These 12 short French tips look so luxe and polished - and are set to be everywhere in 2024

From classic white tips to pops of green and signature red, these short French mani looks promise modern elegance...

A closeup of a hand with subtle, short French tip nails by nail artist @matejanova/Mateja Novakovic/ in a pink watercolour template
(Image credit: @matejanova/Mateja Novakovic)

These short French tip nails adapt the iconic design to more understated shapes and lengths, for a minimalistic but no-less classic look.

Traditionally, French tip nails would feature a wash of sheer pink or nude over the base of your nail, finished with a crisp, white tip (often in a curved crescent shape) to mimic the natural line underneath - offering a "your nail but better" effect. Now though, this timeless style has evolved into everything from shimmering "Velvet" French tips to elevated Chrome French manicures and adapted to suit all nail shapes.

And on that note, if the 2024 nail trends are any indication, short French tip nails, particularly, are in very high demand. So, if you struggle to grow your fingernails or prefer more minimal talons anyway, we've rounded up the perfect French tips for short nails...

12 short French tip nail ideas that offer subtle elegance

Previously longer squared, almond and coffin shapes have been synonymous with the French manicure but if, for instance, you have more brittle nails, mid-to-long lengths aren't always attainable. Equally, you might dislike the feel of longer nails altogether and thus have avoided this chic design, thinking it wouldn't suit your natural and preferred shape. 

After seeing this stylish lineup though, you might just be tempted to add a short or "squoval" French mani into your rotation - whether you're a lover of simple and nail-strengthening BIAB nails or prefer to steer clear of more statement designs...

Our short French nail care kit

Now that we've covered our go-to staples for healthy short nails, let's dive into the looks...

1. The classic, but for short nails

If you love that crescent moon-shaped tip of the traditional French manicure, this look proves you can still achieve that curve with shorter, oval nails. On this length, the effect is so polished and we'd highly recommend opting for a sheer "Lip gloss" nail-style pink shade.

2. Burgundy micro tips

As we saw with "Black Cherry" nails back in 2023, burgundy is one expensive-looking nail colour that will never tire and this micro French tip design is the perfect way to subtly incorporate the hue into your aesthetic. 

If you struggle with creating a uniform and crisp line, we'd recommend trying out a nail stamper (like this Mylee stamper, available at Amazon). To use, simply add and spread a dot of your chosen polish shade into the centre of the cushion and press the edge of your nail into it. 

3. Black tips

For a modern and elegant spin on the classic French manicure, we absolutely adore these black French tip nails. They're chic and simple - suiting both squoval and square short nails alike - but will still manage to add a little oomph to your outfit. 

4. Baby blue tips

For a spring nail look, a pastel blue is the perfect shade to replace your white tip with. Again, it's subtle and understated but is a great way to start incorporating a hint of colour into your everyday attire.

5. Green micro tips

Green nail designs, particularly green French tip nails are proving to be very popular this year and for good reason. Green, like that of red and blue is one of those shades that works all year round and tends to look especially chic when applied to the very tips of your nails. Plus, if you're new to the leafy hue, a micro tip is the perfect way to try out the colour before committing to a full green nail look. 

We'd recommend opting for a dark, forest green for the autumn/winter season though, and more of a bright emerald shade for summer. Naturally, spring is the perfect occasion for a pastel green. 

For a really polished finish, be sure to finish your manicure with a few drops of cuticle oil - like this OPI cuticle oil, available at John Lewis.

6. Barely-there tips and half-moons

If you like to keep your nails fairly au naturel, this look is the perfect way to ever-so-slightly accentuate and elevate the features of your nails. To recreate, simply apply a sheer nude or pink as your base coat, before filling in your half-moon and nail tip with a milkier hue. Try to make it the next shade up from the one you used as your base layer - to ensure that the colours blend seamlessly. 

7. Pink French tips

Pink French nails are almost as classic as the white and nude colourway, so if you've been looking for a way to wear it on your squoval nails, here it is. Instead of a crescent style curve, paint your line straight across the edge of the nail, for a crisp and minimalist finish.

8. Subtle framing tips

Why opt for one French tip line when you can have two? This framing design features a line on both your nail edge and half moon, for a stylish take on the classic look. To recreate, a thin nail art brush will come in handy.

9. Pop of red tips

French manicures aren't the only timeless nail look making a comeback this year, signature red shades are also on the rise, so why not combine the two? This micro red French tip is the easiest way to incorporate a pop of colour into your outfit and looks so sophisticated. It's also ideal if you find an all-over red nail look a tad intimidating or want to trial the bold shade before committing to it.

10. Double French tips

If you're already a lover of glitter nail polishes then you might also want to consider a glittery double-line design. Of course, you can also recreate this look with a plain polish but we have a soft spot for this golden moment. 

11. Reverse French tips

For a twist on the classic look, a reverse French mani is perfect for shorter nail lengths, especially if don't want to draw attention to the length of your nails. Instead of lining the edge, you follow the line of your cuticle, for a chic and modern effect.

This design works with all colours - from green to silver - and can even be adapted to match the seasons (for example, pastels for spring), but the classic white and nude combination is always a safe bet.

12. Classic but micro French tips

For all our minimalist nail lovers out there, this teeny tiny French tip offers a very natural but polished look that's perfect for every day - no matter the season or occasion. If you're ever unsure of what manicure to choose at your nail appointment, this is always a foolproof pick. 

For a really subtle finish, be sure to select a neutral nail colour for the base, that matches your skin tone. You could even add a pearlescent top coat to elevate the look further - especially if you have events like weddings in your calendar for 2024.

Naomi Jamieson
Digital Beauty Writer

Naomi is a Digital Beauty Writer from woman&home, where she covers everything from skincare to fragrance but specialises, particularly, in makeup and nail trends. Through her work, Naomi gets to share her trend expertise and share her own shopping recommendations and product reviews. Previously, she worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. 

Before that, Naomi split her time between both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing. Now, when she isn’t reporting on the best perfumes and latest beauty releases, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping...