10 Cool Manicure Ideas for Cute Short Gel Nails

If you’re looking for some cute short gel nails, I’ve got you covered!

These adorable ideas below prove that you don’t need super long nails to give yourself a great manicure!

Most- if not all- are easy enough to pull off at home, too, so they’re perfect if you’re on a tight budget.

Let’s stop talking about and jump right in, shall we?

SEE MORE: Beautiful Fall Nail Designs

Our Top Picks

This post contains affiliate links. We earn a commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.

Check out the table for a quick overview of our favorite nail polishes to use for these designs, then read on for more details!

Editor's Choice
Fearless Nail Art Photo 4
Product Name
Best Feature
Get 5 or 6 fabulous nail art items each month!
Check Latest Price
Salon Dip Glitter Kit – Be Glam
Best Feature
Lasts for 2 weeks or more
Check Latest Price

10 Cute Gel Nail Looks to Try

As much as I adore nail art on longer nails, shorter nails are more practical for my line of work. If you’re in the same boat, no worries; you can still give yourself a gorgeous mani with these ideas!

1. Summer Daisies Nail Art

cute short gel nails green

Since we’re in the middle of summer, let’s kick off this nail art party with a style that’s perfect for the season!

These adorable short gel nails remind me of something you’d see hippies wearing in the 60s (or at least how Hollywood shows them, I wasn’t there!).

The daisies are the hardest part. If you don’t have a steady hand, ask a friend to help you out.

Get monthly nail art kits delivered right to your door!

Fearless Nail Art Photo 4

CHECK MORE: Indie Flower Nails

2. Sparkly Pink Short Gel Nails

Bring on the sparkly with these gorgeous glittery gel nails! The hot pink color is perfect for both summer and winter, don’t you agree?

3. Purple Gel Nails

gel nail art with rhinestones

Okay, so these aren’t exactly short-short, but you can pull off the look on nails that aren’t quite as long.

Purple is my favorite color, so I’m ALL about these stunning gel nails! I love the combination of deep almost-black purple mixed with the lighter lavender-like shades.

They look complicated, but if you can draw a line, you can pull them off. Finish the look with some cute rhinestone nail stickers.

CHECK: Best Nail Polish Subscription Box

Try this all-in-one nail paint for a better look!

Barry M Cosmetics - Nail Polish - Air Breathable Nail Paint - All-In-One Base Top Coat

4. Lemon Nails

lemon gel nails
Credit: base_coatstudio on Instagram

If you’re looking for something that’s very simple yet still pretty (and totally screams summer), I love these bright lemon cute short gel nails!

5. Red and Black Topography Map Nails

Bela Nail Gel Nails
Credit: Bela_Nail on Instagram

The drawings on these remind me of those topography maps from Geography class. I’m not really sure what they’re called, but that seems as good a name as any, right?

Whatever you call them, they’re perfect for those who want cute short gel nails that aren’t all sparkly and pastel-y.

Don’t forget to also check this simple Mandala nail art!

Make your gel nail polish last longer with this base coat!

Mia Secret Glass Finish UV-LED Gel 0.5 Fl. oz - 15mL

6. Swirly Gel Nail Art

Swirly Gel Nail Art

Yeah, I know, I’m awful at naming things. Again, whatever you decide to call them, these nails are positively stunning.

While it looks like you need a steady hand to pull it off, I personally think that imperfections would look like they belong there. So don’t go too crazy trying to make perfect lines and swirls.

These colors are the perfect complement to just about any Indie nail art design!

MILD EAST Gel Nail Polish Kit, 6 Colors Bright Rainbow Gel Nail Polish Y

7. Pastel Nails Outlined in White

Manicure on an oval shaped nails in pastel colored tone

I love the simplicity of these gel nails. They kind of remind me of those dot candies. You know, the ones that are stuck to the paper, so you end up eating more paper than actual candy? Make sure to pair them with your favorite cotton candy perfumes!

I think these would be really easy to pull off if you did the color first, then outlined it (rather than creating an outline and trying to paint inside the lines).

Lock in your gel nail colors and keep them vibrant with this amazing lamp kit!

Beetles Gel Nail Polish Kit with U V Light, Gel Polish Starter Kit

8. Zoo-inspired Gel Nails

Zoo inspired gel nails
Credit: _yopidayonail_ on Instagram

These cute short gel nails remind me of a trip to the zoo. The black and white nails represent zebras, the pink are very flamingo-like, and so on.

I love the eclecticness of it all. I think when you go with different styles for each nail, mistakes are harder to spot. Instead, they look like they belong. That makes this perfect for newbies!

9. Peachy-Orange Summer Nail Art

orange gel nails

While I can’t really pull off orange myself because of my too-pale skintone, I think it looks gorgeous against warmer tones.

Even though orange is more of an Autumn color, I feel like the flowers give them a very summery feel.

They’re kind of perfect for August, where we’re transitioning from all things bright and sunny to warmer and richer shades, don’t you think?

Try this to help get rid of dry skin and raggedy hangnails!

Jessica Phenomen Oil Intensive Moisturizer, 0.5 Fl Oz

10. Glitter Overload with Alternating Colors

Glittery gel nail art with alternating colors

Can’t decide what color to paint your nails? Why settle for one when you can do every nail in a different shade? Finish off the look with glittery polish, then lock it all in with a really good topcoat.

Again, I know the model has long nails, but there’s absolutely no reason why the style won’t work as cute short gel nails, too!

These are just some of my favorite cute short gel nails. Search Instagram and Pinterest for more ideas!

This kit is everything you need for gorgeous glittery nails!

Salon Dip Glitter Kit – Be Glam

Check this video for a quick recap:

cute short gel nails with pastel white and blue designs

What are your favorite cute short gel nails? Share your pick below!

About Lily Scott

Lily is the Editor-in-Chief and one of the writers here on Those Graces. Growing up with sensitive and fair skin, she's always been passionate about finding the gentlest yet most effective products. When she can't find what she needs on the market, she makes her own! READ HER LATEST ARTICLES FOLLOW HER on FACEBOOK. Learn more about her HERE.