Wear Black Nails This Summer, I Dare You

Personally, I don't normally pay much attention to what Charlize Theron is wearing, but her July 2014 cover for Esquire made me want to rock black nails this summer. And I don't even paint my nails, like, ever so that's saying something.

Theron's Esquire cover is actually pretty boring. She's been photographed in black-and-white by the deservingly reviled Terry Richardson — a fact which makes me pretty reluctant to like anything about the image — wearing a boring lingerie/swimsuit concoction. But her dark makeup (especially those black nails) and big, platinum hair are worthy of a place on my summer inspiration board. I can take solace in the fact that the stylist, not Richardson, deserves the credit here.

Summer fashion tends to be a little flowery and safe for my liking, so I'm always looking for ways to keep it edgy in the warmer months. Black nails feel like the perfect way to do just that. Suddenly, floral prints don't sound boring... they sound like an awesome vehicle upon which to display my super macabre new manicure. Lorde would be so proud!

If you're tired of your boring 'ole coral gel manicure (why are you still getting gel manicures, by the way?), heat things up with these dark polishes that will help you channel Theron/Lorde/Maleficent/whoever your gothic fashion muse is these days.

1. Full-On Jet Black

deborah lippmann Crème Nail Lacquer In Fade To Black, $19, Amazon

For the most daring fashionistas among us there is no need to ease into black with dark grey and plum shades. Go straight for the jet black to have nails as slick as the points of Maleficent's bizarrely chic headpiece.

2. Metallic Charcoal

Butter London Nail Lacquer In Chimney Sweep, $17, Jet

Charcoal is like black with training wheels. The metallic sheen in this polish (called Chimney Sweep, in case you're curious) brightens things up so you'll avoid looking like a member of Good Charlotte circa 2003. But rest assured, there is nothing wrong with looking like a member of Good Charlotte.

3. Deep, Dark Plum

Essie Nail Polish In Devil's Advocate, $9, Amazon

The darkest plum shade is just like a more complicated version of black. Black with purple nuance. For those who still need a bit of color.

4. Dark Glitter

Butter London Nail Lacquer In Gobsmacked, $17, Jet

Glitter lends a twinkle of devil may care glee to an almost-black shade of grey polish. It's like your nails are winking!