11 simple and easy-to-recreate short nail looks for a summer-ready manicure

From understated minimalism to zesty and colourful, these short nail designs are all the manicure inspiration you need this summer

Hand with candy pink nails
(Image credit: @matejanova)

Whilst elongated nail lengths have been dominating the manicure trends in recent years, 2024 is officially the year of short nails and these 11 popular yet simple looks are perfect for summer…

2024 nail trends have been nothing short of abundant, providing a variety of designs and colours to choose from, including colourful pink French tip nails to subtly sheer glass nails. But, this summer we’re swapping out our longer almond talons for neat short manicures - a minimalist and sophisticated look that is sure to elevate any outfit, no matter the occasion.

So, if you’re thinking of opting for a shorter length at your next nail appointment (or perhaps short nails are already your go-to) and you’re on the hunt for some summer-ready inspiration, these 11 designs offer both style and simplicity…

Why we're loving short nails for summer

After loving short nail looks for spring, we’re continuing to welcome the shorter-length style into our summer manicure rotation with open arms.

Whatever shape you desire, from a chic rounded look to the revival of square nails, this versatile fingertip-grazing length works seamlessly with a variety of hues - from barely-there neutrals to bold pops of colour - for an effortlessly chic finish.

So, if you’re interested in tapping into the trend, we’ve rounded up our go-to must-have products in our nailcare toolkit as well as 11 stylish and easy-to-achieve looks for you to use as inspiration…

Our short nail toolkit

These staple products are the key to knowing how to maintain your cuticles at home, in order to prevent your polish from lifting or chipping - a small step that will all the difference.

But if, like us, you're in need of some visual inspiration for your next manicure, we've rounded up 11 simple short nails looks that are perfect for the summer months ahead...

11 short nail looks we're loving this summer

1. Classic French tip short nails

Let's be honest, French tip nails look great on any shape or length. If the typical bright colours and pastel shades of summer aren't to your liking, this classic design is the perfect choice for any occasion you've got coming up.

2. Spicy red short nails

Alike French tips, red nails are another fail-proof option for your nail appointment. With numerous hues of the shade to choose from, this bright red with orangey undertones is ideal for the sunnier months.

3. Glossy nude short nails

There's something so elegant about this slightly tapered short almond shape combined with the glossy neutral design. If you've got an event around the corner, this simple yet effective design is the ultimate choice for minimalist nail lovers.

4. Lemon short nails

You may have seen the lemon French tip nails trend everywhere recently and now we're taking it to the next level. These zesty lemon square nails, finished with a mirror-like chrome powder, scream all things summer.

5. Colourful dot short nails

For minimalists wanting to dip their toe into nail art, this dainty dot is a great way to add an understated pop of colour into you manicure. What's more, after investing in a nail dotting tool, it's easy to achieve the look at home.

6. Chantilly Cream short nails

If you haven't already heard, chantilly cream nails are set to be the next trend on our nail rotation. Think ice cream cones by the coast, this cohesive, soft and creamy shade will instantly elevate any outfit.

7. Candy pink short nails

Pastel pink certainly isn't anything new when it comes to summer manicures, but let us introduce you to the sprightly candy pink sister of spring's popular blush nails looks.

8. Lavender short nails

As lavender starts to bloom, we're loving this lilac-hue polish that's perfectly summer-ready.

9. Warm rosy taupe short nails

For those who opt for a more mature and sophisticated approach to their nail colours, this warm rosy-toned taupe is stunning on shorter-length nails. Take your manicure to new heights with an ultra-glossy finish - we'd recommend this Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat.

10. Colourful French tip short nails

If you're a French mani lover, why not swap out the classic white for a vibrant alternative like this citrusy, Aperol-esque shade?

11. Sky blue short nails

There's a reason 'Blueberry' nails are tipped to be the manicure colour of the season. Reminiscent of blue skies and poolsides, this shade is perfect for summer days ahead.

Sennen Prickett
Digital Beauty Writer

Sennen is Digital Beauty Writer at woman&home, where she shares the latest beauty buys and trending products from makeup and hair to skincare and nails. Previously, Sennen worked as a Junior Digital Editor at FROW Magazine, where she wrote about the latest fashion and beauty news, trends and viral must-have products to shop, and reviewing a lineup of beauty products. She has since worked with numerous brands including Who What Wear UK, HuffPost UK and Harvey Nichols. When she’s not writing about all things beauty, Sennen spends her spare time watching the latest Netflix series, doing lots of online shopping and walking her dog.