We can all agree that there is something oh-so-chic about black polished nails. Whether you opt for a matte black or a black with a high sheen, there’s no debating there’s an air of mystery behind any person rocking a black manicure.
Aside from the dark style’s moody edge, black polish has a sort of elegance that goes with almost any occasion. Get ready to be tempted to offer any one of these stylish black nail designs for the client who’s looking to do something different from their regular neutral or French go-to.
1. Black Nails and Gold Flames
Is it getting hot in here? This nail design will make your client feel like everything she touches will turn to gold. To achieve this look, start with black gel polish. After curing it under the LED lamp for 60 seconds, paint on a no-wipe matte top coat for a matte effect that won’t leave their nails sticky.
After that’s cured, it’s time for the gold flames. You can use stickers but now is also the perfect time to practice your nail art skills. Using your skinny nail art brush, dip it into gold polish. Be sure to coat the entire brush and not just have a blob of color on the tip; it will be easier to control. Carefully paint on the flames. One of the fun parts about this look is that each fingernail doesn’t have to be identical.
2. Nude Nails With Black Slanted Tips
Spice up your client’s regular French manicure go-to and recommend they try something new. Paint on a nude color that matches their skin tone. After curing, paint on black slanted tips using a high-quality nail art brush to help you get precise, straight lines.
This look will look best with a high shine topcoat. If you need help painting on the straight lines, you can use a straight edge like a piece of cardstock to use as your guide. Alternatively, painter’s tape is a great tool to have on hand. When using painter’s tape to aid your hand in a design, simply lay down the tape on the part of the nail you want to paint.
3. Black Marble
Talk about edgy. This look brings the early 2000’s crackle polish to an entirely refreshed level. To nail the marble look, paint on the black nail polish. It’s up to you and your client whether you should use regular polish or gel polish.
Whichever type of polish you both decide on, the process will remain the same. After the black layer of polish is finalized, don’t cure it. Instead, use a nail art brush to swirl on some white and silver streaks into the wet black polish. This will give you a nice marbling effect. Once that is complete, you can cure (if you used gel) or air dry and finish with a topcoat.
4. Louboutin Inspired
For this look, we’re taking inspiration from Christian Louboutin’s famous high heels. With their strikingly infamous red soles, let’s imitate this effortless, peek-a-boo look on your client’s nails. Paint on the black nail polish, and here’s a twist: we’re going to paint the underside of the nail!
This killer trend is best done on long, stiletto-shaped nails. You’ll need a long nail in order to paint the underside and make it obvious so all your hard work can be displayed.
5. Black Nails With White Stars
Black and white is a timeless, elegant look. Incorporating the star details will add a bit of quirk to the look your client will surely love. Paint their nails black with either a matte finish or high gloss — both will look great.
When it comes to the stars, we recommend nail stickers since stars are rather difficult to paint freehand. Stick on, or if you’re feeling bold, paint on the white stars and finish with a topcoat.
6. Black Nails With Gold Foil
Yes, we’re going back to the delicious colors of black and gold paired together. This time, let’s add some gorgeous gold foiling for a look that will have your client blending in with the rich and famous.
Go ahead and paint a few coats of black polish for a highly pigmented base. While the nails are still wet, use tweezers to lay on some pieces of gold leaf to each nail. If you are using regular nail polish, work in sets of three nails at a time so the nail polish doesn’t fully dry while you're taking time to apply the gold leaf.
7. Black Matte With a Touch of Gloss
This is for the client who wants a subtle look that will make people do a double-take. Paint the nails with a matte black undercoat then paint a small triangle shape from the base of the nail with a high shine clear coat. This is a great time to utilize that painter’s tape. This look is totally understated and gorgeous.
8. Black Negative Space Chevron
Don’t put that painter’s tape away too fast. We told you it would come in handy. Cut the tape into super thin strips and lay across the nail in parallel V-shapes. Paint the nail with a matte or high gloss black nail polish and wait for the nail polish to dry (or cure). Finally, remove the tape to reveal the untouched, negative space design beneath.
9. Black and White Hands
This look is pretty left field but we’re totally digging it. Simple, yet throwing you through a loop by going for two completely opposing looks on either hand. Paint one hand’s nails black and the other hand’s nails white. Mind blown.
10. Black Nails With Red Tropical Flowers
For a daring look that’s equally feminine, add a twist to your average flowery nails design with the bold colors of black and red. Paint the nails all black and allow them to dry. When dried, put your creativity to work and paint on gorgeous red flowers to the middle and ring finger.
Black Nail Polish Tips and Tricks
Black nail polish can be low-key daunting no matter how much experience you have as a nail technician. Here are some tips and tricks to make applying black nail polish a little less intimidating.
Always Apply a Base Coat
Black nail polish has very potent colors and dyes that can stain the nail plate and the cuticles. You can help prevent this from happening by applying a base coat. The base coat will create a barrier between the surface of the nail and the nail polish.
Without a base coat, the pigment can seep into the nail plate and cause yellowing of the nails. Additionally, sometimes nail beds develop “ridging.” Ridging is when the nail plate develops cracks and ridges caused by dehydration. The base coat helps to fill in cracks making for a smoother final look.
Never Neglect the Top Coat
When you complete a nude or neutral-colored manicure, polish chipping is much less noticeable versus a dark, pigmented color. If your client gets a couple of chips on their black polish manicure, it will be incredibly obvious. To prevent chipping, finish with a topcoat that is formulated to protect the finished look.
Paint in Thin Layers
Patience is key when you’re applying black nail polish. Even though the goal for the final look is to be highly pigmented and dark, don’t let that rush you into gooping the polish on.
If you paint in thick layers, your client’s nails will be more susceptible to smudging and chipping. Instead, take your time to paint on thin swipes, and go back for multiple coats. This will allow adequate time for the coats to air dry in between.
When the time has come to remove the black nail polish look, soak a cotton pad in acetone-based nail polish remover and let it sit on the nail for a few seconds. After it sits for a bit, wipe the nail polish off starting with the cuticle.
You may see some color smudge onto the skin. When this happens, simply use a clean cotton pad for a quick clean-up. After using acetone-based remover, always apply hand cream or vitamin E oil to restore hydration to the dried-out nails and cuticles.
Black nail polish is super versatile and can be worn with anything! It represents someone who has a daring, assertive personality and isn’t afraid to show it. Welcome your clients to the dark side with these awesome black nail polish trends, tips, and tricks from yours truly, Valentino Beauty Pure.