If you want to channel your inner rock star, wearing one of these black nail ideas is a sure-fire way to do it. Whether you’re going for a dark and moody vibe or searching for a basic shade to instantly elevate any look, black nails are the epitome of cool and one of the
most versatile hues out there. “Black will be a trend for a long while if not always,” nail artist Hang Nguyen tells Bustle. “It’s just a great classic.”
Nguyen adds that
black nail polish is an edgy but clean shade that can be styled with pretty much anything. She loves to use black in most of her nail designs, outlining with it, throwing it against color for contrast, and creating negative space nail art (which she says is a really nice go-to). There are so many fun ways to wear black nails that you’ll find yourself choosing darker colors over and over again.
If you’re at a loss for
manicure inspiration, there are 35 black nail ideas below that you can try at-home (who wouldn’t like to save a few bucks?) or take to your local nail salon (because intricate designs aren’t easy to DIY). From black ombre nails to Christian Louboutin-inspired red and black nails, scroll down to see more. 1 Black Hearts
This adorable design is super versatile. You can mix heart outlines, heart decals, and simple black nails all in one look.
2 Black Ombre Nails
Yes, here’s a fresh take on the classic
French manicure. Have your black shimmer tip fade out at the bottom for a really cool black ombré effect. 3 Groovy Swirls
This ’70s-inspired swirl design is minimalistic but super fun. Set it against a bare nail so that the swirls really pop out.
4 Red & Black Nails
Red and black nails are always a stunning combo, but take a cue from Selena Gomez and
her Louboutin-inspired flipside mani. The Rare Beauty founder sports a black and white french mani with a red underside for a really dynamic nail look. 5 Negative Space Nails
The simplest way to elevate a classic black mani is by creating negative space. Break it up with a blank geometric shape down the middle to put an artistic spin to it.
6 Matte Black Nails With A Twist
When in doubt, go matte. But spice it up a bit and dress up a black matte background with simple shiny dots. The contrast of different finishes and textures is especially eye-catching when you use a darker color.
7 Delicate Daisies
It doesn’t have to be all dark and moody when it comes to black nails. Here, simple daisy designs add some cheer against an inky black nail bed.
8 Metallic Lava Tips
Silver is one of those metallics that pairs so nicely with black. Paint silver along the tip of your nail in a squiggly line to get a cool lava effect.
9 Subtle Black French Tips
One can never tire of the classic French manicure. And when you add black and gold into the mix? It doesn’t get more glam. Creating a square-shaped tip with gold glitter and black lines makes the nail look more modern, too.
10 Hidden Sparkle
The more sparkle, the better IMO. For a unique (and unexpected) twist, add some jewels to the underside of your black nail polish.
12 Skulls & Shimmer
Nail stickers are a fun and easy way to partake in
fancy nail art. Dress up a shimmery French mani with black skull stickers to channel your inner punk rock star. 13 Chrome Tips
-related is an automatic win. This look from the show’s lead nail artist Natalie Minerva puts a unique and edgy twist to everyone’s fave — the French mani — by going for a black base with chrome metallic tips. Euphoria 14 Black French Tips
Simple and to the point, take the classic
French manicure and opt for black tips with a bare base. 15 Googly-Eyes Nail stickers are a simple way to elevate any mani. These eye decals are also just super cute to lighten the mood of a dark nail. 16 Black & White
Black and white always make for a chic nail color combo. Draw thin graphic lines along the edges for a dynamic look.
17 Abstract Sparkles
The groovy and graphic lines on each nail are eye-catching enough, but for that
“je ne sais quoi” factor, use a black polish that’s loaded with glitter. 18 Dreamy Combos
Painting each nail a different shade or fun design makes for the best nail combo. Mix a full painted nail in black and white with adorable black heart decals on the other nails for the ultimate black nail art look.
19 Polka Dot Art
Make art with polka dots. Trace along the edges with small black circles and fill in the rest with a pale pink.
20 Starry Night
Dress up a mod black French manicure with a shimmery star design for something stellar.
21 Euphoria-Inspired Nails
These black swirl outlines alone make for mesmerizing nail art. Add a heart decal in the center bottom for a softer and more romantic vibe.
22 Studded Details
These metallic studs make the perfect accent accessory. But if it’s too much for you, opt for decorating just a nail or two. It will still make a statement without being overwhelming.
23 Cozy Sweater Nails
Mix different shades and textures for a dynamic manicure. Pale pink polish contrasts nicely with a glossy black shade — and the sweater-like textured detail? Such a cute touch.
24 Metallic Snowflakes
There’s still something so winter-like with these black metallic snowflakes, and it’s oil-slicked shine really elevates the look.
25 All Laced Up
Swipe black lace details on top of a mauve nail polish for a more delicate and romantic take on the black manicure.
26 Astronomy Hour
Take nail inspiration from the stars and dress up a glossy black manicure with gold metallic decals for something that looks magical.
27 Say Moo
Who doesn’t love a good animal print moment? These cow spots against a bare base is subtle and chic.
A spin on the French manicure, opt for a pointed V-shape tip for something more unique. Add a small triangle at the center bottom of the nail to get a chevron-like effect.
29 Winter Wonderland
Make black nails holiday-themed with a matte black base and a bright white snowflake that pops.
30 Dark Auras
Dark auras don’t necessarily mean something ominous. Case in point, this mix of blue and purple fades into a black base to give the popular
aura nail trend a dark and moodier tone. 31 Minimal Twists
Dark and twisty in the most subtle and minimal way possible. Draw on a single twisty curve down a bare base and dress it up with a small flower detail.
32 Comic Book Nails
Jump on one of the latest nail trends and opt for black and white
comic book nails that will get everyone talking. 33 Marble Effect
Marble nails are just so stunning to look at. Mix in black, purple, white, and gold for this mesmerizing marble effect.
34 Shimmery Flames
With holographic glitter flames on a glossy black base, you’ll be ready for any party.
35 French Flames
For a more minimalistic take on flame nail art, black French-like tips are absolute fire.
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This article was originally published on
November 4, 2021