Having short nails have their advantages: they are less hassle, less messy, much easier take care of without the concern of breaking. If you have ever had longer nails for any length of time there is so much inconvenience from having them whilst doing household chores, DIY or anything you need to be hands on with.

Personally, I spent a good period of time having to re-learn how to do things just to keep my longer nails nice. But then I realised, life is just too short and shorter nails were the way forward.

However, if you like me, love the elegance of longer nails then there are a few tricks to elongating the nails without having to grow them.

In this post there are some tips and tricks which can make your short nails look longer. Plus some polish ideas to liven up your shorter nails, really drawing the attention to your short and chic talons.


Taking care of your hands is essential for creating the canvas for your shorter nail look. Smooth skin, tidy cuticles and shaped nails are essential when achieving that exceptional shorter nail look.

Before your manicure, try maintaining your hands with copious amounts of hand creams and nail oils to periodically hydrate your hands and nails.




To add a little length to your short nails you can push back your cuticles. With this step the end result is quite amazing the difference before and after cuticle work in the how long your nail appear to be. If you need to, lightly trim excess edges of cuticles, although be careful not to damage your cuticle.

Next step is to shape and file the nails. When shaping your nails, follow your natural nail lines so they look harmonious with your fingers. In most cases, oval or almond shapes help elongate nails rather than squarer nails shapes.




Gently buff the nail surface if necessary. This is essential if you are painting your nails with sheer, pale, metallic formulas or any formula which will show up texture on the nail plate.

Before applying any colour, base coat is your next essential step. It primes the nails acting as a barrier from staining and protecting the nail from damage. Apply your chosen base, depending on your nail needs pick one that suites. Then once the base is dry, apply the colour shade your desire.


The right choice of polish shade, plays a crucial role in lengthening the nails. I find nude or pastel nail polish colours are one of the better choices for this. Once you put away your initial opinions, you will be positively surprised how beautiful they can be on shorter nails.




They work to elongate the nail by visually continuing your finger line, making it look slimmer and thinner. For a real pop choose a colour one shade lighter than your skin tone, for best results.
However a chalky white shade is the worst decision for short nails, so try to avoid it!

Darker shades look amazing on short nails, and are my overall favourite look on shorter nails. Contrary to common thought, that darker polishes are for long nails, they somehow manage to lengthen the nails.




Polishes of navy, burgundy or even black toned shades draw the whole attention to the shape of nails.

My best tip with darker tones is to leave a small space from each side of the nails free from polish. This will slim the nails, and the sides of the nail will blend in with your fingers.

Reds are also a perfect polished choice. In fact, reds I feel are the most glamorous on any shape and length of nails. Using the same technique of dark colours apply your favourite red and go!




Mattes colours with slight texture are an always interesting variant. A slight shimmer in polishes on shorter nails always draws attention to the hands. Generally textured polish on the whole, lends itself to shorter nails.



However glitter should be avoided when it is applied on all nails. Glitters break up the natural line with your finger and only make your nails look shorter generally. Keep those shades for the festive season!

For shorter nails you can really have fun with colour and have a ombre party on the nails. Choose shades of the same colour family and apply one on each finger going from light to dark. Or you could even ombre from one colour to another on each nail if you wanted to be really adventurous.



Having shorter nails also lends itself to cool nail designs and unique nail offerings on the nail plate. Personally I feel nail designs don’t look quite as epic on long nails as they do on shorter ones.

This is where you can be as individual as you want with design, making your nails a true masterpiece with colour!

Personally I tend to only rock nail art for special occasions, when I have time to get the nail art brushes out and have a specific design in mind for my needs.



If you ever feel inspired to do some nail art, the internet is packed with ideas for this. With designs, how-to guides and tutorials for anything or everything you might want to achieve at home in nail art form, go on and have a play, your nails are your canvas!

Once your main colour polish is dry, apply a transparent quick dry top coat to make the nails extra smooth and shiny. And your short and chic nails are good to go!



Regardless of the short and long of it all, if your nails are strong and healthy that is all that realły matters.

Have fun with colour, nail art and shape of your nails and your short styled nails will really become the talking point, its that simple!

What are your favourite ways to wear shorter nails? Any tips of tricks to make short nails stand out?

Let me know in the comments.