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20 short white nails to wear

White nail polish is one of the most sought-after manicure and pedicure colors of the summer. The reason? The crisp white shade provides high contrast that makes any skin tone look more tanned. Whether you wear nail color alone or layered with other colors, you can expect a bright seasonal nail look that easily ties your entire look together.

Meet the expert

Mazz Hanna is a manicurist and CEO of Nailing Hollywood, a boutique agency representing some of the most notable nail stylists. She is also the founder of her eponymous brand.

Not convinced of the magic of a white manicure? Ahead, check out more than a dozen short white nail looks you’ll want to recreate ASAP.

Butterfly Nails

@lolo.nailedit


Have you heard of the era of butterflies? It’s a saying that circulates on social media and represents a time of personal transformation. Whether you love this idea or just love the look of butterflies, this stark white nail look is for you.

Check Yin-Yang Nails

@nailsbymaki.nyc


Negative space can go a long way in creating an interesting nail look. Just look at that yin-yang and check out the manicure. Manicurist Mazz Hanna says any bright white polish can be used to create this fun nail art.

Citrus Nails

@jess_nails_it


For an even more summery white nail look, pair your bright white polish with citrus nail art. You can DIY this nail look with a fine liner nail art brush.

Short White Crispy Double French Nails

@thehangedit


A French manicure is by far the most classic and common application of white polish. To recreate this chic short white nail look from Hollywood Nailing Artist Hang Nguyen, consider using French tip stencils. These stickers will help perfect the arches, which are the key element of the look.

Hungry caterpillar nails

@madnails


How precious is this Hungry Caterpillar nail art? Hollywood artist Morgan A. Dixon created this creative and nostalgic manicure. The base is a soft, warm white, allowing the colorful fruits to pop without having to create a stark contrast.

Keith Haring’s Mismatched Nails

@madnails


For a particularly artistic short white nail look, consider adding recreations of famous art to your tips. Here, Dixon took inspiration from the work of Keith Haring to create a high-contrast manicure that turns heads.

Fresh Mint Swirl Nails

@lolo.nailedit


White is incredibly fresh on its own, but when paired with shades of mint and green, it can look downright breathtaking.

Neutral Ombre Nails

@lolo.nailedit


Looking for a wedding-ready short white nail look? Consider this white to nude ombre fade. You can DIY the look by starting with a base coat. Next, paint nude and white polish horizontally on a sponge and dab it onto each nail for an even blend. Touch up the sides with an angled brush and finish with a top coat.

Pastel Neon Floral Nails

@madnails


Can’t imagine wearing a summer nail look without color? Layer your short, white manicure with pastel neon flowers for a bit of seasonal fun. You can recreate this Dixon nail look with any colors you want, just be sure to finish the look with a matte top coat.

Scalloped French Heart Nails

@thehangedit


This short white nail look is so delicate and flirty with its scalloped tips and pale lavender heart accents. Nguyen created the look using a bobby pin and nail art brush. You can watch the whole process on her Instagram by clicking on the photo credit above.

Scritch Scratch Mismatched Nails

@madnails


For a short, bold white nail look, consider a mismatched, stripe-inspired design. Dixon is behind this unique nail look. To recreate it, any black and white polish will do.

Shell nails

@betina_goldstein


How gorgeous is this flawless white manicure accented with seashells? Celebrity manicurist Betina Goldstein is responsible for this matte look. To complete the look, she stuck a small conch shell on her thumbnail. You can DIY the look by sticking tiny seashells on your nails.

Clear Glitter Nails

@thehangedit


A transparent milky white polish can give a fairly short nail look. For added dimension, Nguyen topped this polish with a shimmering star design in an opaque white shade.

Plain white nails

@lolo.nailedit


Even without a pattern, white nail polish can appear on your skin on its own. Just look at this stark white nail look.

Shiny square French manicure

@madnails


You can never go wrong with classic French. While many French manicures today feature long and/or rounded almond-shaped tips, here’s proof that nail art also looks beautiful on short, square-shaped nails.

Trippy Checkered Multicolor Nails

@nailsbymaki.nyc


Did these trippy plaid nails have you caught twice? Because they stopped us in our tracks. Given the complexity of the design, it’s probably best if this manicure is recreated by a professional. At least you have an inspiration photo to show them!

Watercolor nails

@madnails


We love the watercolor nail look for summer. This one features shades of blue, green, red, yellow, pink and white for an abstract look that perfectly encompasses classic summer hues. It conjures up images of the ocean, beach balls and umbrellas.

White Negative Space Nails

@madnails


Here’s further proof that white polish and negative space can be used to create fun (not boring) short nail looks. We especially love the dreamy cloud nail.

White Swirl Nails

@madnails


Last but not least, we have these shiny white swirl nails. To recreate the look, start with a sheer pale pink base and top it off with an opaque glossy white polish and top coat.

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