15 Manicure Designs for Short, Medium, and Long Nails

Get to know the manicure designs, according to your nail style. We've got the exclusive, extensive list here!
15 Manicure Designs for Short, Medium, and Long Nails

Last update: 06 July, 2023

We know that every woman has her own style, which includes a specific manicure according to the nail length they prefer: short, medium, or long nails. Therefore, today we want to show you 15 modern, beautiful, and easy-to-do designs for each nail length.

Remember that no matter the extension of your nails and the type of manicure you like to do, the important thing is always to take good care of your hands. This is what makes your nails look stunning, even if they’re not wearing any colors.

Short, medium, or long nails: What length looks best with a manicure?

Short, medium, or long nails can look elegant and beautiful, as long as the manicure looks neat and well cared for. According to popular belief, it’s believed that the best designs are exclusive to medium or long nails because there’s more length to work with.

However, in reality, there are a variety of techniques that guarantee incredible designs regardless of the length of your nails. And although there are variations, there are never any limitations.

Discover manicure designs for short, medium, or long nails

Whether you like short, medium, or long nails, you can wear modern, elegant, and trendy designs. Here are some of the options that can inspire you, depending on the type of nails you have.

The top 5 manicure designs for short nails

In a single tone, combined, with chrome finishes, waves, flowers, dots, patterns, and gradients, are some of the designs that you can do on your short nails. As for the colors, it will depend on your personal taste.

Among the most daring tones are red, black, fuchsia, and metallic blue, while among the more discreet range, pastel and nude tones stand out. Let’s take a look at some more options!

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1. French color

El francés de colores es una de las tendencias en manicura para uñas cortas.
Pastel colors in a single tone are a great variation of this look.

The French color is one of the most classic nail designs that fits very well in all lengths: short, medium, or long. In the particular case of short nails, the French lines should be thinner, so that the nail looks as aesthetic as possible.

However, the trend is to go out of your comfort zone to include lines of different tones. Among them (like the one in the photo) are pastel colors in a single tone, or others such as black, and gold, different from the traditional white. Another option is to use a French line tilted or in a direction opposite to the horizontal.

2. Minimalist waves

Entre los diseños de manicura para uñas cortas, medianas y largas, resaltan los diseños minimalistas.
Wavy lines with a darker tone are a great way to show off this look.

As short nails are smaller, minimalist designs are the most successful. Therefore, we have to include a manicure with minimalist waves in this list, where you can add that touch that highlights the colors.

For example, the model in the picture focuses on highlighting the wavy lines with a darker tone than the base. However, it can be reversed or you can choose a pastel tone for the base and white for the waves.

3. Milky in a single tone

El efecto mily está en tendencia y va muy bien en las uñas cortas.
This design is simple and looks very good on well-tanned hands.

If you like elegant nails with a very natural effect, the milky effect manicure is the option you should consider. Although this design is simple and can be worn by any woman, it will stand out much more on well-tanned hands, as it will create a very striking contrast.

4. Gold leaf decoration

El pan de oro añade brillo, textura y dimensión a las uñas cortas.
Gold leaf manicures add shine, color, texture, and dimension to your nails.

Gold leaf is a trend that is here to stay and will never go away, which is wonderful. This add-on goes great on short nails because it adds shine, color, texture, and dimension. This product is applied on top of a base, which can be in various shades.

In the case of the reference image, a porcelain effect base was used in a pastel lilac shade and the gold foil was added on only two nails. Undoubtedly, this is a very elegant and modern design.

5. Nails with polka dots

Los puntos son una manicura sencilla, pero muy llamativa que luce muy bien en las uñas.
Polka dots can be combined with nails in a single tone so that the dots are the part that stand out the most.

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Another manicure that looks great on short nails is polka dots, which can be worn in different ways. As you can see in our reference, they can be combined with nails in a single tone so that the dots are the sections that stand out the most. To do this, the dots should also be done in brighter shades.

They could also be worn on all nails on a light base, ensuring that the colors of the dots are striking. You choose if these are the same size or vary their size to make them look more dynamic.

Discover the 5 manicures for medium-length nails

Medium-length nails are beautiful and have an optimal extension to make countless designs on them. From the basic and classic, to the most modern and original patterns. This includes the use of all kinds of tones, such as pastels, neutral, dark, and even neon.

To identify these trends, we took a tour of Pinterest, where we saw and selected for you, some incredible designs.

1. Chrome effect

El cromado es uno de los diseños que queda bien en uñas cortas, medianas y largas.
This manicure includes the use of a base coat and a chrome powder that’s applied and polished.

Nails with a chrome effect or metallic finish are one of the trendy manicures that look great on medium nails, although it also goes great on short and long nails.

The work behind this finish is an art since it includes the use of a base coat and a chrome powder that is applied and polished, with a lot of dedication, to achieve novel or very traditional finishes, depending on what you want to have.

2. Multicolor manicure

Lleva las uñas multicolor en tonos brillantes o pasteles.
This manicure can be done with very bright colors, or more neutral tones.

Multicolor nails add dynamism when you prefer a manicure without designs, since each one has a uniform tone or color blocking, although different. However, if you prefer, you can add very minimalist figures such as thin lines.

In the reference, very bright tones were chosen, but you can well implement the same technique with pastel colors.

3. Inverted French manicure

El francés invertido añade extensión a las uñas cortas y medianas.
The colored lines on a French manicure don’t always have to be white, but this is the most traditional version.

The French manicure never goes out of fashion and has been evolving to adapt to the most modern and fun styles. For short and medium nails, add a little more extension by drawing lines at the base of the nail. According to particular tastes, you can also add the traditional line at the top, as seen in the example we share with you.

On the other hand, the colored lines don’t always have to be white – they can be the color you want, and that contrasts with the base you want to use.

4. Stickers

Los stickers se pueden colocar en pocos pasos y dejan un efecto prolijo.
Stickers allow you to adapt different designs to medium-sized nails while leaving a perfect finish.

Oh, the stickers! They not only make the manicure easier, but also exceptional, in just a few steps. These figures allow you to adapt different designs to medium-sized nails, leaving a perfect finish.

Its use is very simple and although it depends on the type of stickers used, they only have to be placed on the base of the nail and that’s it, it only remains to remove what is left over with a special product.

5. Designs in neon tones

Los tonos neón son tendencia en uñas medianas, cortas y largas.
In the daytime, neon shades stand out due to their striking, fluorescent color.

The neon manicure can mix classic designs like the one you can see in the picture or much more striking figures, depending on your tastes and expectations. Its magic lies in the effect that’s discovered at night or when your hands are exposed to blue light.

In the daytime, the shades stand out in their most fluorescent color. This is a type of manicure that goes very well on medium nails, but also on long nails.

The trendy manicure designs for long nails

We close this list of manicures for short, medium, and long nails, with the five trendy designs for the largest nails. This type of nail has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, largely due to the ease with which you can advance unique designs.

Even with this type of nail, there are countless options, as you’ll soon see.

1. Degradé or ombré nails

Uno de los diseños de manicura para uñas cortas largas más divertidos es el degradé
Longer nails allow you to better appreciate the moment when the strongest tone merges with the lighter one.

The gradé effect on long nails is a spectacle. By having enough space, you can better appreciate the moment when the strongest tone merges with the lighter one.

This can be done in different ways and by mixing the colors you want. Also known as the ombré nails technique, it can be done in a single color, in different shades or choose several shades, to blend together.

2. Barbie pink solid tone

El color osa Barbie está en tendencia.
Pink is a color that you should include in your manicure if you want a fun, feminine, Barbie look.

Long live Barbie! Now more than ever this pink shade is trending, which is characterized by being so striking and vibrant, especially when you have long nails.

This is a color that you should include in your manicure and show off with pride. You can wear it on a single solid background, as shown in the reference photo, or add some texture with some white or paler pink lines.

3. Abstract nails

Los diseños abstractos suelen ser minimalistas, pero muy llamativos.
Abstract graphics are a very trendy design that manages to look great on long nails.

Abstract graphics are a trendy design that manages to look great on long nails. It’s discreet, minimalist, and very eye-catching. It’s composed of a base of your preference in terms of color and some abstract lines in black color that are made on top and are usually combined with other thicker lines.

In the case of the illustration that you see here, this is done on a nail of each hand, while in the others a marbled base is used. What do you think would look best on your nails?

4. Press-on nails with flowers

El press-on hace que ver las uñas largas, aunque realmente no lo sean.
This is a beautiful design that can play with many different colors of flowers.

The press-on is a very practical technique. On this occasion, we’d like to highlight a floral design in which the base is transparent and has some lilac flowers that highlight the beauty of your hands and your long nails in a subtle way.

5. High-relief nails

High relief
A high relief can be applied to all three types of nails mentioned, but it looks quite good on long nails.

We’d like to conclude this like of manicure designs for short, medium, and long nails with the idea of a high relief. This can be applied to all three types of nails mentioned, but it looks quite good on long nails, since there’s more extension to apply the technique.

This textured nail art usually mixes bright tones in the base and opaque in high designs so that the contrast can be appreciated more.

Which of these manicure designs for short, medium, and long nails did you like the most?

In this article, we’ve shared 15 manicure designs for short, medium, and long nails from which you can choose, depending on the extension of your nails. These range from minimalist, discreet, and natural designs to more daring and flashy ones, choose according to your style and tastes, and show off trendy hands.

So, which one are you going to try?

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.