10 Best Nail Colors For Short Nails That Look Super Trendy – 2024

Paint your short nails to achieve a salon-style manicure with these cute colors.

Reviewed by Nyssa Green, Makeup Artist Nyssa Green Nyssa GreenMakeup Artist facebook_icontwitter_iconyoutube_icon
Written by , Commerce Writer Srijita De Commerce Writer Experience: 2 years
Edited by , Associate Commerce Editor Rajeshwari Das Associate Commerce Editor Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , Associate Commerce Editor Srijani Roy Chowdhury Associate Commerce Editor Experience: 3 years
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If you want to flaunt short nails, you are definitely on the right page. In this article, we have prepared a list of the 10 best nail colors for short nails that can make your nails look super trendy and help you steal the show like never before. Although long, carefully shaped, manicured fingernails are fashionable; some people do not want anything to come their way. Many like to keep their nails short and rounded. Long nails can slow down your typing speed and make it difficult for you to put on contact lenses. In this case, short nails are great. But when it comes to painting them and keeping them trendy, many of us lack proper ideas and inspiration. But do not worry because we are here to help.

You can always add a pop of brightness and color to your nails and create designs for that perfect manicure. Take this article as your buying guide and pick the color your heart desires without much hassle. So get on to the short nail bandwagon, go ahead and give this piece a read. These nail colors are carefully selected after going through the honest reviews from users online. Scroll down.

Top Picks
Best Fade-Proof Formula:Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish - Oceans Away
Price on Amazon
Best Toxin-Free Formula:Modelones Gel Polish Set - Red Brown Series
Price on Amazon
Best Streak-Free Coverage:essie Nail Lacquer Vernis - Ballet Slippers
Price on Amazon
Best Breathable Formula:ZOYA Nail Polish Quad - Spreading Cheer
Price on Amazon
Best For Nail Moisturizing:Orly Breathable Treatment + Color - Namaste Healthy
Price on Amazon
Best Environment-Friendly Formula:Gellen Gel Nail Polish Set - Shining Stars
Price on Amazon

Best Creamy Finish:O.P.I Nail Lacquer - Big Apple Red
Price on Amazon
Best Glossy Finish:Revlon Nail Enamel - 680 Revlon Red
Price on Amazon
Best Long-Lasting Effect:Beetles Gel Polish Set - Pink Confetti
Price on Amazon
Best 3D Cat-Eye Nail Effect:WAKANIYA Gel Nail Polish Set - Cat Eye Series
Price on Amazon

10 Best Nail Colors For Short Nails That Will Make Heads Turn!

1. Best Fade-Proof Formula:Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish – Oceans Away

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish – Oceans Away Image: Sally Hansen

If you like to keep your nails minimalistic but also like a bit of color, using pastel shade is the way to go. This soothing pale rose color is perfect for making your small nails look longer and can also be paired with any outfit. Suitable for all skin tones, this expertly crafted nail polish gives you stunning nails in just 2 strokes. It is formulated with argan oil that instantly moisturizes your nails with every coat and makes them healthier over time. Plus, applying Color Therapy Top Coat on your nail color will give long-lasting wear and glossy finish, as noted by reviewers online.

Color: Oceans Away | Product Dimensions: 1 x 0.9 x 3.2 inches | Weight: 0.53 Ounces.


  •  Fade-proof
  •  Chip-resistant
  •  Infused with argan oil
  •   Available in over 40 shades


  •  May not have good staying power

2. Best Toxin-Free Formula:Modelones Gel Polish Set – Red Brown Series

Modelones Gel Polish Set – Red Brown Series Image: Modelones

Why choose one color when you can wear them all? This gel polish set includes 6 different gel nail colors for short nails, ranging from a dark, moody gray shade to a light pink hue, all of which work well on short nails. Pick any of these popular nail colors for short nails to give your nails a seamless coverage. Made of natural resin, every polish in this set of short nail colors glides on smoothly and dries within minutes under a UV/LED light to reveal a mirror-like shiny finish. A single application lasts for over 2 weeks as long as you follow the right application technique. Always start with a base coat, apply 2 to 3 layers of nail color (cure after every layer), and finish off with a top coat for extended wear. If you have very sensitive skin, the brand highly recommends conducting a patch test. You can check this video out if you need to know more about this nail polish through a tester’s experience.

Color: A Going Nude | Product Dimensions: 7.68 x 4.1 x 0.87 inches | Weight: 7.04 Ounces.


  •  Non-toxic
  •  Comes with a shade of burgundy
  •  Easy to apply
  •  Does not have a strong smell
  •  More than 2 weeks wear


  •  Sometimes bubbles may occur during or after the drying process.

3. Best Streak-Free Coverage:essie Nail Lacquer Vernis – Ballet Slippers

essie Nail Polish, Glossy Shine Finish, Ballet Slippers, Sheer Pink, 0.46 Ounces Image: Essie
Now 32% Off

Nothing beats a classic coat of a pastel pink nail polish for short nails. One of the best nail colors for short nails, this classic baby pink pastel nail shade has a high glossy sheen that lights up and looks gorgeous when light falls on it. Nyssa Green, a makeup artist, says, “ This is a color that brides love. It really is a perfect pink.” Popular among nail experts and stylists, this neutral color nail polish is an award-winning product, known for its excellent durability and salon-quality result. Moreover, this expert-recommended nail color is safe to use, as it does not contain DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde. It comes with an easy-glide brush that offers smooth and streak-free application. However, if you want to amp up your nail care routine, use a base and top coat at all times to make this moody nail polish shade last longer. To find out more about this nail polish and the reviewer’s experience with it, check this video review out.

Color: 12 ballet slippers | Product Dimensions: 1.14 x 1.14 x 2.7 inches | Weight: 1.9 Ounces


  •  Long-lasting wear
  •  Glides smoothly
  •  Streak-free application
  •  Flawless coverage
  •  Does not contain harmful chemicals
  •  The brush fits every nail size


  •  Might have too thin a consistency

protip_icon Quick Tip
Avoid air bubbles in nail polish by not shaking the bottle but rolling it between your plams.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 6,346 reviews and is a top choice all around the world.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish - Oceans Away
Best Fade-Proof Formula
Modelones Gel Polish Set - Red Brown Series
Best Toxin-Free Formula
essie Nail Lacquer Vernis - Ballet Slippers
Best Streak-Free Coverage
Color Oceans Away A Going Nude 12 ballet slippers
Dimensions 1 x 0.9 x 3.2 inches 7.68 x 4.1 x 0.87 inches 1.14 x 1.14 x 2.7 inches
Weight 0.53 Ounces. 7.04 Ounces. 1.9 Ounces

4. Best Breathable Formula:ZOYA Nail Polish Quad – Spreading Cheer


Usher in the holiday season with the ZOYA Nail Polish Quad in Spreading Cheer that features 4 nail polishes in different shades of red. Take your pick from these dramatic shades: a creamy bright cherry red, violet-red creme, vibrant red in a metallic finish, or magenta pink in a pearl-like metallic finish, for an alluring manicure. This nail color for everyday wear can spruce up your outfit or your holiday look. Apply 2 to 3 coats of these spring neon nail colors for short nails to give your nails a flawless finish that lasts for days without chipping. These neon pink nail polishes are safe to use even for pregnant women, thanks to their 10-free formulation, which means they do not contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, camphor, parabens, ethyl, and lead, among others.

Color: Spreading Cheer | Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 3.55 inches | Weight: 8.78 Ounces.


  •  Breathable formula
  •  Free of toxic chemicals
  •  Suitable for pregnant women
  •  Available in 2 finishes – creamy and metallic
  •  Electric-pink nail polish


  •  Might have a strong odor

5. Best For Nail Moisturizing:Orly Breathable Treatment + Color – Namaste Healthy


Is there anything more sassier than hot red nails? Perhaps not and the Namaste Healthy shade from Orly Breathable Treatment + Color collection can make your short-painted nails look bold and appealing. Enriched with argan oil, vitamin C, and pro-vitamin B5, the nail color moisturizes your nail and heals it from cracking and discoloration. Make your manicure sessions quick and easy as this nail polish for short nails needs no base coat or a top dry coat. Treat your nails to make them healthy while coloring and styling them with this nail color. If you are an absolute beginner, this video review featuring a tester’s experience with the product might be useful.

Color: Namaste Healthy | Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 1.2 x 3.2 inches | Weight: 1.6 Ounces


  •  Heals and hydrates
  •  Enriched with vitamin C
  •  Prevents damage and breakage
  •  Perfect color in one stroke


  •  A double coat of this nail paint might give a cakey finish

protip_icon Did You Know?
To make a simple nail art look, protect the skin around the nail with tape, fill a paper cup with filtered room-temperature water, add drops of different colored polish to the cup, swirl the layers with a paper clip, dip the finger in, use the clip to remove the paint, and remove the tape to clean up.

6. Best Environment-Friendly Formula:Gellen Gel Nail Polish Set – Shining Stars

Gellen Gel Nail Polish Set – Shining Stars Image: Gellen

If you love everything glitter and sparkly nail colors, the Shining Stars Series by Gellen can be the perfect choice. This set features 6 sheer nail polishes in fiery shades that offer a sparkly finish to take your manicure up a notch. These glitter nail colors glide on easily like a regular polish and wear like a gel to give your nails sheer coverage. They are made of natural resin, are non-toxic, and have excellent staying power.

Color: Black


  •  Environment-friendly
  •  Lasts for over 2 weeks
  • Not tested on animals
  •  Lends a glittery finish
  •  Uses LED/UV light for drying
  •  Easy to remove using acetone


  •  Should not be exposed to direct sunlight

7. Best Creamy Finish:O.P.I Nail Lacquer – Big Apple Red


We haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like classic red nails! Whether you have long nails or shorter nails than you’d like, this luscious cherry red shade by O.P.I Nail Lacquer will give your nails that elegant touch. Nyssa Green, adds, “This is a beautiful, blue-based red that works on everyone.” If you are someone who loves to update your nail color every week, this nail lacquer is a great choice as it lasts for 7 days straight without chipping. This hypoallergenic formula is used by professionals and experts as it has a thick, creamy texture that is super smooth and easy to apply. Just 2 coats of this expert-recommended lacquer can give your nails maximum coverage. Remember to use a base and top coat for extended wear and shine and prevent your nails from staining and chipping.

Color: Big Apple Red | Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 1.05 x 6 inches | Weight: 2.24 Ounces


  •  Pigment-rich
  •  Chip-resistant
  •  Easy to remove
  •  Creamy finish and shine
  •  Long-wearing for 7 days


  •  Might take a long time to dry

protip_icon Pro Tip
Dipping your nails in ice water after a short air dry will set the color. Wait longer if the air is humid.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has gained over 665 positive reviews on Amazon, making it an all-time best-seller.

8. Best Glossy Finish:Revlon Nail Enamel – 680 Revlon Red

Revlon Nail Enamel – 680 Revlon Red Image: Revlon
Now 11% Off

Red is perhaps the best nail color for short nails that lends your nails an ultra-glamorous appearance and makes them stand out in a good way. This glossy strawberry-red nail color adds a pop of color to your nails for casual outings and delivers a lustrous finish in a single coat. Formulated with ShadeLock and Chip Defiant technology, this formula provides fade and chip-resistant wear. While the butter-like smooth texture ensures the polish glides on effortlessly on your nails, the easy-to-use brush provides a flawless application. Best of all, this formula is bubble-free and does not contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, DBP, and camphor.

Color: 680 Revlon Red | Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 0.22 x 1.22 inches | Weight: 0.5 Ounces


  •  Super smooth formula
  •  Fade-resistant wear
  •  Does not chip
  •  Glossy finish
  •  Free of toxic chemicals
  •  Maintains the vibrancy of the color longer


  •  May not stay on your nails long enough

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use white polish as the base layer to make your chosen color stand out.

9. Best Long-Lasting Effect:Beetles Gel Polish Set – Pink Confetti

Beetles Gel Polish Set – Pink Confetti Image: Beetles

Wondering what color nail polish you should wear to make your short nails look longer? Pink is considered one of the best nail polish colors for short nails and is a go-to shade for most women. This is yet another classic shade that you can’t go wrong with. This collection of pretty nail colors for short nails, aptly named, Pink Confetti, is a 6-piece set that features pretty pink hues, along with a confetti glitter polish that accentuates your bare nails. These nail polishes are made without toxic chemicals (9-free formula) and harsh adhesives. So no more worries about harming your skin or damaging your nails, add these shades to your amazing collection. They lend your nails the right amount of shine that lasts over 21 days, given that you follow a proper application process. Reviewers who have tested the product noted that the application process was straightforward and hassle-free.

Color: A-Pink Confetti


  •  Safe to use
  •  Low odor
  •  Easy to apply
  •  Suitable for all seasons
  •  Long-wearing for 21 days or more


  •  Tends to clump after a few layers of application

10. Best 3D Cat-Eye Nail Effect:WAKANIYA Gel Nail Polish Set – Cat Eye Series

Cat-eye nails are very much in vogue and can transform your nails into mesmerizing gemstones in an instant. This set includes 6 pieces of water-based metallic nail polishes in different colors and a magnet stick. These holographic nail shades are formulated with mineral pigments that help protect your nails, while the smooth formula delivers a glossy finish that stays put for 3 weeks. So, how does it work? First, apply a base coat and cure your nails. Next, apply a coat of dark or black gel polish as a base gel, and then cure it again. Once dried, apply one of these gel polishes (no curing required). Achieving the perfect 3D cat-eye nail look depends on how you use the magnet stick and the direction the metallic pigments move in. Hold the magnet over your nails for a few seconds until you have achieved the desired look. Cure your nails immediately. Lastly, finish off with a top coat and cure again. However, if you have sensitive skin, the brand highly recommends conducting a skin allergy test.

Color: Cat Eye Series | Product Dimensions: 4.92 x 2.36 x 2.83 inches | Weight: 8.29 Ounces


  •  3-week wear
  •  Non-toxic
  •  Made of natural resin
  •  Includes a smooth-textured brush
  •  Lends you extra shiny nails
  •  Whimsical shades


  •  The viscosity of the formula may be too thin, so you would have to apply multiple coats for good coverage.
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Now that we’ve taken a look at the 10 best nail colors for short nails in 2024, here are a few things you should keep in mind before getting your hands on a few.

How To Choose Nail Colors For Short Nails

  •  Skin tone

For fair and light skin tones, choose peppy and vibrant colors along with all vibrant shades of pink. If you have a medium skin tone, experiment with shades of purple and blue. For dark and deep skin tones, shimmery nail paints and nudes are a great choice.

  •  Occasion

For work spaces, choose nail paint colors that are subtle and dull. Beiges and nudes can be a wonderful choice. A day out with friends or a movie day at home calls for adorning your nails with peppy and crazy nail colors. Experiment with a yellow nail polish or a white one or anything that is vibrant. A statement-making date night or a party calls for metallic nail shades that are bold and shimmery. Black with glitter, a metallic gold shade, or simply a hot red paint can complete your look.

  •  Type

Regular nail paints in a matte or holographic finish. How about trying something else to define your nails better? You can choose gel paints to get the high-end glossy finish or even try acrylic ones. The acrylic nail paints offer exceptional results and can be easily applied and removed. They also keep your nails safe from turning yellow and pale.

  •  Longevity

There are quite a few nail colors that last only for 3-4 days. This may be the ideal choice for you if you like to switch up your nail-color game often. If you have no mood to change your colors for a week or more, try picking up long-wear nail colors that are safe on nails and long-lasting too. Gel paints are generally durable from fading and chipping when you compare them to acrylic or regular ones.

  •  Finish

There are a wide variety of nail paint finishes that you can experiment with. You can try sheer finish nail colors for work and metallic finish nail colors for a night out at clubs. A glossy finish keeps your nails looking fresh and beautiful any day, while matte nail colors look very appealing on short nails.

How To Make Short Nails Look Longer With Nail Polish

There are a lot of nail polish colors for short nails to make them look longer. Also follow these tips.

  • Rule 1 – Firstly, you need to shape your nails before applying any nail polish on short nails.
  • Rule 2 – A nude shade and neutral nail colors for short nails can make nails look longer.
  • Rule 3 – Get yourself a French manicure.
  • Rule 4 – Contour your nails with darker nail polish shades.

The Bottom Line

Short nails are easy to manage and can be styled too. To flaunt your short nails, you need the right nail polishes. The best nail colors for short nails stunningly complement your manicured nails. The Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish – Oceans Away is a great choice for those who are looking for a long-lasting and chip-resistant formula, while the Modelones Gel Polish Set – Red Brown Series offers seamless coverage. The essie Nail Lacquer Vernis – Ballet Slippers offers streak-free application. The above-listed nail polishes are free from chemicals like formaldehyde and lead, and are available in different colors to compliment every skin tone. The nail polish glides smoothly on the nail’s surface and provides seamless coverage with just one or two layers. These expertly crafted nail polishes for short nails are chip-resistant, easy to apply and provide long-lasting results. However, few nail polishes take a long time to dry and may require a double coat based on the intensity of the color. Always check out for chip-resistant nail polishes that last long.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do dark or light colors look better on short nails?

You need to consider your skin tone and not the length of the nail when you are choosing the best nail polish color for short nails. Dark colored nails look good on fair hands and shades of purple and pastels colors look good on wheatish and dark skin tones. However, if you need to make your nails look long, choose pale shades.

What color should I paint my nails for summer?

The most vibrant fluorescent pinks to yellows or peppy blues and even bright green and red are some of the best nail colors for summer for short nails.

How can I make my small nails look nice?

Here are a few ways you can make your small nails look decent.
• Manicure your nails at regular intervals and keep your nail bed clean.
• Choose bold nail colors like shades of blue, red, etc. However, even white and pastels do the job if you are not into bold colors.
• Apply cuticle oil to keep your nails hydrated.
• Invest some time to do some nail art; it make your nails look cute.
• Use a very fine bristled brush to paint your nails properly.

How long does nail color last on short nails?

The longevity of nail color depends on the manicure and it varies from person to person. However, short nails are less prone to breakage and hence if you opt for long-lasting nail polish formula or gel nail polishes it can last up to 2 weeks.

What nail color makes hands with short fingernails look younger?

French manicured nails, pink, nude, pastel, and red-toned shades look great on short nails. They enhance the beauty of your hands and make them look more youthful.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Srijita De, is a makeup connoisseur and finds her passion in trying out different products and recommending the best ones to her users. For this article, she has studied tons of nail colors for short nails and scanned through hundreds of reviews on trusted online forums to zero in on the 10 best products. These products are chip-resistant and ensure long-lasting wear.

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