16 Cool Nail Designs for Short Tips

by StyleCaster .
Oct 6, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Longer nails may appear to have the upper hand at first glance when it comes to cool designs, but those of us with shorter nails are certainly not without choices. And if biting is what keeps you calm in this mad, mad world, we totally sympathize — but just know that there’s no need to forgo a cool nail design for your sanity. Celebrity manicurist Gina Edwards shared a few tips on how to get your best tips and curb the chew. When you're done checking out her tips, click through the slideshow for even more gorgeous short-nail inspiration.

Color choices matter

This is particularly true if you’re a biter. “You want a color to distract you from biting your nails. Generally, warm tones are not as effective in doing that,” says Edwards, who recommends trying bright pinks or orange.

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Go faux

If you don’t want to deal with trying to find a design that works on your natural nail length, Edwards also suggests opting for shorter press-on nails. It may also help keep your hands away from your mouth if you’re tempted to bite.

Spot & treat

ID what’s making you bite and work on a solution to quit. Applying tea tree oil to your nails may work for you as a biting deterrent and can heal the skin around your nails, making for an even, cleaner-looking manicure.

More: 15 Crazy-Affordable Beauty Brands You Didn’t Know About

Now that the foundation is set, jump into some nail inspo with 16 designs that were pretty much invented with shorter tips in mind.


Originally posted on StyleCaster

1/16 :Lone star

Keeping nail art to a minimum, like this single shooting star, may be best if you don't want to draw too much attention to your nibbled tips.

2 /16: Minimalist mani

2/16 :Minimalist mani

You can't go wrong with short and simple. A single dot at the base of each nail and a vertical accent line will visually lengthen shorter tips.

3/16 :Flower power

Tiny bouquets work well on pretty much any length nail and can camouflage bitten tips.

4/16 :Faux edge

If your tips are trashed, try redrawing them with polish.

5 /16: Cuticle decal

5/16 :Cuticle decal

If your nail tips aren't in decent shape for a design, add the art at the cuticle line.

6 /16: Edge of darkness

6/16 :Edge of darkness

Hide uneven edges with a dark navy painted just at the tips.

7 /16: Mix & match

7/16 :Mix & match

If some nails are a little shorter than others, use the same colors to create a different design on each finger like this mural nail look.

8 /16: Glitter tips

8/16 :Glitter tips

A chunky glitter stripe is an easy fix for uneven edges.

9/16 :Tangerine tips

Edwards suggests sticking with a bright orange polish as a distraction from biting.

10 /16: Cobalt teardrop

10/16 :Cobalt teardrop

A teardrop shape works well on short, rounded edges.

11 /16: Unicorn mani

11/16 :Unicorn mani

Seriously, who'd want to chew their way through this fun French?

12 /16: Metallic French

12/16 :Metallic French

A shiny edge is almost like an optical illusion that can make shorter tips appear longer.

13 /16: Double French

13/16 :Double French

A French mani is ideal for shorter tips, but even better is an updated version with multiple stripes.

14 /16: Off the nail

14/16 :Off the nail

Lengthen the nail, at least visually, by taking the art down onto the fingers.

15 /16: Bright the bite

15/16 :Bright the bite

Bright pink is another color Edwards suggests to help curb the urge to bite.

16/16 :Faux real

Prepainted press-ons may help you resist the urge to bite and will give you some fun nail art options to play with.