8 Best Nail Shapes that Looks Good on Short Nails




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There are so many nail-shaping options that if you think about it, you will be spoilt for choice. However, you don’t just pick a shape just because it looked perfect on the next lady. You need to check the shape of your cuticles and your fingers too. With this idea in mind, what nail shape looks best on short nails?

The round shape is perfect for short nails. It is simple and perfect with a minimal protrusion on the tip. A round shape is an excellent choice for your short nails because it helps to maintain that fabulous natural look. Wearing round shapes will also prevent breaking and tearing.

But this is not to say that you are stuck with round shapes forever if you like wearing your nails short. There are endless options that will still accentuate the beauty of your short nails. Always consider the shape of your cuticles and fingers before deciding on a shape for your nails. If you are working with a seasoned nail technician, he will advise on the best shapes.

You want something that will flatter your fingers and make them fabulous. It also depends on the look you want to achieve. You will need less dramatic shapes for a simple but classy look. This guide will give you informed ideas about your short nails. Keep reading for more inspiring looks for your short nails.

8 Best Shapes That Look Good on Short Nails

While a stylish simple round shape is perfect for short nails, there is an endless list of other shapes to try. When it comes to nails and beauty, you shouldn’t be so reserved. Be flexible to try out new shapes. You will be surprised at how fabulous they will look on your fingers.

1.    Round-Shaped Nails

If you are a reserved person and you just love pulling those subtle fabulous looks, round shape is a perfect choice. If you are a chronic grown-up nail biter, worry no more. You have found the ultimate shape to keep you off biting.

This look is one of the most popular shapes for short nails. It features a slight tip at the edge of the nail bed. This shape will encourage strong healthy nails. The look is much more durable compared to longer nails.

Whether it is a trend you are following, or you just like to downplay without looking mediocre, this shape is a keeper. Unlike longer nails with different shapes, this nail shape is less likely to cause breaking or tearing to your nails.

2.    Square-Shaped Nails

This shape will give you that stylish effortless look with fabulous edges at the tip. This shape does not take a lot either to maintain. All you will need is an occasional filing to manage the progressing square edges.

It is perfect for shorter nails than longer nails. With this shape, you won’t need too much of a tip. All you need is to file off the growing edges to keep it fresh and decent for a longer period. However, if you are on the plumpy side of life and your fingers are short and chubby, you might want to consider letting your nails grow just a little bit.

Wearing this shape will protect your nails from severe breaking and tearing. The squared edges are tough and less vulnerable compared to longer nails. Besides that, this popular look is very trendy, and it is good for laid back careers like nursing.

3.    Rounded Square-Shaped Nails

This look is a combo of both round and square shapes. It is the best protective shape that you can wear on your short nails. It gives it that long look without necessarily having long nails. The tips are fortified at the edges with a square shape to avoid breakage.

This shape is perfect for working-class people who want to look classy and fabulous in a low-profile manner. It is not too long for that diva projection, but it is well-kept and short enough for that serious boss look.

However, if you are looking for something glamorous for a vacation or events like weddings, let your short nails grow a little bit at the tip and keep the rounded square shape. They are not as easy to maintain but they don’t demand much either.

4.    Oval Shaped Nails

This is the ultimate shape for that fabulous feminine look. Allow the tips of your short nails to grow just a little bit longer to achieve the shape. It is easy to wear and maintain. All you need is to arm yourself with a file to constantly file jagged prone edges to avoid breakage.

Nail Files and Buffer, TsMADDTs Professional Manicure Tools Kit Rectangular Art Care Buffer Block Tools 100/180 Grit 12Pcs/Pa(White)

If you have short chubby fingers, this shape could be a game-changer for you. Wearing this shape well gives your fingers that long slender look we all die for. It gives that illusion of long and perfectly well-manicured nails.

This shape is versatile, and it is perfect for both formal and casual looks. You can rock it over the weekend to your best friend’s wedding and still have them on Monday at work without projecting that wild girl card.

5.    Squoval-Shaped Nails

This nail shape is a combination of both square and oval shapes. The outcome of this combo is a fabulous outstanding shape perfect for all occasions. You can rock this glamorous both in formal and casual settings without appearing either too much or too stiff.

The angular contouring at the edges helps to prevent tearing and breakage of your nails due to aggression. It also creates that unique classy look you cannot come across on a regular day. It will give your finger that long and slender illusion for a delicate touch to your entire look.

You might need to choose a bit more dimension to give the nails a more vivid appearance. Just allow some length at the edges to allow the shaping of the nails. You don’t need to overgrow them but just a little extension at the tips.

6.    Almond-Shaped Nails

You can’t wear this classy shape without almonds coming to your mind. It has the design of almonds and the unique shape is everything you would just have on your nails. It is perfect for both your nails and the appearance of your fingers.

We all want to give our fingers that long and slim illusion. This shape will do a lot more than that. It will give your nails that obvious touch of glamour and class that only delicate ladies can rock. If you want to steal the day, this shape is the ultimate go-getter.

The magnified narrow edges and rounded tip are protective, and it helps to tame those edges from tearing and breakage. If you are looking to groom your nails to be longer, this is the way to go with the shaping.

7.    Lipstick-Shaped Nails

Take your nail game a notch higher and wear this funky nail shape. It is way more practical and comfortable compared to most shapes like stilettos. You can just do about anything with this shape without any fear of spoiling the edges.

The shape will protect the edges from unnecessary breakage and tearing. You don’t need to have ridiculously long nails to wear this shape. All you need to do is to groom your short nails and give them this lipstick shape as they grow.

This shape is versatile and appropriate for both formal and casual occasions. However, it is more perfect for casual occasions because of the tip coloring.

8.    Ballerina-Shaped Nails

As much as this shape is intended for long nails, you can still be creative and tweak it to fit your short nails. If you have narrow nail beds, this will work even better for you. Just trim down the edges of your nails and give them that ballerina shape.

Its coffin-like silhouette doesn’t make this nail shape a good idea for formal settings. Apply them only if you are attending casual events and matters. Keeping them short with laidback colors will make them less dramatic and manageable.

On the flip side, this shape might not be as protective as the other shapes. However, if you proceed with caution, you can keep them for much longer. Be creative and playful especially when introducing colors.

5 Things You Should Consider When Choosing a Shape for Your Short Nails

Short nails are manageable, and they are very easy to groom at home without the need for a professional. It doesn’t require much work, unlike long nails that require extra care and too much work. The best part about short nails is that you are flexible to pick anything without having to mind your fingers.

·         Learn About Shapes

Start off by familiarizing yourself with different shapes and pick the one that appeals the most to you. Always pick a shape that is comfortable to go about your daily duties. It will also depend on whether you are wearing color alongside your nails or you are rocking them nude or natural.

·         Consider Your Nails

Before you introduce any shape to your nails, consider the strength of your nails. Also, consider the nail beds and the ability to hold the shape you will choose. Some shapes will require just a little bit of grown tips while others will require you to grow them a little bit longer.

·         The Shape of Your Fingers

Consider the shape of your fingers. Most people love the long and slender look. If your fingers are short and plumpy, don’t lose hope. Some shapes can make your nails slimmer and longer. Go for the combo shapes for that glamorous classy touch.

·         Strictly Short Nails

While some people are not allowed by their professions to grow their nails even an inch longer, some just prefer the nails short. Whichever the case, if you can’t add an inch to those tips, only go for round and square shapes. They are simple and extremely elegant in a laid back way.

·         Long and Slim Fingers

If your fingers and hands are naturally long and slender, you don’t want to magnify the appearance even further. Just give your short nails simple square shapes to make them neutral while keeping them fabulous and classy.

How Can You Make Your Short Nails Look Good?

Every woman loves to have well-kempt fancy nails that look good and perfect. There are several ways you can keep your nails good without being dramatic. Most people consider long nails to be classy and fabulous but what they don’t know is the struggle behind it. Especially when you must make use of your fingers.

1.    Keep them Manicured

You don’t need to spot the dramatic long nails just to look like you did a manicure. You can give your short nails a simple and laidback manicure. Ensure that your edges and tips are perfectly and smoothly filed. Clean your nail beds and if you must, apply your gentle favorite colors.

2.    Choose a Color

Always pick a color that will compliment the occasion. If you are on formal duties, nude and silent colors won’t be such a bad idea. If you are attending cheerful ceremonies, bright colors are the way to go. Make a statement with those short and unique nails by opening up to a world of endless possibilities.

3.    Hydrate, Hydrate, and Hydrate

There is no magic that water can’t do for any part of our bodies. Make a point of drinking up to eight glasses of water per day. This will keep your nails well hydrated and prevent them from drying and breaking.

4.    Use Nail Moisturizers

There are many moisturizers in the market specially formulated for your nails. Invest in them to take care of your nails. Most of these moisturizers contain keratin that keeps your nails soft and supple. Dry nails get weak and brittle with time especially with constant exposure to aggressive nail polish.

Hard As Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream with Coconut Scent Nail Strengthener, Nail Growth & Conditioning Cuticle Cream Stops Splits, Chips, Cracks & Strengthens Nails, 1 oz

5.    Decorate Once in a While

Sometimes you can break the plain look and give your short nails some serious décor. Try some nail arts and stamping to give yourself an aggressive girlie look especially for special occasions. If you can’t go to the extremes, some glitters’ ombre will suffice to get that look.

If you want to learn more about how to do nail decals you can read what I have written here: How to Make Nail Decals with a Stamper (5 Easy Steps)

6.    Don’t Bite Your Nails

Spotting severely bitten nails can tell a lot about who you are. Your nails are your image and you want to give out a good image to the world. Nail-biting is mostly associated with depression and other serious mental illnesses. Always have your files handy to deal with broken and jagged edges instead of biting them back to shape.

7.    Pick a Shape that Compliments Your Hands

Nail shapes do not only influence your nails, but it also affects how your entire hands look like. If you have plumpy short hands and fingers, some shapes will give them a long and slender impression. Avoid round shapes if you have to beat that short look.

8.    Give them a Gloss

Whether you are doing the color manicure, nude or you are going all-natural, a touch of shinny close will do your nails justice. It makes them look more healthy and younger. Especially if the surrounding skin is healthy.

9.    Take Care of the Surrounding Skin

Taking care of your nails and neglecting the surrounding skin is like cleaning the inside of a cup and leaving the outside dirty. Ensure that the surrounding skin is well hydrated and moisturized. Give them a perfect scrub and deep tissue massage whenever you attend to your nails.

Yesker Handle Fingernail Scrub Cleaning Brushes for Toes and Nails Cleaner, 10PCS, Multicolor

10.  Wear them Natural

Most women can’t be caught dead wearing their nails natural. They are always after glamorous looks and they often forget the good side of the coin. Once you remove your nail polish, wear them natural for up to a month before using any polish on them again.

How to Make Your Short Nails Look Longer Without Growing Them

Everything is possible in this world including making your short nails look longer. Most people would go the acrylic way but if you want to maintain your natural nails while at it, it is very possible. Assemble all your nail accessories and get to work.

1.    Remove Cuticles

Most people will push their cuticles back. If they are overgrown, there is no harm in plucking them out. However, doing them constantly will expose your fingers to germs and bacteria causing infections. Be gentle when removing your cuticles and use the right removers and tools to avoid skin aggression.

2.    Give them Almond Shape

Almond shape will improve the visual length of your otherwise short nails. Have your nails professionally shaped for the perfect outcome. Make the tip of the almond shape as pointed as possible. You can optionally choose the oval shape though it is not as illusioning as the almonds.

3.    Wear Nude Polish

Lighter and brighter shapes will always make your nails look longer and more flourishing. Nude polish does even better than them. Avoid dark colors because they are always so gloomy and shortening. A color that is closer to your skin will always do this magical trick. If you must have pigmented colors on, wear something brighter than your skin tone.

Eternal 4 Collection – Set of 4 Nail Polish: Long Lasting, Mirror Shine, Quick Dry, Neutral Colors (Wild Nudes)

4.    Contour with Dull Colors

Sometimes you just want to eat your cake and still have it. This is very possible with colors and your nails. Painting your nails with darker shades will shorten them even further. However, if you play around well with them, you will bring out that long slender look. Create a linear shape with colors and leave spaces on the sides. See what magic you will achieve with this.

5.    Go for French Manicure

French manicures are best for enhancing the look of your nails. It makes them longer and slender which is exactly what you are looking for. The main work here is at the tip of the nail. Give it no other color than a touch of white polish.

6.    Try Nail Arts

Many simple short nail designs can improve the look of your nails. Use creative embellishment but keep in mind to use the right colors. Working on the tips of your nails will give your nails that lengthy illusion. Ensure that the colors on the sides of your nails are neutral for a perfect projection.

7.    Try the Lavender Manicure

A perfectly done lavender manicure is yet another miracle worker on this list. Blend it with floral designs and always be careful to use the right colors that have a lengthening effect. Don’t forget to give it a touch of ombre effect. This process is very easy, and it can be recreated at home. However, if you just can’t get your nails right, dash your nail technician.

Step by Step at Home Manicure for Your Short Nails

There are always a lot of reasons why we can’t make that trip to the salon. Yet we still want to have well-kempt nails. If you are patient and have the time, you can do the manicure in the comfort of your home. Follow this step-by-step guide to give your short nails a makeover.

1.    Prepare Your Nails

Remove them and proceed to clip and file your short nails. Give them the desired shape and ensure that you don’t leave the edges jagged and badly done. Always use the right tools when doing your nails to avoid breaking and tearing them.

2.    Moisturize the Cuticles

Generously apply the thick cuticle cream to every part of the nail bed and the cuticles. Once you are satisfied that you have given your nails the needed coverage with the cuticle cream, sit back and give them a minute. The cream needs to penetrate to soften those cuticles.

3.    Soak in Warm Water

Dip your nails in warm soapy water with disinfectants. Allow them to sit for 5 minutes to allow the cuticle cream to deeply penetrate and soften them. If you must use one hand, soak one hand at a time.

4.    Buff Your Nails

Remove your hands from the warm soapy water and pat them dry with a clean towel. Buff your nails one after the other to completely dry them and to prepare them for polishing. Buffing removes excess natural oils and dirt. It also helps the polish adhere to your nails without chipping or lifting.

5.    Push or Remove the Cuticles

It is not always advisable to remove cuticles. However, if they are overgrown and you must, use a cuticle remover to gently prod them off. You can optionally push the cuticle back into the skin using the right tool. This will give your short nails the length illusion.

ZIZZON Manicure Set 18 in 1 Professional Pedicure Set Nail scissors Grooming Kit with Leather Travel Case Pink

6.    Apply the Base Coat

Apply a clear base coat on your dry well-prepped nails. The purpose of a base coat is to protect your nails against the polish pigments from penetrating deep. It also helps the color polish adhere well to the nails without lifting or chipping earlier than expected. Choose nail coats with strengthening agents that can fill all the ridges and bumps.

7.    Color Your Nails

If you are trying to elongate your short nails, use bright or nude colors to achieve this. Avoid dull colors at all costs unless you are planning to leave the edges unpolished and nude. However, it all depends on what you want to achieve at the end of the day. Always understand the colors against your skin tone.

8.    Dry the Layers

Ensure that the first coat of your color nail polish is thin and smooth. Once this first layer completely dries, apply another layer and wait for them to dry also. Achieving the right opacity depends on the viscosity of your color nail polish. If you are still not satisfied, apply a third layer after the second layer has completely dried off.

9.    Apply a Top Coat

Once you are completely satisfied with the color nail polish. It is time to give your nails that shiny gloss. You need to rock them classy and glamorous. Apply a thin layer of your topcoat one after the other. Allow them to dry off and if you still feel like having that extra shine, repeat the process.

10. Clean Up

If you were using regular nail polish, it is time to clean up. You are finally done with the manicure and your short nails are looking good but not perfect yet. Dip a cotton ball in acetone-free nail remover and wipe the edges of your nails. Focus mostly on the surrounding skin.

11. Wash with Water

Once you are done cleaning the edges, ensure that your polish is well set and completely dry. Get a bowl of warm soapy water to wash off. Thoroughly rinse off your hands and focus a lot on the nail beds. Pat them dry with a clean towel and moisturize with hand and nail lotion.


Short nails are low maintenance and easy to manage at home without constant trips to the salon. If you must DIY, always have a chat with your nail technician for a color recommendation. Especially when you want to make your short nails longer and fabulous.


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