashion statement with major staying power.

From the classic allure of leopard spots to the subtle sophistication of snakeskin, these designs allow you to embrace all aspects of your wild side, ranging from neutral to bright and bold.

Imagine adorning your nails with pastel snakeskin patterns, which have been popping up everywhere. These offer a fresh twist on the traditional animal print by incorporating soft, unexpected colors that can complement any outfit.

If you’re drawn to more intricate designs, consider the whimsical butterfly wing nails. These designs take a close-up approach, focusing on detailed patterns that mimic the delicate structure of butterfly wings, bringing a touch of nature’s elegance to your fingertips.

Final Thoughts

This year’s short nail trends traverse a vibrant landscape of creativity and elegance, offering something for every style and occasion.

As we look forward to nails ideas 2024, these trends offer a foundation for endless exploration and innovation in nail art.

They invigorate the nail art community with fresh inspirations, encouraging enthusiasts to embrace their unique taste and push the boundaries of traditional manicures.

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