When you picture your office, Friday night, and Sunday morning brunch styles, do you see black acrylic nails? If you can’t imagine how something that bold could go from each of those different styles, you’re in for a surprise.
Black acrylic nails aren’t just gothic. They can be bold or minimal, striking or classic, fun or dramatic. They can go from that board meeting to drinks after work at a new rooftop bar while keeping your style distinct and on point. Black nails are just another “little black dress” wardrobe essential and designer nails done in this trend are 2018’s best nail trend. If you’re a nail addict, pay attention.
50 of the Best Black Acrylic Nail Designs for Unforgettable Style
Acrylic nails, one of the most popular manicure types in the beauty industry, use a liquid monomer to bind to the nails and create a strong protective layer over the natural nail. Once hardened, color or art is applied for long-lasting nail style.Women often choose acrylic nails when their nails are brittle or weak. Acrylics help protect the nail bed from breaking although long-term use can damage the nail bed and cause infections. Many people recommend taking periodic breaks from acrylic nails, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have some amazing nail art done in the meantime.
Black acrylic nails are one of the boldest manicure types for a woman looking for nail art that’s a little unexpected. Black acrylics run the gamut from ultra minimal tips to glitzy glitter and rhinestones. They also give you a chance to play with matte and gloss to create a simple, yet dramatic style.
We’ve got an awesome list of some of our absolute favorite black nail designs for 2018 to inspire your next trip to the salon. There are 50 nail ideas perfect for any style. Let’s take a look at the perfect nails for you.
1) Sleek Gold Beaded Princess Nail
Our first nail design is a minimalist design with a maximal inspiration. Think of a pretty tiara on top of a princess’s head, but that princess is also a feared warrior. This matte black nail with gold highlights is good for a little edge but with some royal glam thrown in. It’s polished for work but kills on the dance floor.
2) 3D Black Tie Glitter Nail
Glitter isn’t enough. You want drama and texture. These black acrylic nails use small beads to give some 3D shimmer to your all-black design. The light catches the beads and provides visual interest to an otherwise standard glitter design. Glitter might be pretty, but 3D glitter is a cool and creative twist, something you don’t see often.
3) Midnight Garden – alternating flower and matte black design
There’s a garden in England dedicated to deadly plants. Black acrylic nails take that inspiration and put it on a beautiful, dark nail. Alternate matte black nails with flowing pale florals to create a mysterious and intoxicating combination of sweet and dangerous. Predominately black nails are the perfect foil for the flowers.
4) Slytherin Nails – subtle snakeskin print
Sometimes you don’t need multiple colors for a dramatic effect. You can also play with matte and shine to create a powerful design. These Slytherin nails are the perfect design for a bold weekend with sharp ends and a snakeskin effect created by layering shiny “scales” over a matte base. If you can’t be good, be good at it.
5) Art Deco Black and Clear design
Take inspiration from the Art Deco heights of jewelry, stained glass, and architecture. Using a clear base, layer subtle black lines mimicking the dramatic black edges of the stained glass. It’s a homage to modernism and a welcome change from the dull, natural work nail. For some nails, use only the black tip. For others, crisscrossing lines create a dramatic effect anyone can replicate at home.
6) Studio 54 Glitz and Glam
What do you get when crossing black with iridescent silver? Formal with a twist. Think of the twirling disco dresses of Studio 54 along with the hard edge of New York’s nightlife. Matte black is the perfect foil for glittery silver. Paint one nail entirely or insert a sharp triangle for more drama.
7) Haute Couture Runway Glitter
Little seems more glam than the design houses of Paris Couture. Bring that same drama and style to your nails with a subtle black glitter coat. These black acrylic nails aren’t high shine glitter. Instead, it sparkles with subdued light the way the stars look in the sky when you’re in the city of love. Soft with flair.
8) Black Swan Ballerina Nails
Matte black? Check. Ballerina shoe pink? Check. A formal nail that transforms minimal into something a little extra? Check. Use a soft, dusty pink nail color in a light shimmer at the cuticle of the nail to foil the deep matte black nails that are rounded to provide some softness. It’s just the way a ballerina would do nails if they could have them on stage.
9) The Butterfly Effect
This isn’t your innocent, delicate butterfly. This is the butterfly that flaps its wings and causes a hurricane 3000 miles away. Oil slick gold trapezoid shapes set against a shiny black base create a hard edge, but something both beautiful and deadly. File the tips to a slightly rounded point for extra drama.
10) All Dogs Go to Heaven
Or at least, get their portrait painted on your nails. Shiny black nails create a compelling background for a miniature portrait of (wo)man’s best friend, her beloved dog. Use your ring fingernail to showcase your love for your furry companion while the other nails accentuate the portrait. Repay that unconditional love and smile every time you look down.
11) French Manicure with a Serious Twist
You know the french manicure, right? Buttoned-up natural base with an equally stuffy white tip? Tradition has its place, but unless you’re the bride at the wedding (or maybe even if you are) leave that tradition at home and go for something more interesting. Use a matte black base with a high-shine, pink glitter on the squared tips for something fun and flirty.
12) Pink, black, and silver: these are a few of my favorite things
Nothing goes better with black than silver. Or is it pink? Why not have both with these fun black and silver nails with a cool pink twist. Use a high shine solid black on some nails, a pink base with dramatic black lines on others, and one iridescent silver accent nail. It’s the best of all worlds.
13) Goldfinger, gold-flecked round nails
Remember the drama of Bond? These gold flecked round nails are just as smooth as the world’s most famous spy. Use flakes of gold for a high impact, and if you can get a semi-matte black base with a reddish tint, it’ll stand out even more. File the edges to a soft point for high drama.
14) Marble, silver, and black high fashion nails
There’s a reason those slick architectural magazines showcase houses full of luxurious materials like marble and silver. You can create the same luxurious feeling using black and silver nails with marbling and silver highlights. Use a black matte nail design as a foil on some nails, and on others try different combinations of marbling, silver lines, gray, and solid white.
15) The Crown Jewels of the Queen
Nail appliqués such as rhinestones level up a plain black nail into something suitable for a big night out. Paint most of your nails a shiny black as a compliment, and then on two of your nails use thick black and gray stripes as a background for the shiny jewels. Use a design that tapers towards the end of the nail and keeps your nails squared .
16) Roses are Red and Violets are Blue
Black is the perfect complement to red roses and blue violets. It creates a dramatic yet feminine design that’s less girly than traditional florals, but still gives you the chance to show your womanly charms. Simple brushed flowers and leaves on the matte black background make an unexpected floral arrangement.
17) Barely-there black accents oval nails
If you’re a fan of mostly minimal designs, this is a great way to get into the black nail trend without going overly dramatic. It complements your work attire, but still provides enough visual interest for any of your weekend activities. Use a natural, glossy undercoating with a black tip and a single sweet dot right in the middle of the cuticle area. Keep your nails naturally rounded for a classy finish.
18) Black and white nails with modernist lines
In another take on the modernist art movement, these black and white nails are accented with silver lines running in geometric patterns across a few of the nails. To get this look, paint all of your nails a semi-matte black except one fingernail on each hand painted white. Choose some of the nails to draw geometric lines for the final touches.
19) Geometric black and white fade
You don’t need a lot of art to create a dramatic impact. Sometimes, all you need is a simple, monochromatic design on your accent nail. Paint all your nails with a high gloss black coat. On your ring nails, use successively lighter shades of gray to paint in the geometric design until it fades into white at the tip of your squared nail.
20) Morticia Addams Valentine’s Day manicure
Simple yet sweet. This isn’t your ordinary Valentine’s manicure. This is the manicure of America’s gothic sweetheart, mistress of the dark, Morticia. On formal squared tip nails, paint all of them with a base of high gloss black. On the ring fingernails, paint a simple natural base coat and then a black heart across the whole nail base. It’s a proper dark Valentine’s with coffin nail design inspiration.
21) Long, Matte, Black – The ultimate long nail design
Take a hint from resident goths, punks, and Suicide Girls everywhere. Sometimes the most impactful design is the simplest. These high-drama matte black nails are all you need to create a badass look straight from Grace Jones’ lookbook. They’re beautifully simple long acrylic nails. Use longer nails filed to a square with an ultra-matte black design for something truly outstanding.
22) All the world is a stage- black and gold confetti short acrylic nails
There isn’t much more dramatic than gold on black. Use matte acrylic nails as a foil for larger pieces of gold confetti that drip from the bottom of the nail like opening night glitter. It’s fun, flirty, and eye-catching. Keep the nails short and squared to avoid going overboard and to let the gold stand front and center.
23) Flamenco-inspired red rhinestone art
Imagine you’re drinking wine in the hills of Spain. The Spanish guitar plays a mournful song. The flamenco dancers enter the stage and their swirling red skirts mesmerize the audience. Take inspiration from one of the most intense and creative dance forms around, and use red and silver rhinestones to create beautiful designs.
24) Matte acrylic nails with just a hint of gloss – all black design
Another matte nail design for the minimalists out there who want an impactful nail design without all the fuss of rhinestones or confetti. To achieve this look, paint your nails with a matte black undercoat and then paint a small triangular shape from the base of the nail to give it just a bit of gloss. It’s understated but awesome at the same time.
25) China Doll sweet flowers and black short nail design
Think of the dresses your china dolls used to wear. In some of those formal designs, sweet white flowers dotted black satin material for a traditional look. Take this inspiration to your nails by using a matte black base coat that leaves the cuticle exposed. Over a few of the middle nails, paint pure white flowers in a dogwood design.
26) Modern art constellation star-gazing design
In an homage to chalkboard art everywhere, this romantic design is a refreshing look at something everyone does with the love of their life. This design uses a white outline to create the look of two soulmates gazing up at the stars while lying on the grass. The stars spread out across the rest of the nails.
27) Polka dots with a twist- pink and black short nail design
This design is good for people who want short acrylic nails but still want some visual interest. Two nails on each hand are painted with a soft pink background and progressively larger black polka dots painted on top ascending towards the top of the nail. On the rest of the nails, use a high gloss black nail color to accentuate the cute black polka dots on the other fingernails.
28) Queen of the Nile sharpened black and gold long nail design
These black acrylic nails aren’t for the faint of heart. These are only for those willing to make unique choices and stand out from the crowd. Take a lesson or two from some of the earth’s most formidable queens and use gold confetti pieces to create a bold repeating line design across the bed of the nail on top of a matte black base. Then, file the ends to a point sharp enough to draw blood.
29) Silver banded with a black background
This is the tuxedo of nails. Impactful yet straightforward silver bands break up sections of matte and gloss black to create formal, structured nail art designs. It’s a little black dress or a well-fitting tux. It’s that head turning car that pulls up at a restaurant. It’s just so classy.
30) Rainbow bright graduated rainbow spectrum
Many black nail designs are bold, striking, and dramatic. Sometimes you just need fun nail ideas. Nail art designs can be colorful, too. On a glossy black background paint dots in a rainbow spectrum from bottom to top on your middle nail. On the rest of the nails, paint just two of the dots still in the rainbow spectrum for a fun and unique take on a severe black nail.
31) Betty Boop lace and dots sweet design
Betty Boop was famous for her sexy yet sweet demeanor. Channel that energy with a combination of lace-like designs and cute polka dots. Using a natural pink base, paint some nails with lace designs using glossy black and on others, use a gray tone to mimic her hose and paint polka dot designs on top. It’s a cute easy nail design.
32) Rose Garden with soft pink roses and a black base
It’s shabby chic without the shabby. A high gloss black background highlights feminine pink roses with soft green leaves on round acrylic nails. It’s both romantic and dramatic, perfect for someone who wants a summer nail, but doesn’t want everyone else’s pink glitter. Paint the roses on different parts of each nail for even more impact.
33) Galaxy inspired black and white spattered nails
Have you ever seen the stars so clearly that it was challenging to find constellations? Maybe you remember Hubble’s pictures of faraway galaxies with their thick clouds of stars and vapor. These nails take their inspiration directly from the farthest reaches of space. Intersperse solid black nails in with the white splatter design and one nail with a silver band design for drama.
34) Negative space chevron – cute easy nail design
Chevron was all the rage for a while. Although its cutesy beachiness is a bit played out, take inspiration and turn the design on its head by using a high gloss black and leaving two thin lines unpainted for a negative space stripe. It’s subtle and won’t look like your perfect white picket fence neighbor’s dining room.
35) Multicolored jeweled geometric accent nails
Less is sometimes more. Create a visual impact using just one nail with not just glitter, but little rhinestones glued to the ring fingernail. The rest of the nails are a minimal but dramatic high gloss black to accent the light flickering off the gems. It’s a luxe take on a decorated nail.
36) All black french manicure style
Take a french manicure and turn it on its head by using a monochrome black design that uses matte and gloss to recreate the look. The base coat is entirely matte while the squared nail tips use a glossy black coat to show the contrast between the nail bed and the ends. It’s dramatic, yet practical.
37) Trendy pointed black and silver nail design
Ultra pointed nails are so on trend right now, and this design only accentuates the point. It uses a natural cuticle and a high gloss nail tip separated with a silver band that mimics the nail’s filed point. It’s a good use of contrast that makes your fingers look long and lean.
38) Goth-inspired dots- lace and hose coffin nail design
For something ultra-dramatic, take inspiration from the gothic footwear of the nineties for different nail designs. These matte coffin nails use simple black and gray tones to create cohesion despite each nail being a completely separate design. They have polka dot themes, swirls, line work, and solid black, but it all goes well together.
39) Gold Dust Woman- black with a gold accent long acrylic nails
Long squared nails are back. These are a glossy black with a gold glitter accent nail on each hand. It looks like high fashion but is easy to maintain and goes with absolutely every outfit you might have in your closet, formal or otherwise. It’s a surprisingly versatile nail art design that never screams boring.
40) Traditional lace style with black tips
These bring to mind the delicate lace of a bygone era but there are no pinks or blues here. It’s a dramatic black design with delicate lace details thrown in. Line the tips of the nails in black and everything looks very put together just in time for that dinner out or an important board meeting. It straddles both worlds, traditional and modern.
41) French manicure with black tips – round acrylic nails
This is the most minimal of all the designs on the list. If you want to get on board with the black nail art trend, but need to maintain the height of professionalism, look no further than these simple black nail tips. They use almond acrylic nails and black square tips with naturally rounded corners scream professionalism.
42) Fall leaves- fall-inspired leaf design
Celebrate everything you love about fall weather. Sweaters, bonfires, all the best festivals, and pumpkin spice everything. Different nail designs are a great way to celebrate the winding down of the year and the changing of the leaves. It pairs well with your favorite sweater and coffee, but won’t get too cutesy because of the black base.
43) Matte and gloss with chevron, stripes, and diagonals
Once again, matte and gloss combine to create a nail polish idea that’s dramatic and visually appealing. This time, it’s a matte base with designs painted on top using a high gloss black. From a distance, they’ll look like plain black nails, but as someone gets closer, the magic unveils for an interesting, yet clean look.
44) Old Hollywood glamor- silver glitter and black
This nail art design is Breakfast at Tiffanies on your nails. It uses a glossy black background, but on one accent nail is a silver glitter design that screams glamor, romance, and diamond with a little black dress. It’s perfect for a formal event or if you just want a shot of luxury in your day to day attire. It also goes with everything from formal to casual wear.
45) Sweater song: matte, gloss, and a classic sweater design
Just like a little black dress, the perfect sweater is a wardrobe staple. Recreate that classic look on your nails by using a cable knit design. It’s a textured, 3D look that matches with some matte nails and some gloss nails. The nails come to a long squared end for more dramatic impact.
46) Roy Lichtenstein- classic white dot design
In comics books, dots are used to create particular types of illustrations. In this nail polish idea, nails receive the same bold treatment with white dots on a black background. They are graphically bold yet fun alternative to more serious designs. It’s fun, sassy, and a little irreverent. Who says black nail art has to be so serious?
47) Bright tropical flowers art inspired oval nails
Spring is bursting with color, and just because you’re on the black nail art trend, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some of springs brightest colors into your style. These black acrylic nails use a matte nail color to create an elegant painting look, one where the bright colors of spring pop out against a dramatic black background. Spring has sprung.
48) Stained glass inspired monochromatic nails
A high gloss black background is stunning when paired with a matte design that mimics the way stained glass shines. But that’s not the only thing that stands out. One accent nail reverses the coloring with a plain nail base and a bold, glossy black design that includes flower shapes within the stained glass motif. Although there’s no other color, the geometric and flower pattern certainly stands out.
49) Queen of Hearts pointed nails with heart designs
Remember how formidable the Queen of hearts was? She wanted her roses a certain way and wouldn’t rest until she got what she wanted. These nails are a bold pointed choice, using black and natural colors to create a powerful style. A natural base provides contrast for a heart design and extreme black tips. Powerful and fun black coffin nails.
50) Fleur de Lis inspired textured black and natural pink art
Texture provides visual interest and makes sure your nails won’t be like anyone else’s. This nail art is inspired by the designs of the French court with beautiful swooping flower-like designs. The designs provide texture with a slight bit of sparkle on top of a black nail tip that fades gradually into glossy, almond acrylic nails.
50 Bold Black Acrylic Nail Designs – You Won’t Believe the Variety
Black acrylic nails are versatile, striking, and most of all fun. Even if you don’t think you can pull off this trend, there’s a design for every kind of style out there from the boardroom to the dance floor. Despite everything fashion is telling you, black is still the new black, and there are black nails for you. Get on board with this popular trend in a way that fits your personal style, whether with designer nails or something simple, and there won’t be anyone else with black acrylic nails like yours.
What was your favorite nail design and are you a nail addict? Are you minimal or maximal in your nail art? Let us know in the comments below.