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Creative Nails Ideas for Short Nails

Check out some of our favorite nail art designs from blogger Sammy Tremlin of The Nailasaurus! Sammy is a master of designing beautiful manicures that look great on short nails.

Line Nail Art: Straight Down the Middle

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Ombre has taken the nail and fashion world by storm, and this simple design takes the look to a whole new level. Sammy used Barry M White to create clean lines and to complement the glitter gradient strip running down the center of each nail.

Get the complete nail look here.

Under the Sea Nail Art

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Sammy drew inspiration for this squiggly nail art from the opening credit for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The waves were freehanded with a flat brush. You don't have to be a pro, but you'll need a steady hand to complete this technique. If you're a beginner, try the pretty She Sells Seashells' shell studs and a glitter coat for a sea-inspired Sammy used on non-squiggly fingers.

Get the look here!

Floral Nail Art

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With flowers, curling vines, and a sweet sentiment, this freehand nail art is the perfect look for spring. It's pretty and simple, and all you'll need is a few polishes, a nail art brush, and a steady hand.

Get this floral nail look here!

Springtime Pastel Nail Look

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We’re about as ready for spring as a girl can be. Time to bring on the spring pastels and say buh-bye to darker colors. This pretty pastel nail art is first on our must-try nail design list.

 Find the full post here.

Nonoo-Inspired Nail Art

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Who knew that adding a few X-shapes on your nails could create such a versatile and modern aesthetic. Inspired by a sweatshirt from the Nonoo show at New York Fashion Week, this look is sophisticated, edgy, and youthful—a favorite of ours, because it can be used to create endless color options.

Find the full post here.

Geometric Mod Nail Design

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London Fashion Week designer Louise Alsop inspired this Mondrian-like nail art design. This look is an edgy juxtaposition of grungy black-and-white geometric patterns with soft mint green. Grab a few nail polishes in the same color family and get to painting.

Find the full tutorial here.

Pretty in Pink Nail Art

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This festive nail art looks like a fresh bouquet of our favorites designs. From stripes to springtime florals, this art nail can inspire so many different and colorful nail creations for spring or summer.

Check out the full post here.



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This nail art is fun and easy to create. First, coat all nails with a base coat and Sally Hansen's Pinch of Punch; let dry. Next, choose two of your favorite designs from Winstonia's 2nd Generation Set. We loved the swirl and couldn't resist the cheeky dinosaur. Dip the stamp in BK's Matte White and press onto the nail. For the glittery blue, splatter on Claire's Neon Blue. Add a few holographic studs from She Sells Seashells. Top it all off with  HK Girl's Glisten & Glow.

For the full post, check out The Nailasaurus.

Sprinkle of Spring

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This nail art reminds us of a malted egg candy, which makes it the perfect accessory for Easter. Sammy applied a base coat to start and then polished each nail with Rimmel's Pillow Talk. The speckled and splattered effect was created with Delush's Star Gazer. To create the waterfall design, follow her tutorial with NYC's Blue Sky, NYC's Lexington Yellow, Sally Hansen's Pinch of Punch, Barry M's Gold Foil, and Rimmel's Don't Be Shy. Top it off with a top coat for extra shine and to protect the nail art.

Check out the full post at The Nailasaurus.

Chevron and Mint

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Start with a protective base coat to prep nails for the polish design. For the glittery mint nails, paint on a coat of Sally Hansen's Green Tea—or this Deborah Lippman polish—and top with two coats of Claire's Shiver. For the chevron nails, Sammy started with a base of Barry M's White. (You can paint on a thin coat of HK Girl's Glisten & Glow to make it dry faster. Once the base is completely dry, cut thin strips of cello tape and apply to nails in a chevron pattern. Once the tape is secure, paint over the entire nail with W7's Black; let dry. Add a clear top coat to complete the look.

For the entire post, visit The Nailasaurus.

Geometric Nails

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After protecting her nails with a base coat, Sammy brushed on China Glaze's Fade Into Hue for her base color. She used a striping brush to paint on the darker Nails Inc's All Saints Row. She added a pop of pink--applying Models Own's Bubblegum with the same striping brush--to separate the blue hues. Finish with a white stud. Tip: Use clear polish as an adhesive. Add a top coat to protect your nail art design. Sammy says geometric nails aren't her strongest suit, but we'd have to disagree. Love this look!

Check out the full post at The Nailasaurus.

Cut Out Colors

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Prom is coming up, and Sammy created some fabulous nail art inspired by this fuschia Faviana gown. Matching your nail art to your prom dress keeps the look simple and is super fun. (Not going to prom? Rock these nails with everyday jeans and T-shirts.) To achieve this look, start with a nail polish that matches your skin tone, or skip this step and keep nails natural for a negative space look. Next, Sammy placed striping tape to create the cutout design and painted on a hot pink hue, leaving the triangle at the base the natural or skin tone color. Peel off the tape while polish is still wet and add some glitter to the outer triangles. Apply a clear top coat to finish and rock those nails all night long.


For the entire post, hop on over to The Nailasaurus.

Negative Spaces

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Who said you had to cover the entire nail to create a fun design? Incorporate your natural nail with negative spaces. Sammy attached a triangle design—like these studs—to the base of a few nails, just above the cuticle, as an accent in the negative space. Secure the studs in place with a clear base coat. Once dry, apply a piece of striping tape to either side of the triangle to create straight lines parallel to the triangle. Paint your nail with your color of choice and immediately remove the tape. Sammy used NYC Lavender Blossom (available May 7) but Sephora's Psychedelic is a similar color. Apply a layer of glitter on the nails without studs for extra dimension. We recommend this sparkly Deborah Lippmann nail lacquer in Let’s Go Crazy.

For the entire post, hop on over to The Nailasaurus.

Sparkles & Stamps

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We're all about the mix-and-match patterns and monochrome pallets this spring, so why not translate the look to your nails? Start with creating an ombre base look by fading Barry M Heather into Barry M Bright Purple and finally Sally Hansen Plum Luck. Once dry, dip the stamp into a white polish and press onto ombre nails. Sammy used two coats of Model's Own Amethyst for the accent nails and finished all off with a clear top coat.


For the full post, check out The Nailasaurus.

Pink Acid Wash

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Sammy created an easy-to-follow acid wash nail inspired by this killer pink denim jacket from ASOS. To start, place a few drops of three colors onto a piece of plastic—preferably one white and two shades of pink, like Lancome Vernis in Love in bright baby pink and Milani in Fast Fuschia. Paint a base coat of the white on each nail. Crinkle up a bit of plastic wrap and dab into the mottled colors and transfer to nails. To finish off the look, add circle nail studs and apply a clear top coat.


For the entire post, hop on over to The Nailasaurus.

Girly Game of Thrones

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Spice up your Sunday nights with a pastel Game of Thrones mani. Sammy created a pastel rainbow by painting a base coat of Barry M Dragon Fruit, China Glaze Tart-y For The Party, NYC Raindrop, Sally Hansen Green Tea and NYC Lexington Yellow. Apply these GoT decals once the base coat has dried and top it off with a shiny coat of clear polish. This girly take on the medieval megahit is sure to make you the star of the show!


For the full post, check out The Nailasaurus.

Watercolor Gradient

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Sammy's Kitoki-inspired watercolor nail art reminds us of sunsets on the beach. To achieve this look, paint a white base on all nails and let dry. Next, you'll need four shades of blue, ranging from dark to very light. Sammy used Sally Hanson So-Nota Problem, Rimmel Britpop, Picture Polish Swagger, and Barry M Huckleberry. Sweep the darkest shade along the cuticle to about 1/4 the way up the nail with a flat nail art brush. Sweep the next lightest shade starting just above the darkest, blending the two a bit. Continue until you're at the tip of your nail with the lightest color. Finish off with a sheer top coat

Find the full post and watch the tutorial here!

Muppets by OPI

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Sammy recently tested out some of her favorite shades from OPI's Muppets Most Wanted Collection. Our favorite of her looks? Gaining Mole-Mentum over Kermit Me to Speak. To get the look, Sammy painted on three coats of Kermit Me to Speak to get an opaque base, then painted one coat of Gaining Mole-Mentum over each nail. For the accent nail, she individually pieced the glitter onto the nail. Finish with a top coat on all nails.

For the full post and more options from the line, check out The Nailasaurus.

Girl's Best Friend

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Anyone who's ever had a dog would agree: They're not just a pet, they're a part of the family. Sammy dedicated this pet-inspired post to her late dog Shelley. She created the black and white nails—to resemble Shelley's fur—with a base coat of Barry M White and freehanded the spots with Sweet Color Liner in black. For the red nails, she painted on a base of Rimmel Heart on Fire and drew the bones with Barry M's Nail Art Pen in silver. She topped all nails off with a clear top coat.

For how-to—and adorable photos of Shelley—check out the full post here.

Rock 'n' Nails

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The Black Keys have long been one of our favorite bands, and in honor of the duo's latest release, Turn Blue, Sammy created some cover art-inspired nails. To get the hypnotizing look, Sammy started with Revlon Sweet Tart for the base. To create the lines, she dipped Bundle Monster's Stamping Plate BM301 into Sally Hanson Brisk Blue and applied to each nail. Next, she freehanded a half-moon along her cuticles using Rimmel Grey Matter. A clear coat adds extra shine.

Head over to The Nailasaurus for the full post!

Summer Stamps Nail Design

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The Nailasaurus

Pastel nails are a huge trend for summer. To create this look, Sammy painted a base coat of Barry M Rose Hip on all her nails. Next, she chose two accent nails and added a layer of glitter with Claire’s Shiver. On the remaining nails, she dipped floral and swirling stamps from MoYou's Fairytale Collection into piCture pOlish Chillax and pressed them lightly onto the base coat. Finish with a sheer top coat.


View the full post here.

Graphic Color Blocking Nail Art

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The Nailasaurus

Create a minimal nail design with simple color blocking. Pick out three colors you want to use. Sammy used China Glaze Fade Into Hue, China Glaze Mimosa's Before Mani's and Nails Inc Udderly Shocking Pink. Choose one color and paint on all nails as a base coat. Next, take a second color and create a line for the first block. You may want to use a nail pen or some striping tape to keep it clean. Fill in the section completely. Do the same with your third color. Mix up the arrangement on different nails for an eclectic look.

Check out the post for the full tutorial and a video.

Chevron & Peach Nail Art

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The Nailasaurus

Orange is a hot hue for summer, and is even hotter when paired with chevron stripes. To achieve the look, Sammy used NYC Peach Popsicles and Graffiti Nails Ice White as the base colors. (Hint: Swipe on a coat of Glisten & Glow HK Girl to make the base coats dry quicker.) Add a glitter accent nail with a coat of Maybelline Acid Wash Top Splatter. To create the chevron effect, Sammy used a stencil from She Sells Seashells and No7 Just Black polish.


Check out the full post here.

Acid Washed Nails

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The Nailasaurus

Create an acid-wash effect with Maybelline’s all-in-one nail polish. Sammy swiped three coats of Ripped Tide over all nails and finished with two coats of a clear polish to smooth it out. Voila! You have a quick and easy manicure for summer.


Check out the full post here.

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