9 Best Nail Colors For Short Nails

by Mayuri J Ravi
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Long painted fingernails seem to never go out of trend. From celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner sporting long nails all the time to countless Instagrammers posting pictures of their luscious nails – super long nails are everywhere. Long nails have always been associated with being stylish. But take a moment and think about this: Are they practical? If you have ever had long nails, you know it isn’t easy to get a lot of things done with those nails. They can slow down your typing, make it impossible to put contacts in, and are fragile and prone to breaking easily. Hence, it’s time to get on the short nail bandwagon. Though they may not be the most popular choice, short nails are ideal for women who don’t like anything coming in the way of their life.

Well, of course, you can choose any nail color you want for your short nails. But some colors look much better on short nails and can also make them look long. Ahead, you will find the 9 best nail colors for short nails that you should try!

9 Best Nail Colors For Short Nails

1. Sally Hansen Color Therapy – Savasan-ahhh

Sally Hansen Color Therapy - Savasan-ahhh

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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • May not have good staying power

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2. Modelones Gel Polish Set – Nude Gray Series

Modelones Gel Polish Set - Nude Gray Series

Why choose one color when you can wear them all? This gel polish set includes 6 different colors, ranging from a dark, moody gray shade to a light pink hue, all of which work excellently well on short nails. Pick any color you like to give your nails a seamless coverage. Made of natural resin, every polish in this set 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.

Pros

  • Non-toxic
  • Easy to apply
  • Does not have a strong smell
  • More than 2 weeks wear

Cons

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

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3. essie Nail Polish – Ballet Slippers

essie Nail Polish - Ballet Slippers

Nothing beats a classic coat of pale pink nail polish for short nails. One of the best nail colors for summer, this pastel 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 your manicure to last longer, use a base and top coat at all times.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Might have too thin a consistency

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4. ZOYA Nail Polish Quad – Spreading Cheer

ZOYA Nail Polish Quad - Spreading Cheer

Usher in the holiday season with ZOYA Nail Polish Quad in Spreading Cheer that features 4 nail polishes in shades of red. Take your pick from 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 that can spruce up your everyday outfit or your holiday look. Apply 2 to 3 coats to give your nails a flawless finish that lasts for days without chipping. These 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.

Pros

  • Breathable formula
  • Free of toxic chemicals
  • Suitable for pregnant women
  • Available in 2 finishes – creamy and metallic

Cons

  • Might have a strong odor

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5. Gellen Gel Nail Polish Set – Shining Stars Series

Gellen Gel Nail Polish Set - Shining Stars Series

If you love everything glitter, even when it comes to nail polishes, this Shining Stars Series by Gellen is your perfect choice. This set features 6 nail polishes that offer a sparkly finish to take your manicure up a notch. These polishes 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. Suitable for all skin tones, these polishes can be worn in any season and with any outfit without looking out of place.

Pros

  • Environment-friendly
  • Lasts for over 2 weeks
  • Lends a glittery finish
  • Uses LED/UV light for drying
  • Easy to remove using acetone

Cons

  • Should not be exposed to direct sunlight

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6. P.I Nail Lacquer – Big Apple Red

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 short nails, 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Might take a long time to dry

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7. Revlon Nail Enamel – Revlon Red

Revlon Nail Enamel - Revlon Red

One of the best colors for short nails, red lends your nails an ultra-glamorous appearance and makes them stand out in a good way. This glossy strawberry red nail polish 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • May not stay on your nails long enough

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8. Beetles Gel Polish Set – Pink Confetti

Beetles Gel Polish Set - Pink Confetti

Wondering what color nail polish you should wear to make your short nails look longer? Pink is said to be 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 nail polish collection, 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Tends to clump after a few layers of application

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9. WAKANIYA Gel Nail Polish Set – Cat Eye Series

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 polishes 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.

Pros

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

Cons

  • The viscosity of the formula may be too thin, so you would have to apply multiple coats for good coverage.

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Now that you have gone through our list, you must have realized that just because you have short nails does not mean you can’t be stylish. While we do love long nails and believe that they can amp up your look, they are high maintenance and are not for everyone. So if you have opted for short nails or want to embrace the natural length of your nails, here are the 9 best nail colors you could try. Have you tried any of these nail polishes? Which of these nail colors make your nails appear visually longer? Do share your feedback with us by leaving a comment below!

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Mayuri J Ravi

Mayuri J. Ravi is a content writer and journalist and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Print Journalism. Her love for writing and desire to influence people for the better with her stories led her to pursue a career in this creative and dynamic field. She creates engaging content on a wide range of topics, such as beauty, fashion, and wellness. She is an ambivert and an avid foodie who also loves reading, dancing, and baking.
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