Back in the mid-aughts, Carson Daly and LC alike spearheaded the trend of edgy-but-not black nail polish as the neutral manicure of choice. Thankfully the color—like us—outgrew its awkward fake-angst phase, with a matte finish paving the way for new and unexpected designs. From the anti-French tip to a look plucked off the runway, here are 10 ways to experiment with matte black nails (and just in time for a non-cliché Halloween look, too).
Spotted at 3.1 Phillip Lim's runway show was this simple design by pro-manicurist Alicia Torello. Copy the style by dipping a thin brush into a matte black lacquer and lining up your half moons.
Monochrome Contrasting Pt. 1
Torello also designed this polarizing polka dot. Start with a matte black base, then contrast it with a black satin polish on top.
Monochrome Contrasting Pt. 2
Try another matte vs. shiny mani with this alternating graphic design.
Just the tip
Consider this the anti-french tip.
The cheapest and chicest way to cop your favorite designer is to retrofit a brand's logo in a monotone matte.
As far as we're concerned, gothic fonts can't not be painted in matte black.
Matte black nails don't have to be somber. Freshen up the subdued hue with a white floral design embellished with rhinestones.
A negative nail, with posi vibes only. Get inspired by nail artist Park Eunkyung with this black matte ying yang design.
Black and Gold
This is a classic color combo, but amplify the contrast by choosing gold leaf over metallic polish.
This negative ombré is a wearable way to mimic both the look of maintaining a bonfire and Rick Owens' wife and muse, Michelle Lamy.
This story first appeared on ELLE.com.
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