Terry Mandelko uses airbrushing and handpainting to create these diminutive designs. She prefers to outline using a Micron pen, available at most craft stores, rather than a detail brush.
When nail tech Terri Mandelko read our plea a few months back to help out Eneida Rodriguez with some suggestions for nail art designs that work on short nails, she felt a special connection to the Puerto Rican nail tech. “My husband had just returned from a three-month construction job in Puerto Rico and he said the people he met there were extremely polite and helpful,” says Mandelko, a tech at Shear Perfection in Missoula, Mont. The women, he noted, always had their nails, hair, and make up done before going out in public.
The pretty airbrushed design of overlapping circles was submitted by Aki Kumagai of Orange, Calif. A rhinestone near the cuticle and blue glitter at the free edge add extra pizzazz.
Being the helpful type herself, Mandelko painted some of her favorite short-nail designs on tips and sent them to us to forward to Rodriguez. She even included a few of the Micron pens she used to do much of the detail work.
Gypsy Cruz, owner of SBE Nail Design in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, offers up these sophisticated, handpainted designs. She divides the nail at the midpoint, rather than the free edge, as you might with a longer nail.
Mandelko was not the only reader to heed the call for assistance. Check out the designs below to find some very good ideas from some very generous techs.
Susan Sanders, a tech at Tips, Toes and Tanning in Hanover, Pa., selected simple geometric shapes for a clean, modern feel. For a more traditional design, she captures a snippet of a nature scene with portions of a flower and butterfly.