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Cute Designs for Short Nails

French Manicure

Not everybody can grow their nails out – some people have to play instruments, which you can’t do with long nails, others might have jobs where longer nails just simply won’t work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have amazing looking nails! These designs are super simple, and can be done by anyone, anytime (because you can’t always stop in for a manicure).

1. The French Manicure
This one is super fun, super easy, and super quick. All you need is two colors; all most any two colors will work (If you want a base and gloss layer for longer lasting nails, feel free to use them). If you have a base, use that color first. Now, coat your nail with the color that you want underneath (in a normal french manicure, this is the light pinkish color covering most of the nail). Wait for it to dry, then brush your other color (in a french manicure, the white color) over the tops of your nails, so that the bottom is in a straight line. Wait for the nails to dry, and if you have a gloss, use that now.
(Similar colors, like yellow and orange or blue and green work really well, especially with the new colorblocking trend.)

2. Confetti
This one looks amazing, and also looks much harder than it is – making it that much more impressive when you get to show it off! Paint your nails in any color, as long as it’s relatively dark. It doesn’t have to be black, but a medium brown or a deep red is best. Earth tones work a bit better for the first layer. Once this dries, take a bright color of nail polish – Anything that doesn’t fade into your base is fine – and make dots on your nail (Use a cotton swab if you don’t have fancy nail pens.) Don’t put them too close together, and put more on the top and decrease as it goes down, sort of like a triangle with the point on the bottom, at the cuticle. After you’ve done it with one color, repeat the dots at least twice more, placing the dots randomly in the rough upside-down triangle shape and keeping the dot colors bright. Once you’ve done it with as many different colored dots as you please, you can coat it in gloss, and even add a bit of glitter to this one.

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3. Stripes
This design looks really awesome when it’s finished, but it takes a long time to complete. There are two ways to do this one; with nail art pens, or with painter’s tape, a lot of patience, and maybe an hour or so.
With Nail Art pens:
Choose pens in assorted colors, as many as you like (Remember; the more colors you choose, the longer it’s going to take you to paint the nails) and arrange them in an order you like. I’ve found a simple rainbow layout looks pretty awesome, but putting them randomly looks great, too. Starting at the cuticle, use your first color to paint a straight line across the bottom of your nail, as thick as you like, but in this case, less is more. Do this on all your nails. Move to the next color, and repeat just above the first line. Keep doing this with all your nail art colors, each one on top of the other, until you reach the tip of your nail. The stripes can vary in thickness, but repeat colors once you get to the end.
With painter’s tape and nail polish bottles:
When using painter’s tape, it’s a better idea to use fewer colors for time and effort. In my example, say you’ve chosen four. Cover the top three-fourths of your nail with the painter’s tape. Paint the remaining section in your first color. Do this on all your nails, and wait for it to completely dry before lifting the tape. This time, cover the top half of your nail and the already painted bottom with the painter’s tape, and use the second color you’ve picked out. Again, wait for the color to dry completely before moving on. Keep repeating the pattern, revealing more and more of the nail and covering the DRY painted sections, until your nail is completely painted.

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4. Tiger Stripes
This one is a nail art design I’ve found easiest with painter’s tape. It’s much easier than the last one, don’t worry. Choose a base color for your nails; anything you’d like. Coat your nails twice, and let it dry completely. Once it has, cut triangles of the painter’s tape and lay them on opposite sides of your nails, alternating so that they don’t touch. Now paint your nail any color other than the base. Remove the painter’s tape once the top is dry, and Voila! Tiger striped nails!

5. Watermelons
Again, this one is a design best performed with nail art pens, and you do need a black one for this. Paint your nails bright red, the color of a strawberry. When this dries, paint the tips (Like in the french manicure) green; most all shades will work. Now take your black nail art pen and draw little oval-shaped dots on the red section of your nails; these are the watermelon seeds. Add a layer of gloss and a bit of glitter, and you’re done!

Don’t be afraid to vary from the styles above; mix, match, layer, and see what happens? What’s the worse that could happen – you run out of polish remover?
The most fun part of painting your nails is experimenting with in and figuring out awesome new ways to paint them. Use techniques from above, and come up with your own patterns. But most importantly, Have Fun with your nails!