Entering the dark ages

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Image courtesy Creative Nail Design

Q) I like the idea of dark, even black, nails, but dont want to look like an emo (I'm in my late twenties, so teen angst doesn't work for me). What polishes should I try? - Natural-nailed member, Luka

A) I hear you. I used to be a nail polish purist too - palest pink on my fingers, with only the classic shades of pink or red on my toes. But life as a beauty editor compels a girl to experiment and, eventually, I even let inky black into my manicure kit. Here's how to ease yourself into the dark ages:

When donning dark polish, remember short is chic - otherwise you risk frightening small children with your scary Elvira Mistress of the Dark-type talons. Also, all dark nail colours show up chips so you could see them from space, so look for a quality varnish (choose a brand that you've used before) and lock it down with a top coat. I like Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat ($6.95).

Try working your way down to black with the other dramatic hues that are big this season. Rich brown is easy to wear and looks stylish. Creative Nail Design's dark chocolate Fedora enamel ($16.95) is velvety and gorgeous. Sumptuous blackberry and wine varnishes are also hip. OPI Lincoln Park After Dark ($19.95) is simply one of the sexiest deep purple shades ever. It's sell-out popular too, so if you see it, snap up two.

Then, when you're ready for black, you can choose from a pure glossy black or something with a little twist. Try Creative Nail Designs Voodoo ($16.95) for a shiny, straight up black or Creative Nail Designs #386 NFS ($16.95) for black with a blue hue. Kit's new Nail Polish in Power Up ($15.95) is a patent black with a steely metallic shimmer. It just landed on my desk the other day and is already my new favourite. It's easy to come to the dark side, Luka. Come to the dark side...


Tracey’s Signature

Member Comments (28)

Posted by: gorjus (Member since 2007, Australia)

I look scary in black with any length nails. I may need more time to summon this courage.

Posted on: January 31, 2008 (Jan 31, 2008 12:56pm)

Posted by: xdisturbedmindx (Member since 2008, Australia)

i actually like black.. sometimes.. on my toes lol at the moment im using one a got for my turwuoise prize boujris violine sumthing its pretty nice its really dark purple maroony

Posted on: April 18, 2008 (Apr 18, 2008 2:13am)

Posted by: Reiyel (Member since 2008, Australia)

Those are good tips for making the transition to dark polish! I hardly use nail polish nowadays, though, I'm too rough with my nails. :(

Posted on: April 30, 2008 (Apr 30, 2008 12:00am)

Posted by: Tkm1981 (Member since 2008, Australia)

i'd recommend seche vite topcoat for dark nails, as any small chips are so noticeable. Seche vite is the BEST topcoat i have ever used.

Posted on: September 03, 2008 (Sep 3, 2008 12:37pm)

Posted by: CityLights (Member since 2008, Australia)

I don't really like black nail polish. It's too dark for me. I still love girly light pinks, purples and blues.

Posted on: November 03, 2008 (Nov 3, 2008 5:40pm)

Posted by: emms29 (Member since 2008, Australia)

i love the dark coloured nails .. but i simply cant paint them well enough to make it look good .

Posted on: January 11, 2009 (Jan 11, 2009 10:04pm)

Posted by: pinacolada (Australia)

Love dark nails....short and fab is the way to go! xx

Posted on: May 14, 2009 (May 14, 2009 4:56pm)

Posted by: Little miss sunshine (Member since 2007, Australia)

Dark purple nails are my favourite....make sure your cuticles look good though!

Posted on: May 21, 2009 (May 21, 2009 11:45pm)

Posted by: Hely (Australia)

Just what I was looking for. Thanks again BH. =) I love the look of short but dark coloured nails. But definately don't want to rock an emo look.

Posted on: August 27, 2009 (Aug 27, 2009 1:33pm)

Posted by: Funnybunny (Australia)

Fabulous advice, I think I'm gonna try it soon :)

Posted on: October 09, 2009 (Oct 9, 2009 6:00pm)

Posted by: Svetlanaz (Australia)

i love dark nails =)

Posted on: January 05, 2011 (Jan 5, 2011 7:21pm)

Posted by: Lucinda27 (Australia)

I love darknails. I really like OPI Black Chutney or Rimmel Double Espresso.

Posted on: October 06, 2011 (Oct 6, 2011 9:27pm)

Posted by: renee.t (Member since 2008, Australia)

I love black it looks chic but different

Posted on: March 10, 2012 (Mar 10, 2012 4:47pm)

Posted by: Hayley_22 (Australia)

I have quite pale skin and I think black is a bit too much for me but I love it on other people! although on the very rare occasion I put it on my toes

Posted on: March 11, 2012 (Mar 11, 2012 5:50pm)

Posted by: Lovely65 (Australia)

i dont really like dark nails

Posted on: March 16, 2012 (Mar 16, 2012 7:48pm)

Posted by: lynx (Member since 2008, Australia)

I love a colour called Ink it's blue black

Posted on: March 20, 2012 (Mar 20, 2012 11:41am)

Posted by: Chicklet (Member since 2008, Australia)

I think black can be a bit harsh sometimes, but there are some great super-dark navys and purples that do the trick!

Posted on: May 13, 2012 (May 13, 2012 1:08pm)

Posted by: FeatheredBeauty (Australia)

Black never looks emo unless you pair it with an overall emo look, ie all black clothes, black hair etc.

Posted on: May 21, 2012 (May 21, 2012 1:49pm)

Posted by: Trish_D (Australia)

Can't ever imagine me with black eyes, (makeup wise), I did have very black eyes after a fall!!! lips or nails but it does suit some people. If you're one that it does suit, go ahead.

Posted on: August 15, 2012 (Aug 15, 2012 9:16pm)

Posted by: Blink182 (Australia)


Posted on: February 06, 2013 (Feb 6, 2013 6:53pm)

Posted by: Chicklet (Member since 2008, Australia)

Funny looking back at how this was so edgy back then!

Posted on: June 13, 2013 (Jun 13, 2013 9:28pm)

Posted by: Jessicalaw (Australia)

I love dark nails! Any colour, and especially this season with the deep plums and burgundys.... yum!

Posted on: June 22, 2013 (Jun 22, 2013 9:29pm)

Posted by: Oonga (Australia)

I think I have worn every colour nail polish, but apart from when I was at a fancy dress party, dressed as Paul Stanly from KISS (yep we had the other 3 members and even did a little stage/mimed show of a few songs) I have never worn black. It just doesn't suit me for some reason, mind you I think it looks awesome on some of my friends!

Posted on: July 27, 2013 (Jul 27, 2013 10:42am)

Posted by: Chickybabe1 (Australia)

I can't pull off nails that are too dark

Posted on: November 18, 2013 (Nov 18, 2013 7:00pm)

Posted by: Beautynutter (Australia)

I can't pull off this dark nail look either

Posted on: November 19, 2013 (Nov 19, 2013 12:36pm)

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