Short and sweet: Why you’ll want to wear minimalist nails

Forget obvious acrylics and talon-like fingertips – this season is all about minimalist nails with shorter, more natural-looking shapes.

Kim Kardashian called it last year when she told Allure magazine she “can’t do long nails anymore.”

From the costly upkeep of acrylic extensions to the many impracticalities of wearing your nails long – trying to type or button up a shirt, for example – the negatives are stacked against having talon-like fingertips.

On the flipside, short nails are both practical and more hygienic; and minimalist manicures typically involve natural nails, which means less maintenance.

Plus, ditching acrylics allows the health of your nails to shine through – a sentiment often echoed by health professionals due to the negative impacts of ongoing acrylic use.


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Why minimalist nails are making a comeback

Wearing your nails short, with only a sweep of polish, is not only a clever cost-cutting measure but also a nod to what’s hot in fashion.

The demand for more natural-looking nails, with less length and little to no embellishment, ties in with the recent revival of minimalism and the overarching trend

towards a more understated look.

Minimalist nails also fit the “clean” make-up aesthetic, which is all about adopting a “less is more” approach when it comes to beauty.


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BeautyTok’s role in the minimalist nail trend

Ever-influential TikTok is another driving force behind the surge in popularity of minimalist nails.

Former acrylic devotees have gone viral on BeautyTok as they document their transition to short, less elaborate manicures.

The positive response has inspired others to follow suit and embrace more natural-looking nails.

@emmablaz ngl I miss fake nails sometimes but I’m trying to embrace the natural, short nails 😅💅🏼 #shortnails #shortnailinspo #milkywhitenails #naturalnails ♬ street, kiss better – speed – Libra

Beauty benefits of minimalist nails

The short manicure trend has been welcomed by Buff Nail Studios founder Emma Forrest, who considers it her speciality.

“Minimalist nails aren’t going anywhere and at Buff, this is our signature,” Emma says.

“This is a sheer, natural, perfectly manicured look – classically understated.”

Emma says having minimalist nails allows you to subtly grow out your colour so your mani looks flawless for longer.


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Want minimalist nails? What to ask your nail tech

Contrary to popular belief, short nails aren’t just clipping your nails and leaving it at that; rather, they can be buffed and shaped into just as many styles as longer manicure designs.

If you want to try out the trend, Emma recommends asking for a square or “squoval” shape, for a rounded look.

“Long, almond shaped nails have been basking in the spotlight for a while and while they’re not necessarily going anywhere, we’re also seeing the return to shorter, square nails,” Emma says, adding the trend is also sweeping through the celebrity world right now.

According to the nail expert, shorter, squarer nails are simply more comfortable and more wearable.

“Short nails require less maintenance and lend themselves perfectly to a dramatic, bright pop of colour,” Emma says.

“You can still embrace variations with short nails, with sharp square nails suitable if you want something with a crisp edge, or square nails with rounded edges for a softer look.”

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Written by Charlotte Brundrett.