Nails

39 Short Summer Nails To Enjoy Sunny Trips

39 Short Summer Nails To Enjoy Sunny Trips
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Want a gorgeous summer mani minus the upkeep of long, sculpted, or acrylic nails? Opt for short summer nails!

When you’re wading in the pool or swimming in the swell, the last thing you need to be worrying about is breaking a nail. That’s why short nails for summer are always a good idea!

A woman's hands with colorful manicures on a blue background.

And just because your nails are short doesn’t mean they can’t still be fun, fab, and sexy! Need some nail inspo for your short summer nail design? We’ve got you! 

We put together our favorite short summer manicures that you’ll surely love!

Short Summer Nails: 39 Designs To Consider

Are you convinced? Ready to find your perfect short summer nail design? Here are the most summer-worthy designs you’re sure to love.

French Gradient Tips

A woman's hand with nude base with half-moon two-toned gradient French tips nails
Image courtesy of @nailsby_avril

Starting our list is this set of short almond summer nails, which feature a nude base with half-moon two-toned gradient French tips.

To give it even more glam are 3D diamonds all over the nail plate as a sparkly accent.

Neon and Gold Swirls

A woman's hand with nude base dressed up with neon side tips outlined in gold
Image courtesy of @nailsby_avril

For short summer gel nails that make a statement, take inspiration from this set’s nude base dressed up with neon side tips outlined in gold for a fun and bold accent.

Retro Summer

A woman's hands with swirls of pink and neon green snaking across the nails in various ways
Image courtesy of @nailsby_avril

Try summer nails that pay homage to the bold splashes of colors of yesteryear, like these swirls of pink and neon green snaking across the nails in various ways, including from the cuticles to the tips or along the sides and towards the tips. 

The set also has silver North Stars and dots for a unique touch and to break up the swirls.

Golden Bloom

A woman's nails with classic French mani with yellow French tips outlined in beige
Image courtesy of @nailsby_avril

Nothing says summer more than flowers! So, take your cue from these nails and add color to a classic French mani with yellow French tips outlined in beige.

This set also has tiny daisies dotted with gold rhinestones at the center and an ultra-glossy finish.

Glittery Candyland

A person holding up a brightly colored manicure with encapsulated accent nails with multicolor splashes and chunky glitter.
Image courtesy of @nailsby__tessa

Love short round summer nails?

Try this bright set that features pink, orange, and yellow-green nails! It also comes with encapsulated accent nails with multicolor splashes and chunky glitter.

Disco-Inspired Details

A woman's hands with orange nail polish on them with glitter-bombed accent nails made of multicolor chunks.
Image courtesy of @nailsby__tessa

Who says you can’t mix summer nails with inspiration from the days of disco?

This orange set does just that with its glitter-bombed accent nails made of multicolor chunks.

Pastel Festival

A woman's nails are decorated with colorful polished and nude accent nails with yellow, pink, and green flowers with smiley face centers and polka dots
Image courtesy of @jellybayn_nails

If you can’t decide on just one summer color, why not go for a whole pastel rainbow of colors bleeding into each other?

Add nude accent nails with yellow, pink, and green flowers with smiley face centers and polka dots for an even brighter and bolder finish.

Holographic Holiday

A woman with black and white smileys on a holographic base and alternates them with black, green, and orange deep French tips outlined in silver on a nude base
Image courtesy of @jellybayn_nails

Looking for short summer nail inspo that’s different from the usual?

This set is gorgeous and unique! It paints black and white smileys on a holographic base and alternates them with black, green, and orange deep French tips outlined in silver on a nude base.

80s Swirl-tastic

A woman with pink and orange swirls painted around the cuticles and tips in varying color intensities
Image courtesy of @jellybayn_nails

Here’s another retro design that features pink and orange swirls painted around the cuticles and tips in varying color intensities.

They create a negative space in the middle, filled with white daisies with gold centers and thin gold swirls.

Two-Toned Fiesta

A woman's hands with red base and decorate it with big orange half-moons painted on various vantage points, including around the cuticles, along the sides, or on the tips
Image courtesy of @nailsbycarhendy

Or if you’re looking for easy, short summer nails, take a red base and decorate it with big orange half-moons painted on various vantage points, including around the cuticles, along the sides, or on the tips.

Flower Power

A woman's hands with bright-colored nails with vibrant, tiny flowers that alternate with plain hot pink nails
Image courtesy of @nailsbycarhendy

Looking for short, bright summer nails? This set has it all! It features bright-colored nails with vibrant, tiny flowers that alternate with plain hot pink nails. 

It also has nude bases with bright French tips and smileys. The mani is finished off with a checkered pattern on the thumb.

Hippie Swirls

A woman's hand with light pink, yellow, and orange swirls that dance from the cuticles and along the length of the nude base
Image courtesy of @rachelsbeauty_

Channel your inner flower child with this design’s light pink, yellow, and orange swirls that dance from the cuticles and along the length of the nude base.

It also features white daisies to complete the summer look.

Artfully Abstract

A woman's hand with nude base and bright-colored multi-directional splashes and swirls painted on different parts of the nail
Image courtesy of @nails.by.iz_

Want a design for short square summer nails? Try this set of abstract swirls!

The nude base lends the perfect backdrop to the bright-colored multi-directional splashes and swirls painted on different parts of the nail.

Neon Vibes

A woman's hands with neon nails with two accent nails in the middle with neon abstract shapes and silver glitter swirls
Image courtesy of @nails.by.iz_

If you’ve got short, almond nails, turn them into the perfect tapestry for summer designs with this set!

It features neon nails with two accent nails in the middle with neon abstract shapes and silver glitter swirls.

Triple the Brightness

A person holding a hand with bright orange, hot pink and yellow nails solid nail bases and vertical swirls of varying thicknesses on the accent nails
Image courtesy of @nails.by.iz_

Turn up the hot summer glam and turn heads with this neon set that leverages three bright colors: orange, hot pink, and yellow.

The colors serve as solid nail bases and vertical swirls of varying thicknesses on the accent nails.

Ocean Depths

A woman's hands with varying shades of blue and ends with nude accent nails decorated with splashes of blue hues and dotted with gold foil
Image courtesy of @nails.by.iz_

For short blue summer nails, no design works as well as one inspired by the ocean, like this blue gradient set.

It features varying shades of blue and ends with nude accent nails decorated with splashes of blue hues and dotted with gold foil.

Smile Burst

A woman's hand with nude base and petals bursting outward in bright summer colors with a black and white smiley face in the middle
Image courtesy of @mynailgirlness

Want summer nails that aren’t just bright but are also happy?

Take a nude base and decorate it with petals bursting outward in bright summer colors with a black and white smiley face in the middle! 

Disco Tips

A woman's hand with a half-moon tips done up in bright multidirectional swirls.
Image courtesy of @nailsby_harieva

Another take on the classic French manicure, this set features half-moon tips done up in bright multidirectional swirls.

Fruity Goodness

A woman's nails with fruit-inspired set features refreshing watermelons, lemons, oranges, kiwis, passion fruits, and strawberries designs
Image courtesy of @natalie_thedollshouse

Want a manicure that’s every bit as juicy as the flavors of summer?

This fruit-inspired set features refreshing watermelons, lemons, oranges, kiwis, passion fruits, and strawberries. It looks fab and refreshing!

Watermelon Sugar

A woman's nails with bright red set that features nude accent nails with fun watermelon nail art
Image courtesy of @natalie_thedollshouse

Love cute, simple, short summer nails?

Consider this bright red set that features nude accent nails with fun watermelon nail art.

Summer Geometry

A woman's hand with colorful nail polish on it and check patterns coupled with horizontal and vertical stripes
Image courtesy of @sjpolished

Want simple, short summer nails that still make a statement?

Try this set’s strategic use of bright nail polish to create check patterns coupled with horizontal and vertical stripes.

Glitters and Halfsies

A woman's hand with half of the base nude and decorating it with fine glitter and silver hexagons
Image courtesy of @sjpolished

Add a unique twist to summer nails by painting half of the base nude and decorating it with fine glitter and silver hexagons.

Then, paint the other half a bright and bold color to create a stunning contrast that is fun, stylish, and vibrant.

Fantastical Fruit

A woman's hand with nude base with black splotches to create the illusion of a dragonfruit pulp outlined in summer colors like pink, lavender, yellow, lime green, and orange
Image courtesy of @sjpolished

Love unique fruity manis? Then this design, one of our fave cute short summer nail ideas, is for you.

Dot a nude base with black splotches to create the illusion of a dragonfruit pulp outlined in summer colors like pink, lavender, yellow, lime green, and orange. 

Swirly Accents

A woman's pink set with light pink accent nails decorated with vertical swirls in pink, hot pink, yellow, and white speckled with black
Image courtesy of @bysarahnailartist

Short pink summer nails?

Mix a pink set with light pink accent nails decorated with vertical swirls in pink, hot pink, yellow, and white speckled with black.

Holographic Glitter

A woman's hands with multicolored nails with white North stars dotted with red and blue centers
Image courtesy of @bysarahnailartist

If you’re in the mood for pretty short summer nails, this design is beautiful!

Giving off a holographic effect, this set features summer-inspired, glittery, multicolored nails with white North stars dotted with red and blue centers.

Summer Chrome

A pair of hands with mandarin nail polish with a chrome finish
Image courtesy of @polishedbykiah

Another simple but gorgeous short summer nail design is this set on short almond nails, featuring mandarin nail polish with a chrome finish to give off a futuristic Y2K aesthetic.

Zesty Accents

A woman's hands with mix solid yellow nails with nude accent nails
Image courtesy of @polishedbykiah

For short yellow summer nails that go beyond the typical, mix solid yellow nails with nude accent nails. Then, paint half of one accent nail yellow while the other half features a black line with black dots. 

Keep the other accent nail nude and add white and yellow dots and black lines for additional abstract accent art.

Sizzling Details

A woman's nails with bright and vibrant yellow nails decorated with flames, polka dots, checkers, lightning, and sun nail art
Image courtesy of @anges.nails

Get a fab summer mani with this sizzling set!

It features bright and vibrant yellow nails decorated with flames, polka dots, checkers, lightning, and sun nail art.

Textures and Colors

A woman's hands with summer-inspired colors alternating with highly pigmented glittery bases nail designs
Image courtesy of @nails.byabb

Want a mani with several finishes? Take inspiration from this set’s glossy, chrome, and glittery textures that feature bold, vibrant summer-inspired colors alternating with highly pigmented glittery bases.

It adds super cool multicolored flaming tips to each nail for gorgeous glam.

Signs and Sunshine

A woman's nails are decorated with cow prints, chili nail art on a lavender base, bright vertical swirls, and sun accents on nude nails with orange sherbet French tips
Image courtesy of @nails.byabb

This design is perfect for short summer nail ideas that go all out!

It features a little bit of everything: cow prints, chili nail art on a lavender base, bright vertical swirls, and sun accents on nude nails with orange sherbet French tips.

Bright Dots

A woman's hand with bright nails painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, and red and outlined in multicolored tiny dots
Image courtesy of @kuypernailart

Try this set for cute short summer nails that are pretty easy to do!

It features bright nails painted in blue, green, yellow, orange, and red and outlined in multicolored tiny dots.

Floral Nail Art

A woman's hand with nails painted in mustard, coral, purple, and hot pink
Image courtesy of @kuypernailart

You can’t have summer nails without flowers! And if you have short almond nails, this floral set is perfect! It features a mani with nails painted in mustard, coral, purple, and hot pink.

On top of these bright and colorful nails are several multicolored tropical flowers! Perfect for your trip to a tropical paradise.

Duo-Toned Tips

A woman's light pink base decorated with two-toned half-moon tips
Image courtesy of @_iwnails

A rework of the classic French manicure, this set features a light pink base decorated with two-toned half-moon tips.

The colors on the tips are also used to create two dots around the cuticles for a pretty cohesive look.

Ombré and Glitter

A woman's hands with yellow, lime, and light orange colors mixed to create ombré nails covered with glitter and featuring glitter outlines at the cuticles
Image courtesy of @_iwnails

These short acrylic summer nails feature yellow, lime, and light orange colors mixed to create ombré nails covered with glitter and featuring glitter outlines at the cuticles.

Then, add an accent nail on your pinky nails with a yellow and light orange gradient reminiscent of a summer sunset.

Modern Art French Manicure

A person holding up a nude base nails with pink thin tips and dark yellow reverse tip, flame accents, a blue smiley face, lightning accents, starbursts, and small yellow hearts
Image courtesy of @rltnailsandbeauty

Play around with French tips like this design featuring a nude base with thin pink tips.

Then, add nail art and texture like a dark yellow reverse tip, flame accents, a blue smiley face, lightning accents, starbursts, and small yellow hearts.

Desert Summer Landscape 

A woman's hands with orange and white nail designs.
Image courtesy of @beautytendernails

If you want a straightforward summer nail design for short and square nails, try this one that’s a literal desert summer sunset.

It starts with a nude base and dresses it up with bright mountains and setting sun accents.

Neon Duos

A woman's hand with nude base with half-moon two-toned neon French tips
Image courtesy of @zeeceebeauty

Want colors in mani but not all over your nails? You can limit them to your tips instead, like this set.

This design features a nude base with half-moon two-toned neon French tips.

Gold-Infused Ombré

A woman's hand holding a brightly colored nail polish with ombré bases dotted with gold glitter
Image courtesy of @katessimplynails

Stylish and trendy, these short oval nails have ombré bases dotted with gold glitter to create a shining and shimmering summer manicure.

Gold and Neon

A woman's hand with abstract gold and neon polish on a nude base
Image courtesy of @katessimplynails

If you love gold foil, this mani is perfect for you! These nail design for short summer nails feature abstract gold and neon polish on a nude base.

The two neon abstract shapes per nail are more appealing with the addition of glittering gold foil.

What Are Summer Nails?

Summer nails, as their name denotes, are nails that are perfect for summer. They go with sunshine and warmth, the beach, and fun sunny holidays. 

Typically, they feature a few key elements reminiscent of summer.

Bright or Neon Colors

There’s no better way to herald the arrival of more daylight and warmer temperatures than to sport bright or neon colors.

Available in various options, summer-ready colors suit everything from a casual day at the beach to multi-day music festivals.

These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Hot pink
  • Neon green

Opting for these shades as the hero of your manicure is a great way to communicate that you’re summer-ready, up for all adventures, and down to enjoy every second of sunshine you can get.

Floral and Fruit Designs

Summer is also a time to enjoy fruits and blooms in season, and incorporating some of them into your nail design is practical and provides many opportunities for creativity.

Some perennial blooms that grace us with their beauty in the summer include the following:

  • Daisies
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Endless summer hydrangeas
  • Hibiscus
  • Dahlias
  • Geraniums
  • Heirloom roses
  • Lilies
  • Marigolds

Fruits that are in season during summer include the following:

  • Nectarines
  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Lemons
  • Passion fruits
  • Blackberries
  • Cheries
  • Melons

Fun Patterns

Patterns are another fun hallmark of summer nails. They often showcase patterns you won’t see necessarily associated with other nail designs.

This is because these nails tend to be bright, bold, and loud, like the season they represent.

Common patterns and themes for summer nails include retro swirls, cow prints, holographic glitters, and geometrical patterns.

Nail Embellishments

And lastly, there is no such thing as too much when it comes to summer nails! You can pile on all the embellishments you want to elevate the design from rhinestones to foil, wraps, and stickers!

Summer’s all about having fun after all, so the bright blue sky’s the limit!

Young hipster woman nails painted silhouette coconut palm tree with sunset her hand holding sand on the beach

Why You Should Choose Short Summer Nails

There are many reasons why short summer nails would make one heck of a statement manicure. And if you need some motivation, here are some of the most compelling reasons.

They’re Perfect for Casual Occasions

Short summer nails are an excellent way to ring in and celebrate the season effortlessly. It’s the best accessory for any casual occasion that’s easy to do and maintain while still being stylish and cool.

They’re Practical

Short summer nails are practical because they require less maintenance and post-care than long nails. This means you can return to your regular routine faster than if you opted for longer nails.

With short nails, you also won’t need to be as mindful when doing summer activities. They’re less likely to break and chip, so your manicure will also last longer.

They Still Allow You To Be as Creative as You Want

Even if you have less real estate for your canvas than you would with longer nails, you can still play around with designs and find something that will suit your preference or your special summer occasion.

Short nails can also work with various nail shapes like almond, round, square, and oval.

FAQs

Which Designs Look Best on Short Nails?

Designs that use negative space are generally considered most aesthetically appealing for short nails.

This is because these designs create the illusion of more space, which helps to lessen the “congestion” or the effect of looking crowded on the nails.

However, the truth is that any design can look good on short nails, depending on how you apply it, the colors used, and your skill level.

How Quickly Do Short Nails Grow?

On average, nails grow at a rate of a tenth of a millimeter per day or less than 4 mm per month.

Knowing this can help when planning how long to expect your manicure to look immaculate before needing a top-up.

However, it’s important to note that nail growth rates may vary by person. When you get regular manicures, you’ll get good at predicting your own rate of nail growth.

Make Summer Magical With Short Summer Nails

Short summer nails are the perfect manicure to wear all summer long. And you can keep changing them up to suit your mood or event!

Coming in various designs, they can be as simple or as intricate as you’d like. Your imagination’s the only limit when developing your perfect short summer nail design.

Check out our picks when you need inspiration, and it won’t be long until you find something that matches your preferences, helps you feel more you, and gets you in the mood for the summer season.

Did You Enjoy This?

Here are more summer-related designs to check out!

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