Do or Don’t: Black Nail Polish

The other day, I was watching the (surprisingly funny) show New Girl, and the gorgeous character Julia was wearing black nail polish. Instead of looking goth, her black polish looked grown-up and sexy. Since then, black nail polish has been popping up everywhere: pretty girls around town, celebrities at events, even the finalists on The Bachelor. :) What do you think? Would you wear it?

(Photos by New Girl, Getty Images and The StreetStyle)

  1. Lindylou says...

    Yes I would. I love it especially when 2 coats of gel shine top coat on.

  2. love it, it can really make an outfit

  3. I’ve been painting my nails black for years and I always love it! I liked seeing so many of the red carpet gals with their nails sexy black at the Oscars.

  4. #1 reason not to wear black nailpolish – the chips!

    • D says...

      No chips if you do gel
      With the right person who does a great job. Chips yes on reg nail. Polish of course lol

  5. I used to LOVE black nail polish in high school, but my dad would always confiscate it because he thought it would make me look gothic. As soon as I moved out, I bought a new bottle and wore it for a month straight. Now, I like near-black colors, like dark purples, deep blues, heavy greys.. they give that same edgy chic look with softer edges.

  6. only for short nails!!! i love dark but black might be harsh…tres chic if you were gray shades

  7. Anonymous says...

    I’ve worn black nail polish for a couple of years. (grey too) Trick is to keep your nails really short. Black and long -not such a good look.

  8. Not rocker or gothic, today it’s pretty chic and elegant. I love black nail polish!!

  9. i always feel like i have to dress extra femenine to balance it out though idk if thats just me lol I love dark purple

  10. i wore black nail polish to my family’s thanksgiving a couple years ago. i was going for edgy-mature. my 7-year old cousin told me, in front of everyone, that i looked like a Spider Queen. i still get called Spider Queen at family reunions. :)

  11. I’m not even a nail polish wearer (jewelry making chips away at it so quickly), but I just impulse bought Sally Hansen BLACK DIAMONDS Glitter Diamond Strength at Walgreens the other day… Love It! It goes on surprisingly sheer, so you can build up the intensity of color as you see fit. It’s my teensy effort at being a wannabe bad-ass.

    • Etta says...

      black nail polish looks goth and makes you look way older than you really are.

  12. Anonymous says...

    Totally! First time I heard of black nail polish was from my grandmother who told me it was all the rage during her twenties (think early 1930’s)! She’d go from ball to ball with shiny lack nails! It’ has been my favorite color ever since!

  13. cait says...

    whenever i need some extra umph or encouragement to be hardcore, i go with black nail polish. it always makes me feel like i can do anything; like it makes me a badass :)

  14. Melissa says...

    Oh man, I’m only 24 and I’d need two hands to count the number of times I remember this trend coming and going… I didn’t think people still considered it the sole domain of Goths and Emos.

  15. Suzi skis in the pyrenes by essie is an amazing black that sort of has a beautiful elegant metallic like quality to it. i think black can be very glamorous. if you like it, wear it and embrace your chic dark side:) heheh

  16. whoa… dark colours on nails always looks clean and glam at the same time!!

  17. i love it, although i was a bit of a goth in high school. and i really love New Girl!!! so funny and great!

  18. Kate says...

    I really like it, although I prefer a deep purply red or navy blue. PS Eva Mendes is a GODDESS.

  19. Been doing this for years… I thought it was an old trend?

  20. Black, deep purple or deep red are the only colors I wear. My favorite shade is by OPI and it is called “Lincoln Park After Dark”. It is a very deep purplish black. It looks clean, neat and glamorous.

  21. Yes! Most definitely! I am a firm believer that dark colours on our nails can and do look very glamorous if your whole ensemble pulls it together. Personally it really makes me feel like a strong woman. I wore dark purple to my wedding (“Honk if you love OPI”) with my lovely Pronovias dress (“Pasion”) and it all was just lovely.

  22. It’s a do for me and I love it with a gold sparkle on top.

  23. i love black nail polish! definite DO (on short nails). my favorites are OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark (a darker purple), my new favorite, Slick Slate by Sally Hansen (a slate gray/purple — LOVE!), and just one of my many plain blacks. i like to think i started the trend back in my college days (at least amongst my teammates and friends).

  24. i love a black nail! mine are a great dark coppery brown right now and i love it. i’d go black if i found a good quality. :)

  25. this is not really a new trend. i love dark nail polish. usually the color you think is black is really a dark purple – OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark is the best. super classy.

  26. i think it’s a definite do. while i change up my fingernail polish often, i always keep my toenails black. i especially the love the look of black nails in the summer against tan skin!

    alissa b

  27. After reading this post, I went straight to Target after work and picked up some Essie polish in Midnight Cami (a VERY dark navy) and I’m in love. I feel chic, which is hard to do as a engineer that sits in a cubical all day…lol

  28. I love black nails and wear them often. They can really compliment a dark outfit.

  29. I love black nails! they are very in right now in Copenhagen! I was worried that I wouldn’t like it, so I bought some very inexpensive polish at H&M. I posted a photo of mine if you are interested:

  30. I’ve always meant to pick up a bottle of black, maybe I will now! It always reminds me of the goth phase a lot of girls went through when I was in high school but I did notice it coming back. I’ll have to give it a go!

    -Madeline Grace
    Just Let the Sparrows Fly

  31. Anonymous says...

    I’ve tried, but it never looks right on me! Dark blue looks good, though!

  32. I went with a black manicure during the fall and received a ton of compliments. Since, I’ve finished my toes in black a few times, a little more my style. I love it

  33. I like it now but at first it seemed only Goths wore it. Cheers!

  34. Yes! I tend to go with a super dark navy but that black looks great!

  35. Shannon says...

    DO! I love black nail polish because it’s a nice contrast to an otherwise girly outfit:). I always keep my nails really short with a black or dark color, since I think it looks cleaner that way.

  36. it depends on the person, the situation… Eva Mendes looks great with everything, that’s a fact… although I believe her neil polish in this photo is dark blue or purple… And her nails are to short for such a dark color. That’s why I guess the last photo shows how great a black nail polish can work.
    Never wore it, but I would never say never ;-)

  37. Do!

    But your nails should be short, otherwise it looks kinda of gothic like.

  38. Caz says...

    Seeing dark colours on nails is the only time I wish I had short nails! I have long, narrow fingers and long nail beds, so even when my nails are cut short I find that dark colours can just be a bit much – it ends up looking a little goth.
    But I LOVE colours on my toes (it makes my feel feet more feminine) — I usually go for reds and pinks but maybe next time I’ll try a dark plum :)

  39. “The New Girl” is ridiculously funny, I love it!
    I am not a fan of black nail polish though, I prefer dark blue, dark red or dark purple.

  40. Anonymous says...

    I can’t watch Julia in New Girl without immediately thinking of her character from Mean Girls, Janis Ian

  41. definitely a do especially in the winter.

  42. Try OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark. You won’t be disappointed. It’s dark purple enough to look blackish without being black polish.

  43. i feel like black has been glamorous and not goth like for a solid 5 years at least now. haha. i actually just painted mine black today for the first time in a while though! i like to thank ashlee simpson circa 2004 for my love of black nail polish.

  44. Carly says...

    I like dark Olive Green. Very pretty and not too harsh.

  45. DO!! it’s one of my favorites, and i’ve been wearing it A LOT lately! so chic! x

  46. Must be a no-chip and really shiny. I think it is a do but I play favorites with my dark nail polishes!

  47. I love black nail polish, it’s highly sophisticated and goes with absolutly everything!
    Material Fixations

  48. I’m 23 (that’s grown up right??) and I wear dark nail polish all the time. Sometimes it’s dark blue, black or dark purple. It looks awesome as long as the nails are short and square, and not chipped!

  49. I was just thinking about this last night! I remember short black nails coming into vogue a few years ago, but then they kind of disappeared. I wouldn’t mind a return…maybe?

  50. manuela says...

    I love black polish in short nails! and I always paint my toe nails black, it looks cool and makes a nice contrast with mi skin since i’m quite pale.

  51. DO! i paint mine black every october and leave them til it’s time for christmas red. sometimes black toenails for summer sandal season too!

  52. For me, black nails are reserved for Halloween. But I do like dark blues and purples (as long as they have a hint of sparkle). And am I the only one who doesn’t find New Girl funny?!?!

  53. Oh for SURE. Goth is an attitude and entire style, and I don’t think it gives off that vibe at all if you aren’t goth.

    I love my Essie black polish. I think it is so chic and elegant. I was thinking of doing a black/grey ombre. I also like to do black with one nail painted glitter with Deborah Lippman’s Happy Birthday polish.

  54. I love black nail polish! I don’t think it ever goes out of style, but definitely prefer it on shorter nails!

  55. I like it, but agree with above anonymous, nails need to be short, otherwise it’s a little witch like…

  56. Anonymous says...

    It’s so 2005-06 to me but if you must keep it short and neat. Otherwise it’ll end up looking trashy.

  57. Love dark polish…can’t go back to the days of Ballet Slippers. I love Black Cherry Chutney and Lincoln Park After Dark by OPI, so “Chique”. Check out my blog for other “Chique” tips.

  58. I love it! It really does look very sophisticated. I think this might be my next mani color.

  59. I am a serious nail polish enthusiast. I am one of the few actually enjoys the act of painting my nails, it’s relaxing to me… most of my friends find it time-consuming and frustrating!

    I love super shiny black nail polish. it’s often my go-to for formal events, especially in the winter. It really complements my favorite cocktail rings, and makes my nails feel as dressed up as the rest of me.

    If your nervous about taking the plunge and going for black, try my favorite color of all, which I call “secretly purple” (so dark, you can’t even tell it’s purple). The perfect secretly purple shade: Chanel Vendetta (a total splurge that I got for Christmas, and my absolute fave)

  60. love it! but, can’t seem to wear it myself. feels so bold and dramatic when i try it on that i end up getting cold feet and remove them. pity!

  61. It’s my go-to, along with navy or deepest brown. I agree with practically everyone else though – Short, squared off nails only! Definitely takes on that scary/goth quality if the nails are long.

  62. Black is one of my favorites! I’m wearing it right now, in fact…a shade that has just the tiniest bit of sparkle in it. I think it’s so chic on short nails.

  63. I don’t paint my fingernails, since I’m a painter and that always seems a little futile, but I think like with anything it depends what you pair it with. I think when the same actress played Janis in Mean Girls she wore black polish and it was a totally different look! If I WERE to wear dark polish though, I’d probably go navy or purple, something a little softer.

  64. Cb says...

    I know it’s been said, but I think it looks best on short nails, and has GOT to go as soon as there’s a chip.

    My favorite is very dark purple – nearly black!