45 Black & White Nail Designs: Classic Elegance In Monochrome

Key Takeaways
  • Black and white nail designs offer a timeless and versatile aesthetic that complements various styles, from elegant to edgy.
  • Black and white nails are relatively low-maintenance, less prone to chipping, and easily match various outfits and occasions.
  • Your black and white nail choices can be a form of self-expression, conveying simplicity, sophistication, and a bold statement depending on the design and style you choose.

Contents show

Our top favorite black and white manis for any occasion. Achieving a classic aesthetic is often more difficult than one thinks.

A truly timeless look relies on numerous facets: flattering proportions, crisp and clean cuts and appropriate use of color.

In our opinion, when it comes to attaining that classic appearance there is one rule that you can never go wrong with: stick to black and white. 

Here are our top 45 black and white nail designs that will have you falling in love with the color duo in no time. 

Before You Get Started

  • Explore the world of black and white nail designs for an elegant and versatile look.
  • Black and white nail art is a timeless choice for various occasions and styles.
  • Achieving perfect black-and-white nail designs requires attention to detail and quality tools.
  • Regular touch-ups keep your black-and-white nail art looking fresh and refined.
  • Prioritize the health of your natural nails and the care of your black and white nail designs to achieve a flawless finish.

1. Black & White Stars Nail Design

Image by @Sararose.Nails via Instagram

For a fun and magical take on the black and white aesthetic, try a star nail design.

This manicure is a great representation of the color duo as it reminds us of bright stars shining across a dark night sky.

The artist has even taken an inverted perspective on the scene, making the sky white and the stars black. This look is both dreamy and with a classic french tip, minimalist. 

2. Day & Night Black & White Manicure

Image by @D.Cs_Nails via Instagram

Although a majestic, starry night sky is enough to give us all of the feels, we wouldn’t want to neglect the many wonders that nature brings us during the day.

And what is the essential component of the daytime? You guessed it, the sun.

For a nail look that perfectly captures both night and day try a mani that incorporates the sun, moon and stars.

To emphasize the dichotomy even further, apply a white base to one hand and a black base to the other. 

RELATED: 21 Adorable Acrylic Nail Designs That Will Brighten Your Life

3. Coco Chanel Nails 

Image by @B3b3_Lo20 via Instagram

We couldn’t write an article on black and white nails without including the brand that may it all happen.

This manicure features the Coco Chanel logo against a white acrylic nail.

To put a twist on the classic look, roses, gems and a dripping paint design have also been integrated. This look is classic and edgy.

4. Cow Print Manicure 

Image by @Claw_Queen via Instagram

It’s ironic because while humanity thought black and white were taboo, nature was already sporting the look!

This manicure is dedicated to all of our fellow animal print lovers. It features a cow print in multiple black and white variations on a square acrylic nail.

If you ask us, this mani is absolutely moo-velous (okay, we know, that was bad). 

5. Black and White Zebra Print Nails 

Image by @Uglyducklingnails via Instagram

Cows aren’t the only mammals to understand what it truly means to be fashionable- zebras are also known for their iconic black and white exterior.

For a modern minimalist approach opt for a zebra print that is more understated. This manicure portrays this aesthetic by simply framing the nails in the design.

This look is subtle, cool and a little wild.

RELATED: 25 Brown Nail Designs: Who Says Neutrals Are Only For Fall?

6. Spooky Spider Nails

Image by @C.A.R.Mani via Instagram

Okay, if you’re looking for some inspo for this year’s Halloween costume then we have just the thing for you because this manicure is seriously giving us the chills.

There’s nothing that says Halloween more than a creepy spider and this one has us particularly spooked.

The color palette is also perfect for the season as it incorporates black, white and a sparkly orange french tip. 

7. Spiderweb Nail Art 

Image by @Yssha_Love via Instagram

If the simple spider mani wasn’t doing it for you then this one might do the trick.

This look displays the black and white aesthetic in a subtle manner and demonstrates how this duo can also look great when paired with other colors.

If you’re looking for a spooky nail look that has it all then this is it.

With silver, purple, black and white hues as well as sparkles, matte polish, stripes, a spiderweb and gems, this look hasn’t forgotten anything. 

8. Black And White Swirl Nail Design

Image by @Beautyby_Dayana via Instagram

If you love a french tip but are looking to change things up a bit then this manicure is a great alternative. A swirl design is unique and fun and will give any look a retro vibe.

And by featuring the design in black and white you can still maintain an element of sophistication. It’s a win-win really.

9. Black And White Triangular Nail Design

Image by @Luxurynailsandspa.Yucaipa via Instagram

For a fun and geometric take on the black and white aesthetic opt for a black polish with a unique nail design.

This partial triangle is the perfect representation of an understated chic look- a style we can not get enough of. This mani would be the perfect addition to any black OOTD. 

10. Black And White French Tips 

Image by @Platinumglambar via Instagram

Now this nail look is giving classic “it girl” energy. The it girl is all about that effortless chic aesthetic and nothing says that more than black and white french tips.

The minimalist nature of the manicure is modern and timeless and would compliment a black and white outfit for any occasion. 

RELATED: 25 Envy-worthy Dark Green Nail Design Ideas to Try This Summer

11. Tattoo-Inspired Nail Design

Image by @Butterflyblu_Nailsglasgow via Instagram

If you love tattoos then you’re going to love this look. Black and white lacquer acts as the backdrop for this cool and artistic nail art.

One nail features a woman with devil horns and the other nail has the word “angel” written on it.

Quite like the original symbolism of black and white, this design represents good and evil. If you’ve been wanting a tattoo but aren’t 100% sure about it, why not try it out on your nails first?

12. Black And White Summer Nail Design

Image by @Tt.Naildesigns via Instagram

It is often believed that when it comes to summer nails your mani has to be bold and bright. This nail look, however, proves that you don’t necessarily need vibrant colors to achieve that summer vibe.

With a variety of designs including flowers, butterflies and cow print (cows can be summery can’t they…?) this manicure achieves the black and white aesthetic in a youthful and unique way, perfect for the warmer months. 

13. Black And White Yin And Yang Nail Design

Image by @Yssha_Love via Instagram

The yin and yang have been an inspiration for the fashion and beauty worlds for many years. But other than it just looking cool, the meaning behind it actually holds great significance.

According to ancient Chinese philosophy, the yin and yang represent forces that are opposing in nature but that are actually complementary because of their contrasting differences- exactly like black and white.

If you ask us, this couldn’t act as better inspo for our next mani. And if you really want to impress others, add some Chinese scripture. 

Quick Black & White Nail Designs Guide: Timeless Monochrome Beauty

  • Elegance in Contrast: Black & white nail designs create a bold and chic contrast that’s perfect for any occasion.
  • Artistry Unleashed: Embrace creativity with striking patterns and geometric shapes for a unique monochrome nail art.
  • Maintenance Routine: Regularly touch up and refine your black & white nail designs to keep them looking sharp.
  • Nail Health Priority: Protect your natural nails with a quality base coat and moisturize them to maintain their health during and after your black-and-white nail design journey.

14. Polka Dot Nail Design

Image by @Yssha_Love via Instagram

Polka dots became fashionable in the 1920s and have never really gone out of style since. Black and white polka dots are particularly timeless and give any look a classic quality.

For a subtle overall appearance opt for french tips. This mani is giving modern Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 

15. Black And White Aztec Nails 

Image by @Egliminalnails via Instagram

Can you remember the Aztec print craze that happened about 10 years ago? We certainly can. Aztec was everywhere and we weren’t complaining.

The print is unique and creative and will give any manicure an artistic flair. This nail look features the print in black and white and uses a sparkly red polish to give it a pop of color.

If you’re feeling a little nostalgic, you might wanna bring the Aztec print back.

RELATED: 30+ Cow Nail Designs to Go With Any Look

16. Floral Art Nail Design

Image by @Kc_Naildesign_ via Instagram

Traditionally, as black and white began being worn in mainstream fashion, black was reserved for winter and white, for summer.

To do the opposite was almost unthinkable. Luckily, today, we have moved past these notions and can recognize the potential of these shades all year round.

This black and white floral mani, for example, is giving us all of the summer vibes with its retro cartoon daisies. Three words: feminine, cute and vintage.

17. Palm Leaf Nails

Image by @Catzclawzz via Instagram

Like daisies, palm leaves remind us of warm, sunny days.

I mean, how many times have you sat down on a cold winter’s day and daydreamed about tropical getaways (with palm leaves fanning you at every angle of course)?

We’re certainly guilty of it. But if you can’t manage to go on vacation, why not bring the vacay straight to you?

Next time you get your nails done ask for palm leaf nail art for the ultimate summer feel. Get the look in black and white for a classic and edgy result. 

18. Black And White Flaming Nail Design

Image by @Natalienailart via Instagram

What’s edgier than black nails? Black flaming nails. This manicure uses a minimalist approach to add an alternating black and white nail design.

The french tips resemble that of flames and give the overall look a cool and rebellious vibe. Charlie’s Angels aren’t the only ones who can rock the flame look.

19. Black And White Alabaster Nail Design

Image by @Reze_Xox via Instagram

Alabaster is a mineral that can be frequently found in house décor such as countertops and vases.

It most often comes in a white or translucent shade and resembles marble in that it possesses a soft, cloud-like pattern within it.

This manicure features the design in a beautiful and classic black and white finish.

20. Black And White Rose Nails

Image by @_Nailzbychelle via Instagram

In the flower world, there’s nothing more classic than a rose.

While slightly more unconventional than your standard red rose, a black and white rose seems just as suitable- black and white are representative of a classic aesthetic after all.

For the perfect black and white floral mani apply a rose to one of the nails. To contrast the dark hues of the nail art, paint the remaining nails in a nude and white ombré. 

RELATED: 31 Best Matte Nail Designs 

21. Black And White Daisy Nails

Image by @Thenailartgarden via Instagram

Cartoon daisies were an iconic print during the hippie era of the ‘60s. The design has since made a huge comeback and is one of this summer’s hottest trends.

For a refined retro vibe apply a white daisy print to a black base. For a colorful touch finish off the floral design with a vibrant pink dot.

This look is the ultimate throwback and will give any outfit a vintage feel. 

22. Black And White Heart Nails 

Image by @_Topcoatnails_ via Instagram

When it comes to nails, you can never go wrong with a classic heart design.

Bring a little love to your black and white manicure by adding an artistic black heart to a white polish.

For a glamorous feel compliment the white lacquer with black and sparkly silver polish. And don’t forget to add a couple of diamonds. This look is both chic and elegant. 

23. Diamond Floral Manicure 

Image by @Nailsbyallit via Instagram

We said daisies are everywhere at the moment and we weren’t kidding. For a different take on the retro trend, start with a neutral base to contrast the remaining elements.

Next, add french tips in alternating black and white hues and then apply daisies in the opposite shades.

Now for the fun part, place gemstones in your favorite colors on top. This look is cute and trendy.

24. Black And White Euploea Core Nail Design

Image by @Lili.Nails21 via Instagram

If you’ve never heard of “euploea core” before, don’t worry. You’re not alone. It’s also a first for us. The term denotes a butterfly that is indigenous to South Asian and Australian regions.

Luckily for us, it also makes a beautiful addition to any manicure! This look uses black and white hues along with 3D nail art to create a unique and elaborate nail look.

Diamonds and florals are also added to bring an even greater “wow factor” to the appearance. With this manicure, you’ll definitely be a showstopper.  

Keep In Mind

  • Versatile Duo: Black and white nail designs are versatile and complement various outfits and styles.
  • Pattern Play: Explore patterns, like stripes, polka dots, or marble effects, to add depth and interest to your monochrome nail art.
  • Balance: Ensure a balance between black and white elements in your design for a visually appealing outcome.
  • Occasion-Appropriate: Choose black and white nail designs that suit the formality and theme of the event or occasion.
  • Nail Health Continuity: Moisturize your nails and cuticles regularly to maintain health and protect them during and after your black-and-white nail design adventure.

25. Keeping It Classy Manicure

Image by @Evernails via Instagram

Now, this is a look we’re going to want to have at our next dinner party. Who knew suits could look so adorable on our nails.

And cocktail glasses made out of diamonds? Yes, please. Black and white are the ultimate shades for that classic style and there’s nothing more classy than a suit. 

RELATED: 32 Unforgettably Stylish Blue Ombre Nails 

26. Black And White Feather Nail Design

Image by @Evernails via Instagram

There is something so satisfying about a feather. Perhaps it’s their delicate nature that makes them so glamorous and sensual. Or maybe it’s their soft texture.

Whatever it is, we want some of that on our nails. To really make the feather shine, this nail starts with a subtle transparent gloss.

For an added touch of elegance, a sparkly silver polish is brushed across the top of the fine and delicate black and white feather. 

27. Black And White Triangles 

Image by @D.Nicolestudio via Instagram

If your outfit is already quite busy it’s best to stick with a more basic manicure that will compliment your look but not take away from it.

To achieve this use a neutral, solid polish on your nails such as black or white. If this is a little too basic add a simple graphic such as this triangular illustration.

As long as you don’t add things like complex patterns and rhinestones you’ll be good to go. 

28. Mickey Mouse Manicure 

Image by @Thenailplugaz via Instagram

Bring out your inner child with this fun and youthful Mickey-inspired nail design.

Mickey Mouse is one of the most iconic characters from our childhood and suits the black and white aesthetic perfectly.

Compliment him with cute polka dots and stripes and you’ll be ready for your Disney movie night in no time.

29. Black And White Heart Rate Nail Design

Image by @Consuela_C via Instagram

If you’re a person who likes to think outside of the box and is looking for a manicure that will match this energy then look no further because it really doesn’t get more unique than a heart rate.

Or, if you work in the medical field, this could be a fun addition to your uniform.

30. The More The Merrier Nail Design

Image by @Dingzdongz via Instagram

If you suffer from being a little too indecisive and are struggling to choose a manicure as a result don’t worry because with this nail look you get a whole ensemble of designs and patterns.

We are especially loving the Converse and Coco Chanel nail art. Who said black and white have to be basic?

RELATED: 33 Christmas Nail Designs That Will Get You Excited About the Holiday Season

Pro Tip

For an effortlessly chic look in black and white nail designs, consider a minimalistic approach with simple, clean lines and geometric shapes, creating a modern and stylish result.

31. A Little Bit Of Everything Nails 

Image by @Eyes_By_Davajeya via Instagram

Like the previous look, this manicure is serving. When it comes to nails our philosophy is “the more the merrier”.

This applies to black and white nails in particular due to their neutral tones. Because black and white are more subtle, when applied to a complex palette the overall appearance isn’t overwhelming.

32. Black, White and Silver Studs Nail Design

Image by @Notoxnail via Instagram

Who doesn’t love a nail accessory? These studs are fire and give the manicure a cool edge. To elevate the look further black and white stripes and “window panes” are also integrated.

We can’t get enough of this look and think it would compliment any edgy OOTD perfectly. 

33. Bling Boss Nail Design

Image by @Nailstlc via Instagram

If you woke up this morning and thought “I am ready to slay the day” then this manicure is exactly what you need.

3D nail art will forever be the power move in the nail world as it instantly brings a boss girl energy.

And we hope you like a diverse palette because with this manicure you’ll get a bit of everything: diamonds, florals, pearls and intricate designs.

For an extra fun flair make sure some of the gems come in your fav colors. 

34. Starbucks’ Nails

Image by @cutexus via Pinterest

There are two kinds of people in this world: those that need a coffee in the morning and those that don’t.

If you find yourself in the former category then getting a Starbucks-inspired mani is only all too fitting. Even if coffee isn’t your thing, you have to admit they do make a great frappuccino.

To really show off your love for the world’s number one coffee destination, add some cute little hearts. 

35. Musical Notes Black And White Nails

Image by @cutexus via Pinterest

Perhaps coffee isn’t your thing and music is more of your forté. Well, when it comes to black and white nails anything goes.

Give your mani melodic energy with these music-inspired nails. The use of french tips for the notes is too cute and quite frankly makes us want to hit the dance floor.

If you live and breathe rhythms then why not get the nails to match. 

RELATED: 37 Hot Pink And Black Nail Designs To Try Right Now

36. Black And White Stripe & Polka Dot Nail Design

Image by @Muddy_Manis via Instagram

Like hearts and florals, polka dots and stripes are staples in the nail world. This manicure, with its dark black and white hues, is giving haunted circus. We could totally see this as a complementary element to a cool and creepy Halloween costume. 

37. Black And White Valentine Nail Design

Image by @Nailedby_La via Instagram

A little sparkle can really go a long way. And with this exaggerated manicure, quite literally. The long, pointed nails are covered in a shimmery white polish followed by fun and flirty nail art.

On the one hand, the french tips, swirls and hearts make this look sweet. On the other hand, the pointed shape and black hues make this mani fierce.

Get this nail look and people will think twice before questioning you (hehe). 

38. Minimalist Manicure

Image by @Nailsbyfiona82 via Instagram

For an ultra-modern nail opt for a semi-french tip. You heard us, the half french manicure is a thing and is thriving in our 21st century minimalist-crazed era.

You really can’t get more basic than this and although it might seem a little too plain, the subtle black and white design is a great option because of its versatility. It’s simple but effective. 

39. Black And White Frame Nail Design

Image by @Nailsetc.Byklara via Instagram

If you looked at the previous manicure and immediately thought you couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing we’ve got the perfect alternative.

If you didn’t vibe with a half french tip then try a half black and half white one! With this design, you can still achieve the abstract aesthetic while getting the “full” picture. This look is chic and unique.

40. Adidas’ Nails

Image by @aylyssamaniego via Instagram

There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of brand-inspired black and white nails and we aren’t mad about it.

This mani features the Adidas’ logos over a square cut nail and glossy, white finish. Whether you love the brand or simply think the nail art is cool, this manicure will give any fit a sporty chic vibe. 

RELATED: 40 Cute and Easy Toenail Designs to Unleash Your Inner Artist 

41. Snowflake-Inspired Nails

Image by @beereeful via Instagram

When the festive season comes along one of the most magical aspects is the winter wonderland that comes with it.

It’s not until the first snowfall that it really starts to feel like Christmas. That’s why we are loving these stunning holiday nails.

Winter is the perfect time to sport a black mani and the white snowflakes give the look the perfect festive touch.

With their dark hues, these nails create an aura of surprise and mystery- exactly what the Christmas season is all about.  

42. Black And White Constellation Nail Art 

Like the previous look, this manicure is full of mystery.

For thousands of years, astronomers have observed the night sky in awe of the shapes and creatures created by the constellations.

When you think about it, it’s truly amazing what’s out there in the universe and this nail look does a wonderful job of capturing some of that beauty.

A jet black polish provides a base for 5 of the 88 constellations in existence.

Whether you’re an aspiring astronomer or are simply fascinated with the night sky, you won’t want to miss out on this black and white nail look.

43. Game Night Manicure 

Image by @marthadickey via Instagram

Game night is always a time that is full of fun and laughter.

It’s a time when people get together and discover the best (and sometimes worst- we’re looking at you Karen) parts of each other.

Next time you head to an event with a little competition try out a nail look with game-inspired nail art. This look features cards, die and golden details for a fun and glamorous feel. 

44. Refined Elegant Black And White Nails

Image by @nailsbydon239 via Instagram

For a nail look that is refined but still elegant try a manicure with a simple, classic design.

The line art on this nail fits the classic chic aesthetic perfectly and the few diamond gems provide just the right amount of glam.

The matte finish on the black and white polish also aids in creating an understated look that still makes a statement. 


Fun Fact

Using black and white in fashion and nail art has a long history of influence, with iconic figures like Coco Chanel pioneering the monochromatic trend. Chanel’s timeless style choices inspire modern black-and-white nail designs known for their elegance and sophistication.

45. Simple Black and White Nails

Image by @agneseheringa via Instagram

Simple black and white nails offer a classic and versatile manicure choice.

By applying black polish to some nails and white to others or using them in a minimalistic design, you can create a timeless look that complements any outfit or style.

These monochromatic nails are easy to maintain and suitable for casual and formal occasions, and their understated elegance makes them a go-to option for those who appreciate a clean and stylish nail appearance.

Whether you prefer bold patterns or a subtle French tip, black and white nails allow you to play with contrast and creativity while maintaining a sophisticated and polished overall look.

Final Thoughts

Black and white nail designs are timeless and versatile for creating striking manicures. These classic colors offer endless possibilities, whether you prefer simple elegance or intricate patterns.

From casual to formal occasions, black and white nail art is a stylish statement that suits various tastes and nail shapes, making it a go-to option for those seeking chic and captivating nail aesthetics.

Ariel Coleman

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