Yes, We're Reclaiming Black Nails As An Adult Staple (Here Are 30 Ideas To Personalize The Look)

You don't have to grow out of that black nail love your mom said was just a phase. And we're here to prove it. Yes, okay, we all went through that time when we were younger that we thought chipped black nail polish on our super short nails made us look super edgy and cool (yeah, maybe it wasn't the chicest look we've ever rocked) but it's time to reclaim the dark side and, in the words of the late Amy Winehouse, go back to black. But this time, we're rocking it with a twist.

One of the very best things about a black manicure? It goes with pretty much everything. Rocking some classic blue jeans with a white T-shirt? Black nails! Out for the evening in a cocktail dress and heels? Black nails! Going for a chic all-black ensemble? Black nails, duh! Though in its simplest all-black on every nail form, we get that it may not be the shade for everyone. That's why we've rounded up 30 of our very favorite ways to rock black nail polish in a way that still makes it very much your own. Even you hardcore Barbiecore fans are sure to find a style you love! We promise.

Go gothic

Seriously. How Kourtney-Kardashian-Travis-Barker-gothic-chic is this nail art? We love that the black has been confined to the tips and edges (which is ideal for those who may not want to go too dark all over the nail), while the silver chrome art adds an edgy glamour to the look. This is one you can totally customize too if you or your nail technician is feeling extra creative, as you can incorporate any symbols you want into the rockstar design.

Make it matte-r

Though we still see them all over the place, shiny nails aren't for everyone. There's arguably always a time and place for a super shiny manicure, but if that's just not your vibe, a matte black look may just be. This manicure is an ideal option for those who don't want to spend hours at the nail salon or painting their own nails at home, as there's no complicated, time-consuming nail art to contend with. Instead, you can grab yourself a matte nail polish bottle, give yourself a couple of coats, and be on your way. If you don't have a matte shade though, you could just grab a shiny polish and matte it down with a mattifying base and top coat. That way you can make the rest of your polishes matte, too!

Shine up your nails

If matte nails just aren't for you, then there are plenty of options for getting your nails to look super shiny. One of our very favorite nail art accessories is foil, as it gives your nail art a glamorous edge and also allows you to bring a little metallic color into things without overpowering the black background. Here, the nail technician has used a metallic magenta foil to create this stunning, almost marbled effect, and we think the bold electric shade and black morph together seamlessly.

Nail those tips

Another look that makes use of black on the tip of the nails only, this design brings a whole lot of glam to the dark nail trend. This gorgeous nail look is an ideal compromise for those who love a French manicure but still want to try out the black trend with a little added sparkle in their look. The super long, square tips are oh-so on trend with what we've seen so many celebs rocking, as well. But don't think you have to go crazy long with your nails to rock this look, as you could get a similar effect with a shorter, rounder nail shape too.

Bring foil into your manicure

Want to add a little sparkle and shine to your black manicure to spice things up a little? Then look no further than this unique option. This loud design brings some animal print into the black nail world by seemingly using a holographic silver foil. If you prefer to have every nail matching, this is a fun option for you, and the possibilities really are endless when it comes to different color foils and print variations.

Fan the flames

If you're not afraid to go big and bold when it comes to your nail designs, this may be the black look of your dreams. We can't take our eyes off the daring neon pink flames across four of the nails, while the sparkly chrome glitter design on the accent nail also gives this manicure an electric-yet-glamorous twist. Of course, the accent nail here is optional, and if you're not a big fan of the flames, you could always do the duo chrome glitter on a black base for all five nails.

Point it out

This nail look is super sharp — in more ways than one! For those who love the pointed, extra-long nail shape, exaggerating that even further and putting the black only on the ends is a fun way to be able to join in the black manicure trend without having all your nails be totally dark. We're particularly drawn to the way the dark shade still follows the shape of a French manicure down both sides of the nail, and those super sharp tips are oh-so in right now.

Hypnotize with your nails

You need some strong eyes (and a steady hand) for this manicure, but, oh boy, is it worth it. This unique design has a hypnosis wheel design put right on the nails, so you can still be in on the black manicure trend without having to be too on the nose about it all. Though this one may take a little time to perfect (you may want to go for nail transfers to get it looking just right), it's a pretty incredible way to show off your fun side. And we guarantee you won't need to hypnotize anyone to get all the compliments on these bad boys.

Block it off

If you have a favorite or signature color you like on your nails, but it isn't black, this is a prime example of how you can still incorporate different polishes into your dark manicure. This design shows how you could have an accent nail in your favorite shade (in this case, the client has opted for red), which can then be used on the tip of the others to keep it cohesive. The concept will work with literally any color too, from white, to pink, to green. You could even get extra creative and do glitter or a chic chrome shade.

Swirl it out on your nails

Ready to show off your creative side? Because this nail design is a great way to do just that. Here, the nail artist created a different design on each nail, opting for a thinner line on the pinky finger, while creating more of a block effect on the ring and index finger. As for the middle finger? Well, that's full-on black. Of course, you can create whatever lines and swirls you want on your fingers if you're feeling inspired by this look, with one nail or more completely painted black.

Brighten up the black

Who said black manicures couldn't have a girly edge? This look proves that's certainly not true — even if you want to go all-over black on your nails. This person opted for an adorable white and yellow daisy print on their accent nails, which stops this black manicure from being overwhelmingly, well, black. You can choose any flower you want for your accent nails if you're looking to do something similar too. If you celebrate, why not opt for a rose for Valentine's Day? Or a poinsettia for Christmas?

Bring translucent black into your nail art routine

Don't think you have to go for a super dark black nail polish to show off your love for this trend, because it's not all about the deep, totally opaque shades. This look appears to have been done using a matte powder, creating a gorgeous translucent black nail effect that we can't take our eyes off of. To really set it off, the nail artist then went for some darker, shiny black nail art over the top.

Get a gradient

If you'd prefer to bring a little extra color into your black manicure, going for a gradient design may be the way to go. Any qualified, professional nail technician should be able to do this for you pretty easily, and having the black fade into another color is a way to avoid going too dark and also get your favorite shade in there too. Just remember though that for this one, you'll need longer nails in order to really be able to see the gradient effect in all its glory.

Bring the glitz with the accent nail

Another way to brighten up the traditional black manicure and put a more feminine twist on the classic is to use an accent nail to bring some pizzazz. If you're usually a fan of a little pink or a little glitter, but you don't like too much nail art, then we'd recommend incorporating that via accent nail. That way, you're getting all the benefits of the classic block black manicure, but also putting your personality in there, too.

Make your nail art 3D

Who said all nail art has to be flat to the nail? The possibilities really are endless these days when it comes to how you can decorate your fingers, and making things 3D can be a unique way of adding a little something extra to the traditional all-black manicure. Here, the nail technician went for a super black shiny base and matched with raised designs over the top, including a range of different swirls and an O.

Show off your shine

If you're looking for a little more glamour and glitter, then why not opt for a little regal gold? This nail design separates the black polish from the natural pink with what appears to be a shiny gold leaf effect on both the pinky and ring fingernails. While this would look gorgeous on all four nails, this design goes one step further and incorporates some silver glitter nail polish on the index and middle finger, with a thin strip of glitter between the black polish and the cuticle.

Wear your heart on your nails

Another unique look that makes the most of a translucent black base, this just shows how you really can add anything to the top of the see-through look. This nail design brings some more femininity to the monochrome style for those who maybe don't want to go too dark, as it incorporates adorably tiny, shiny, black hearts all over each nail. The possibilities are endless with this concept, as you could have anything from hearts, to stars, to jewels, and anything in between added to your design.

Get girly

It's a common misconception that black manicures can't still be flirty, fun, and feminine because this manicure design proves that's most certainly not the case. If dark nails aren't usually your thing and you find yourself browsing the lighter colors in the nail salon, then look no further than this girly design. This person opted for pink flowers (which really pop against the black background!) on each nail except their ring fingers, where they went for heart-shaped nail accessories made out of pearls. Can it get much more girly than that?

Make a rainbow

One of the very best ways to add some color to a black manicure? Adding a rainbow, of course! This nail art design proves how you can still have all the darkness of black nails, but still have a little fun with it all. This incredibly creative and unique look really grabbed our attention thanks to the sheer detail put into it, as it depicts what appears to be a rainbow walkway surrounded by white stars and several moons. Not only that, but the rainbow is also incorporated into drip marks on two nails forming from the nail bed. Seriously, the more you look at this one, the more you see just how much effort went into it.

Look to the stars for your nail art inspo

There's something kind of mystical about a black manicure, so looking to the stars for inspiration on what to put on your fingertips is only natural. This design proves that, as the nail technician clearly put a lot of hard work into this one. Not only did they put constellations onto the client's nails, but they even gave them a stunning and super intricate version of Saturn on their ring finger. We also can't get enough of how every second nail is covered in stars, which really brings everything together.

Get glittered

They say all that glitters is gold, but here, all that glitters can be black too. If you want to go black with your manicure but keep that glamorous edge, there are a number of ways you can personalize things and put your own twist on a traditional mani. You could opt for a black polish that already has glitter in it, or you or your nail technician can always add a glitter top coat to give it that extra edge. This version uses a matte black as a bottom coat, which acts as a great juxtaposition with the shine of the glitter.

Make black your nail art color

Instead of joining the black nail movement with black polish all over the nail, you could instead bring in the black via your nail art. This person kept things simple by opting for a natural pink base that matched their skin tone, then brought in the darker tone by putting black polish on a third of the nail. On two fingers, they also brought a little extra pizzazz with small dots placed carefully alongside the edge.

Go for gold!

Gold is an ideal choice in nail art over a black base, as the dark background really helps it to stand out while looking regal at the same time. For this glossy manicure, the client opted for a bit of a celestial theme with several different star and moon designs across each nail. The black and gold look elegant together, making it ideal for those who want to rock some black nails in a more sophisticated way.

Keep your nail art simple

For those who prefer to keep things simpler on their nails, just a little something to put your own stamp on the design is probably the best way to go. In this case, the nail art consists of a simple and small baby pink heart on each nail, which really stands out against the block color nail. You don't have to go for hearts if you don't want to, though. Just pick your favorite color and symbol, and put one on each nail to try out this look.

Mix glossy and matte

Who says you have to choose between glossy or matte when it comes to your nails? Because you can have both! Black is an ideal shade to show just how different matte and shiny nails can really be, as the finish really shows up against its darkness. This person opted for a matte polish on the majority of their nail but then used the tip to bring some glossy shine into the mix. They then took things one step further with a little glitter to create triangular shapes to separate the two finishes.

Bring in the magnets

Remember when some nail polishes came with magnets in the top so you could manipulate your nail polish to create somewhat of a textured effect? Well, things have moved on a little since then in terms of magnet technology — and it's looking better than ever. This person used an upgraded magnet technique to create a stunning spacey effect that changes color depending on the angle you look at it. It gives this manicure a mysterious edge that we can't look away from.

Try aura nails

Another way to bring a little more color into a black manicure is by giving the aura nail trend a go. Aura nails involve creating somewhat of a diffused effect by having one color as the background of the nail and then at least one other color in the middle that fades out. This person opted for a gorgeous lavender that fades out into the black, but you could change this up by using whatever shade you want in the middle.

Double up on the matte shades

Elegance is the name of the game with this stunning manicure look. This person opted for matte black tips (with the fun twist of each one having a swirly, non-traditional edge) over a matte pink main nail color, which is pretty similar to the milk nail trend that's so hot right now. They then topped things off with elegant shiny gold nail art in the shape of delicate and intricate leaves, which adds that extra touch of sophistication and glamour you don't always see with black nail looks.

It's all about the jewels

Jewels always seem to make a comeback when it comes to nail art, and this look is totally covered in shiny extras. As for the black part of the manicure, on the ring and pinkie fingers, it's contained to the tips of the nails, but on the middle and ring fingers, it appears to have been inspired by butterfly wings. There's plenty of glittering nail art to then grab your attention, with butterflies on both pink fingers and snakes on the index finger. Each nail is also covered in different-sized rhinestones to really bring the shine.

Bring in a neon rainbow

For those who love neon colors and rainbows with high-contrast black, this is for you. The bold and bright nail look incorporates all three fun aspects into one, as it features what appears to be a zebra print on the ring finger, with different custom twists applied to the other nails. The colors most certainly pop over the black background, but we especially love the way each nail is still tied together through the colors, with a transition that goes through shades like a rainbow.