Polishes That Look Perfect on Short Nails

Meet your new mani must-haves.

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Woman with Short Nails and Bob with Bangs
Photo: Getty/svetikd

Short nails are chic. Whether your nails are short out of necessity, convenience, or as a result of that acrylic habit you just couldn't quit in the 90s, short nails are just begging for a nice neutral to really set them a sparkle. Soft beiges, pinks, mauves, and more can create a longer appearance while imparting a classic look that never goes out of style. Of course, we never met a nail that didn't look perfectly divine dressed in a coat of red, which is why you'll find one of our favorite red nail polishes for short nails in this collection. These are the best nail polish colors for short nails, hands down.

OPI Movie Buff

OPI Movie Buff
Amazon

BUY IT: $13; amazon.com

This soft, almost off-white pink is as classic as they come. The Infinite Shine finish delivers a gel-like appearance with up to 11 days of wear.

OPI I'm an Extra

OPI I’m an Extra
Amazon

BUY IT: $13; amazon.com

A warmed-up nude is just the ticket for keeping your short nails in line. It works with all skin tones, though it'll really sparkle on darker complexions.

Essie Rock the Runway

Essie Rock the Runway
Amazon

Buy It: $8.25; amazon.com

Just because your nails are trim, doesn't mean they should fly under the radar. This bold red packs a punch of color that might convince all the girls to grab their files.

Essie Fairy Tailor

Essie Fairy Tailor
Amazon

BUY IT: $11.44; amazon.com

Go sheer with a touch of pink. It's your wear-with-anything nail color that goes from season to season with ease.

Essie Expressie In the Time Zone

Essie Expressie In the Time Zone
Amazon

BUY IT: $8.97; amazon.com

Blue undertones keep this pastel pink cool and fresh. Give it a spin and you'll find a fast favorite for your short and sweet mani.

Olive & June RP

Olive & June RP
Olive & June

BUY IT: $8; oliveandjune.com

This opaque taupe reads as the perfect barely there neutral, skewing more pink or gray depending on skin tone.

Olive & June AW

Olive & June AW
Olive & June

BUY IT: $8; oliveandjune.com

Warm up your mani with this brownish gray lacquer. The formula is 7 free, meaning you can feel good about wearing it nonstop. Pair it with the brand's Super Glossy Top Coat to extend the wear.

Sally Hansen Rose & Shine

Sally Hansen Rose & Shine
Amazon

BUY IT: $7.46; amazon.com

We're making a major case for short, rose-colored nails in 2021. Who's with us? This one comes in Sally Hansen's gel-like finish that removes like regular nail polish.

Ella+Mila Honeymoon Bliss

Ella+Mila Honeymoon Bliss
Amazon

BUY IT: $10.49; amazon.com

A little purple, a little pink, a little (seriously, just a smidge) gray—put them together and you've got Honeymoon Bliss. It's just a tad warmer than Essie classics like Fiji and Ballet Slippers.

Sally Hansen Mega Strength Boss Babe

Sally Hansen Boss Babe
Southern Living

BUY IT: $4.47; amazon.com

Go a little bold with this smoky plum shade. It's the ideal between-seasons transition color, whether we're talking summer to fall, fall to winter, or winter to spring.

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