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. Scroll down.
In This Article
10 Best Nail Colors For Short Nails That Will Make Heads Turn!
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 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.
- Infused with argan oil
- Available in over 40 shades
- May not have good staying power
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. You can check this video out if you need to know more about the product.
- 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.
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. Popular among nail experts and stylists, this nail polish is an award-winning product, known for its excellent durability and salon-quality result. Moreover, this 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 product, check this video review out.
- 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
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 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.
- 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
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 might be useful.
- 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
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 a sheer coverage. They are made of natural resin, are non-toxic, and have excellent staying power.
- Lasts for over 2 weeks
- Lends a glittery finish
- Uses LED/UV light for drying
- Easy to remove using acetone
- Should not be exposed to direct sunlight
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. 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 formula has a thick, creamy texture that is super smooth and easy to apply. Just 2 coats of this 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.
- Easy to remove
- Creamy finish and shine
- Long-wearing for 7 days
- Might take a long time to dry
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 for casual outings 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.
- 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
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. They lend your nails the right amount of shine that lasts over 21 days, given that you follow a proper application process.
- 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
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.
- 3-week wear
- 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.
Now that we’ve taken a look at the 10 best nail colors for short nails in 2023, 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 shades of pink. If you have a medium skin tone, experiment with shades of purple and blue. For dark skin tones, shimmery nail paints and nudes are a great choice.
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 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.
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 can be easily applied and removed, and they keep your nails safe from turning yellow and pale.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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