While ladies with long nails are spoilt for choice when it comes to nail art, those with shorter nails have to tread carefully when picking a design. I usually recommend lighter, more natural colours, and advise against complicated designs (which require a larger canvas for details) or designs which visually break up the nail, making them seem even shorter. Thus, anything with horizontal stripes is a no-no, and French tip designs are out of the question (no space, plus it visually chops up the nail).
And you can never go wrong with simple prints! A customer picked a design from one of my nail art magazines, but we simplified it by leaving out the crystals (again, visually they would shorten the nails as they were originally placed at the base of the nail). The result:
The base colours were Gelish Sheek White for the white, Gelish Pink Smoothie for the light pink, and Gelish Plum And Done for the dark purple.
Then I added the leopard prints with light pink acrylic paint and outlined them in black acrylic paint.
Love the colour combination!