Short nails have proved the dominating beauty trend of 2023—here's the best nail art designs out there

And the best products to achieve a chic finish

Short nails
(Image credit: Getty Images / Jeremy Moeller)

When scrolling through 2023 nail trends, there’s so much inspiration to get through that we simply don’t have enough fingers to try out all of the designs we want to. So far this year we've had blueberry milk nails, cold chrome nails and even the tuxedo French manicure, to name just a few. And in years gone by, nail trends haven't particularly lent themselves to those with short nails. 

But, if this year's best nail designs have proved anything it’s that short nails can have just as much fun as longer, almond shapes can. Manicurists like Julia Diogo and Harriet Westmoreland have put short nails back into the spotlight, making the once forgotten about length worth talking about. 

Ahead, we’ve gathered some of the best inspiration for short nails, so you never feel left out of nail art action ever again. 

1. Chrome stars 

These purple chrome stars are detailed, intricate and feature on short square nails. 

2. Electric blue 

Blue is up there with one of our favourite nail colour trends of 2023, and it looks exceptionally great on short, perfectly preened nails.

3. Reverse french 

The reverse french is an elegant way of trying a classic white-tip mani without needing a long tip. That's because you add a white cuff at the base of the nail instead, giving this beautiful result. 

4. Dreamy clouds 

If you didn't think a dreamy cloud scene on your short nails was possible, check this stunning design out and think again. The magic in this one is in the tiny details and the matte top coat. 

5. Gold cuffs 

If you want to try out french manicure trends but don't want to go micro on the french, then try out a cuff instead. This uses a smaller amount of polish in an off-centre design to give pretty accents, without the distinct line on the free edge. 

6. Matte patterns 

Who said short nails can't have detailed art painted on them? Not us. This design shows what's possible on each tiny canvas, and we particularly love that it's sealed with a matte top coat for extra definition. 

7. Sheer pink 

Sometimes the best manicures at the simplest, and there's nothing like a clean, fresh sheer pink set. 

8. Croc nails 

This manicure is guaranteed to get a lot of attention. It's one to take to your nail tech, though, as you'll need something called blooming gel and a lot of know-how. 

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.