20 Elegant Ideas for Black Nail Polish

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Long on ideas for nail art but short on the polish? No worries, these nail designs don’t need any more than two different colors, and most of them can be done with only one. As long as you have a bottle of black polish, you have plenty of options. Many of these designs will be easier to do if you have a toothpick for the more delicate designs.

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  1. Solid. Pain your nails solid black. This is the easiest design and will take the shortest amount of time to complete.
  2. Zig Zag. Add a bit of zest to your nails with zig zags. Use a toothpick dipped in nail polish to get this look. You can either use one fine line, or put in two lines and fill in the empty space for thicker lines.
  3. Zebra Stripes. Take a walk on the wild side while still keeping it understated. Paint your nails solid white and paint black zebra stripes vertically down your nail.
  4. Cheetah Spots. This can be done on a variety of backgrounds. You can use tan, yellow, white, or even leave it blank.
  5. Black on Black. Use a matte black base coat and paint the second layer over it with a glossy top coat also in black. The simple, solid look can be taken from work to a party, while still adding a unique touch with texture. Play with a few substances, including eye shadow and cornstarch. Make your own cornstarch matte polish by mixing equal parts cornstarch and your chosen color of nail polish into a small plastic cup, such as a milk jug lid. You can also buy nail polish that has a matte finish, but it can get pricey. You can add a subtle touch of flair by painting intricate designs on top of the matte layer with the same color in a traditional finish.
  6. Add a third layer to the mix. Make your artwork really stand out by adding another layer between the top and the base coat. Use a bright bold color such as red or gold and draw a simple design before adding the stripes. A simple design works best, using only one color. A heart or a streak of lightening would be a great design to use. For the lop layer, keep it simple, perhaps using polka dots or thin lines. For a fun twist on this, make your chosen picture black and use light blue polish for the fine lines. This will make your nails look like notebook paper.
  7. Seal with glitter. Many designs will last longer if you add a clear top coat on top. Instead of the traditional clear coat, use clear polish with sparkles in it and paint over the design. You can use silver or gold sparkles, but a colorful glitter polish will really stand out over the black nail polish.
  8. Add nail decals. Nail stickers are cheap and easy to come by. They add a touch of pizzazz to any design. Follow the instructions that come with the decals and apply them over the black base coat.
  9. Use Rhinestones to embellish. Use a cuticle pusher and clear nail polish to apply the rhinestones where desired. Apply the rhinestone after about twenty seconds after applying the base coat so that the polish is still sticky. This will cement the stone and help it stick better. While you can use white rhinestones, black rhinestones will give it a very intriguing look.
  10. Ladybugs. This is a great look for spring, even if you are just working outside in your garden. Paint your entire nail red. Then, once it is dry, Paint the tip black, and add a black line down the middle using a toothpick. Add dots on both sides of the line.
  11. Music notes. Show off your love of music and nail art simultaneously by drawing a music staff on your nails. Then add notes.
  12. Tuxedo. Feeling fancy? Draw tiny tuxedo designs on your nails. You’ll be the envy of evey aristocrat you know.
  13. Mustaches. If you liked doing nail art before it was cool, then this is the look for you. On the tip of your nail, outline a mustache. Then, fill it in. On a plain nail this will really stand out.
  14. Checkerboard. Paint your entire nail white. Use black nail polish to to add the squares to make the checkerboard pattern. You can use other colors in place of white. Red would look particularly stricking.
  15. Crisscross. Paint your entire nail black. Using a toothpick and white nailpolish, draw a tic tac toe board that has more than nine empty spaces. You can make them uneven. The more irregular the pattern, the more interesting it will look.
  16. Diagonal. Divide your nail into two equal parts diagonally down the middle. Paint one side black, and use a contrasting color on the other half. A neon color would work really well with the black, but any color you have around will work well. That is the beauty of black, it goes with everything.
  17. Quarters. Divide your nail in half and then divide each half in half again. Paint at least one quarter black and then paint the other quadrants another color. You can use up to four colors, including the black.
  18. Spirals. Use a toothpick to draw black spirals on your nail. Use a white base.
  19. Add a flower. You can either use a sticker, or use a toothpick to draw on your own. To do this, use one color for the middle dot, and use another color and put six drops around the middle.
  20. Dominoes. The perfect look for a casual game night and easy to do. Once again, you will use a toothpick to put on the finer details. Paint your nails with a black base, and use white to put on the decorations. Or, if you would prefer, you can use other colors such as primary colors. You can even alternate colors on each nails. Draw a line horizontally across your nails halfway down, and put the dots in patterns that would be on a dominoe. Use different nubers on each finger.

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