When I think of black nail polish, I think of being a mall rat, spending hours in Hot Topic, and saying "this isn't a phase, mom" while begging her to buy me a My Chemical Romance shirt. I had forgotten about that era in history until I saw celebrities like Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian ushering in the return of a very specific trend: black nail polish.
The actress is not alone in the revival of the dark and moody nail hues. Kourtney Kardashian was donning a black manicure during her recent engagement to Travis Barker, not to mention Megan Thee Stallion and even the inimitable J. Lo have recently showed off their black painted nails.
It's impossible to pinpoint the exact driving forces behind the resurgence of black nail polish, but I speculate there are a few. Despite personal feelings, there is a general Y2K resurgence happening in makeup (see: body glitter) and fashion (somehow, Von Dutch). Black polish and accents also made several appearances in different fashion week shows like Peter Do and LaQuan Smith.
Personally, I also speculate that the pandemic has fostered a low-maintenance attitude of which black nail polish fits into perfectly. When the polish starts chipping it can look "grunge" instead of messy, and it's an easy manicure to DIY. Many of the celebrity looks are minimalist — Fox and Kardashian, for example, are wearing solid color nails.
As the days get darker during fall and winter, black is also less of a stark contrast than in the light-filled seasons. If you have decided to join in on the Hot Topic fun, maybe leave that bottle you bought from Claire's in 2002 and consider one of these new options instead.
Curated is a selection of 9 black-ish polishes for every person and every mood. There's an OPI offering that almost seems like vantablack, an ILNP lacquer that has a holographic rainbow finish, an Orly deep purple that's almost black, and more.
Shop Our Black Nail Polish Picks
Gucci Vernis À Ongles Nail Polish Black Crystal
Shop now: $30; sephora.com
Olive & June HJ
Shop now: $8; oliveandjune.com
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color Boy de Chanel
Shop now: $28; chanel.com
Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Black Heart
Shop now: $2; amazon.com
Orly Nail Lacquer Naughty
Shop now: $8; amazon.com
Jin Soon Nail Polish Absolute Black
Shop now: $15 with code FRIEND (Originally $18); macys.com
ILNP Lights Out
Shop now: $10; amazon.com
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish Black Magic Woman
Shop now: $20; sephora.com
OPI Nail Polish Black Onyx
Shop now: $10 (Originally $11); amazon.com
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