You know how crucial a little black dress is to your wardrobe. And when it comes to your nail polish collection, I would argue that a little bottle of black polish is just as essential. Similar to your LBD, the best black nail polish goes with everything — whether you're wearing a monochromatic cream look in the winter or you want to offset brighter summer clothes with something more neutral.
But just because you opt for black nail polish doesn't mean it's a one-color-fits-all situation. Depending on your polish tastes, you might prefer something with a high-shine finish that mimics a gel manicure or go full-on goth with a black matte mani. You can even add some sparkle to your look with a metallic black color that has the shimmer built right in, or add your own glittery top coat that lets you choose how bold (and even what color glitter) you want to go with it.
In any case, you'll want to start with a base coat (unless your polish states there's one built in). This is especially important when you're painting with darker colors because the base coat prevents the polish from staining your nails when it's time to remove it.
Ahead, you'll find five of the best black nail polishes available on Amazon — from true black colors with gel-level glossy finishes to slightly shimmery shades that add a bit of glamour to the traditionally edgy hue.
1. The Best Four-Free Black Nail Polish
For a classic black varnish that leaves out a few of the most common suspect chemicals found in nail polish — toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and dibutyl phthalatethe — the Cirque Colors Creme Nail Polish in Memento Mori is a true black polish that becomes opaque in two coats — though some reviewers say you'll only need one. In addition to being free from the aforementioned chemicals, the polish is vegan, cruelty-free, and handmade in Brooklyn, New York.
2. The Best Glossy Black Nail Polish
Lovers of glossy, pro-looking manicures can't do much better than this award-winning formula from OPI. For a super-shiny finish in a super-dark black shade, the salon-favorite brand developed this Black Onyx polish as part of its Infinite Shine collection. The three-step collection was designed to give you that same finish you'd get with a gel manicure, minus the trip to the salon. To get the longest wear out of your mani (OPI says up to 11 days), prep your nails with a coat of the Infinite Shine Primer and seal things in with the Infinite Shine Gloss top coat.
3. The Best Black Nail Polish With A Hint Of Shimmer
If you want to give your black nail polish a dose of glamour, try a shimmering option like this Zoya Nail Polish in Raven. The satin black color has just the subtlest touch of silver shimmer infused in the polish for a finish that's not full-on metallic, but is still eye-catching when the sparkly flecks catch the light. Brand-wise, Zoya is an amazing choice because all of the brand's polishes are more health- and eco-conscious. In addition to being vegan, Zoya's formulas are free from 10 common chemicals that are found in nail polish, including formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene.
4. The Best One-Coat Black Nail Polish
Sally Hansen is a go-to when it comes to drugstore nail products that are ahead of the curve. Case in point, this Insta-Dri Nail Color in Black To Black, which is part of the brand's 48-shade range of three-in-one formulas. If you've been known to skip out on the base coat (or are just short on time), this is the perfect solution, as the polish serves as your base, color, and top coat all in one. Insta-Dri gives you full coverage in just one coat, and the finish is a classic shine that dries in just 60 seconds.
5. The Best Black Gel Polish
If you swear by gel manicures, consider saving a trip to the salon with Essie Gel Couture in Like It Loud. Not only is it less expensive, but it's also less damaging on the nails. That said, it still provides the same long-lasting, glossy finish you'd get from a gel manicure by a pro. The two-part system doesn't require a lamp or curing time, or even a base coat. Instead, you apply two coats of your chosen color (allowing each to fully dry for about one minute), then lock it in place for up to 14 days with the separately purchased top coat. While Essie's Gel Couture collection comes in over 100 shades, the Like It Loud shade is a true black that will become one of your go-tos.
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