There are an infinite number of colors, designs, combinations, and styles for you to choose from for your next manicure, but if you’re feeling like going dark, hopefully this article will give you some ideas. Dark nails can look great in many situations and with many styles of clothing, from goth to glamour. While some might think that dark nails only look good with dark clothes that just isn’t the case. You can just as easily wear a contrasting dark color with a bright outfit in the summer as you can with a dark outfit in the colder months. A dark color can also look great against a nicely bronzed tan!

Woman with a dark manicure

If you’re planning on a dark mani in the summer, or if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where it’s sunny year round, think about choosing a nail polish with some metallic flecks in it. This will make them sparkle and glimmer in the sunshine. For those who have a favorite bright color and are afraid to change gears, you can experiment by choosing something in the same color family. If you always wear fire engine red nail polish, try a deep ruby red.

If you’re already comfortable with dark nails, here are a few ideas to help you freshen things up.

This is a great way to use dark polish, especially if you’re wary about going with an all-dark look. The half moon is sort of a reverse French tip, with a small half moon of color at the base of your nail and the majority of a contrasting color towards the tip. It’s Some good combinations to try are dark burgundy with a taupe half moon, navy blue with a teal half moon, or a dark green with a nude half moon. You can also play with this style by making the half moon shape bigger or smaller, or even by changing the shape to a triangle. As always with two-toned nail colors, think about good contrasting colors.

If you want a dual-tone look but the half moon look isn’t your thing, you can try using a dark base with a thin stripe painted down the middle of the nail. Fashion designer Prabal Gurung has used this look on models to great effect.

Woman with a goth manicure.

If black is your color of choice, there are many ways to take a simple black nail polish and make it way more interesting. Instead of a glossy polish, try a matte black look for something new. If you’re detail oriented, you can try placing small black caviar beads in neat rows onto your still-wet nail polish, then coat them with a clear top coat to keep them from falling off. Another great “goth inspired” look is fading from light gray to black starting at your thumb and ending with a black pinky fingernail – a great way to ease into dark manis!