How to dress up short, stubby nails for the holiday season

'Tis the season!


By Redzhanna Jazmin

Image: Simone Rocha and Instagram/@amaquashie
How to dress up short, stubby nails for the holiday season

Want to dress up your claws without stepping into impractical territory? Here are 12 easy ways to dress up short nails for the holiday season.

PSA: In case you missed it, we’ve officially entered December. That means it’s time to wind down and start prepping for the surefire string of holiday parties and festive feasts galore. Of course, that also means primping ahead of said gatherings.

Now, we’ve covered all the best deals to score for better skin and given you inspo aplenty for your party makeup, so what’s left? Well, you’re probably due a nail appointment soon, so we thought we’d help you get sorted on the manicure front.

Not everyone wants to rock nail art that’s super on-the-nose—there’s something about pulling up to NYE with reindeer and pine trees on your claws that feels a little lame. So we’ve curated some sick nail ideas for you to rock.

Better yet, given that your hands are likely to be occupied throughout the season, whether you’re backlogging work before heading off for the holidays or you’re busy cooking up a storm for Christmas dinner, we figured you might want to try keeping things short and sweet. Or, maybe you just prefer having a functional set of mitts year-round. Either way, we’ve made sure that these nail ideas look stellar on talons of all lengths, but especially on short nails.

Without further ado, we’ve got 12 nail art ideas to take your nails from stubby to stunning. Find them all ahead:




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Nothing screams festivities more than glitter and jewels—and this adorable set is the perfect way to incorporate both of those elements. Plus, it looks great on nails of all sizes!




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Looking for something a little edgier? This metallic cutout nail is sure to turn heads (plus, it’s easy to achieve at home with a stencil and some pretty polish).




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Elevate your regular gradient nail for the holiday season with this sparkly twist. You can keep it simple and natural like this, or switch up the colour combos for a more eye-catching statement look.



Want to incorporate greens for the holidays but don’t want it to be too Grinchy? This metallic French tip is a stunningly subtle way to rep the holiday colours.




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Christmas lights have never looked so cute! This nail look is a pared-back take on holiday glam, and will go perfectly with your festive decor.



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Channel your inner Great Gatsby and rock these shimmery, pearl-encrusted nails to your work dinners—movie and book plot theatrics optional!


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Bows were the hottest trend of 2023 by far, hitting every runway and moodboard imaginable. This metallic take on the trend blends the best of feminine and futuristic—it’s not the most practical look, but it’s easy to manipulate the design to your liking.




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Not a fan of bold designs? This thin pop of red is a stunning, understated way to elevate your French tip. We love the square accent, too!



Simple but adorable, we love this heart-shaped design. To accentuate the heart shape, we’d recommend going with a stiletto nail shape instead—but, if you’d like to keep it as short as possible, it’s still cute!



If you’re partial to textural nail art, this is one to try. Plus, it’s easy to nail in a pinch as long as you’ve got a few loose gems and star rhinestones lying around (let’s be real, there’s gotta be some leftover from your Euphoria phase!).



Image: Instagram/@nailsbymei

Love gems but want to step up your game? With this statement nail, your nails will be far from boring.



Can’t decide on one design? Do ’em all with this pick-and-mix set. It’s got stars and bows galore—adaptable to last through the holiday season and into the new year!



For more nail inspo, click here.

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