Best Black Nail Polish [Review] in 2021

Last Updated on February 9, 2021
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Looking to stand out from the crowd with the most flattering, daring, and darkest black hue nail polish on those pretty talons?

Well let me tell you, you’re at the right place.

Whatever the occasion we can all agree that black adds a bit of edge to your look, but in some ways, you can make black nail polish look classy. It is also a brilliant base to add the most intricate nail art too!

Now I love black nail polish but it isn’t the easiest to find. No black nail polishes are the same, they have different hues.  You may even find the perfect color but the formula isn’t worth your time– it can be a challenge.

But what if I told you something?

To make things easier for you, I have done all the research for you. I have only selected the very best black nail polish, from a range of hues to excellent formulas that you’ll love and will last through everyday life.

Here’s a tip I found crucial: when picking a black nail polish you need to consider the desired finish. Nowadays, black doesn’t just offer an opaque finish, it can also come in a cream, gel, holographic finish, and much more. 

But enough of me chatting away, you don’t want to miss my top pick.

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Here are the best black nail polishes to top off any look

1.

OPI Nail Lacquer In Black Onyx

Looking for a shade of black that’s darker than the night? Well, you must try OPI’s Nail Lacquer in Black Onyx– it’s as dark as it’s gonna get!

You can wear this beautiful color on its own or to accent the finest of nail art, OPI is up for the job. Plus just like all OPI Nail Lacquer, you will get up to 7 days of wear, completely chip-free.

Just apply a good base coat, two coats of this darkest hue, then top it off with a brilliant top coat and cuticle oil to seal the deal for longer.

But why stop there? 

Not only is this formula highly pigmented, but this formula screams luxury, leaving a glossy, salon-like finish from the comfort of your own home. You will be sure to be receiving all the compliments from all your friends.

Once you go down the black nail art route, you’ll never turn back, and what a way to start than with OPI. 

Pros
  • Darkest black hue, without red and blue undertones
  • Easy application
  • Glossy finish
  • Lasts up to 7 days chip-free
Cons
  • None, this one is unbeatable

Latest deal: OPI Nail Lacquer In Black Onyx

2.

CND Vinylux In Black Pool

This creamy blend with a deep black hue from CND  is a must-have in your kit. The color is beautiful and CND is renowned for longevity and being healthy for your nails, are you ready for this one?

There is nothing worse than your nails chipping, then realizing the nail polish you have just used has wrecked your nails underneath. 

Lucky for you, CND is excellently formulated with keratin, jojoba oil, and vitamin E, so this will never be an issue again! You will healthy, gorgeous nails that will last up to 7 days completely chip-free. 

I’m not done yet though:

This nail polish is the real deal, just pair it with your favorite top coat and you will be shocked by the finish. It is a cream formula but leaves a perfectly glossy finish– I love it!

This must mean that Black Pool color is not only gorgeous, but the formula is unbeatable, for a daring yet classic look you need to try this one out.

Pros
  • Healthy for nails
  • Creamy and glossy black hue
  • Lasts up to 7 days chip free
  • Packed with vitamins
Cons
  • Can begin to clump over time

Latest deal: CND Vinylux In Black Pool

3.

Essie Nail Polish In Licorice

best drugstore black nail polish

Looking for a sleek, fresh black hue that will last you up to 7 days of wear, chip-free? This color from Essie is a gothic dream!

I have always loved formulas from Essie, from ‘Ballet Slippers’ to ‘Ladylike’ but after trying ‘Licorice’ I was completely hooked, it goes with every outfit!

With a one coat wonder, sometimes that’s all you need to get the best finish, plus in terms of longevity, you cannot beat Essie. The one thing I would recommend is spending that little extra on the base coat to prevent staining. 

Now:

The brush is something to get excited about too! With black being such a rich color it is quite easy for it to steak, but with Essie, their brush is top quality and will fit every nail size for ease and streak-free application. 

To top it all off it is at a super affordable price point. For the deep dark hue, insane coverage, and ease of application, Essie ticks all the boxes. 

Pros
  • Long-lasting
  • Glossy finish
  • Non-chipping
  • Drugstore prices
Cons
  • None so far

Latest deal: Essie Nail Polish In Licorice

4.

China Glaze Nail Polish In Liquid Leather

In terms of quality, color, and health to your nails, China Glaze is up to the bill. If you regularly love your nails being painted then I would pick yourself up a bottle of this liquid magic. 

Liquid Leather isn’t just a cream polish, it also offers a super glossy finish after 2 coats. Perfect for every day or even for night time glam, this one is a godden. 

But what about the formula as a whole?

Well, to begin with, it is free from DFB, toluene, and added formaldehyde to keep your nails super healthy and free from toxins. It is also chip-resistant, long-lasting, and durable so it can tackle everyday life with ease. 

But guess what? It is also at an extremely affordable price that you will love, you’ll get great value out of your manicure with this one. 

This one is definitely a winner.

Pros
  • Healthy for your nails
  • Free from some harmful chemicals
  • Affordable price point
  • Gorgeous black hue
Cons
  • Still has formadyhyde

Latest deal: China Glaze Nail Polish In Liquid Leather

5.

ZOYA Nail Polish In Blake

Now I said that you can get different finishes in black and this pearlescent finish is absolutely beautiful and so flattering with every outfit. 

Zoya is one of the healthiest nail polishes you will find on the market. It is not only the big 10-free but it is loved by pregnant, health-conscious women thanks to its non-toxic and fume-free formula. 

Plus it gets extra points for being vegan! 

Zoya focuses on achieving the best quality products at an affordable price point, so no one needs to spend a fortune to have a breathtaking finish. 

This pearlescent is a definite eye-catcher, I love how pretty it looks on natural nails, it goes well and adds that extra class to every look. You’ll love it! 

Pros
  • Beautiful glittery pearl finish
  • Big 10-free, safe to use through pregnancy
  • Vegan
  • Affordable price point
Cons
  • None

Latest deal: ZOYA Nail Polish In Blake

Best Black Nail Polish Buyer's Guide

Black Nail Polish and Black Lipstick have been a growing trend in recent years, you don’t need to be labeled as a goth anymore to wear black! I personally feel that the right balance has characteristics to be really daring, yet really beautiful. 

With many brands offering black nail polish nowadays it can be quite overwhelming and a challenge, but there’s no need to worry I am here to guide you through.

Let’s break down all the confusing features so when you look through my guide you’ll know everything you need to know to get the most out of your black nail polish. 

It’s all about getting the right balance between color, formula, price but also how you apply your black nail polish– a base coat is a step you cannot miss when it comes to black nail polish (unless you want black stained nails)

But let’s get into it!

What To Look For When Buying Black Nail Polish

Finish:

You may think this step is easy and you can’t go wrong but it’s actually really important. Black especially comes in a wide range of different finishes, so let’s break them down. 

Creme: This is the most common finish you’ll find, they are often glossy and add a little bit of shine to your nails. The best black creme nail polish has to go to OPI, it leaves your nails super glossy, yet the coverage is unmatched. 

Gel: Gel leaves a very similar finish to creme but they are often much more durable and long laster than your regular nail polish. Gel paired with a UV/LED lamp can last up to 3 weeks chip-free. The best black gel nail polish has to be Gelpolish. It is loved by professionals and will last you the time. 

Matte: Black matte is another popular nail polish in recent years, it leaves a flat, nonshiny finish. For a classic look, black matte fits the bill. The best matte nail polish has to go to Orly, the finish on their polish is breath-taking

Holographic: Holographic colors usually give an aluminum finish that reflects against light to give a rainbow effect. It will spice up any black nail polish! Now black holographic nail polish isn’t easy to find but here’s a tip, use a good quality holographic top coat and it will achieve the same effect. I would recommend ILNP Private Rainbow or ILNP Annabelle

Glitter: Now I love glitter nail polish, it tops off any look! With black the possibilities are endless. Got a Halloween party to go to? Try Zoya Nail Polish in Storm. Going out with friends? Try Pixie Dust. Glitter is definitely a girl’s best friend. 

Chrome/ metallic: Now Chrome and metallic are very similar when it comes to their finish. However, chrome is usually much more reflective. I would recommend trying ‘ILNP Eclipse’ if you love a touch of red to your black nail polish. 

Pearlescent: Pearl nail polish is often soft and sheen, like a pearl. I love black pearl shades as they add a shimmer and shine that normal black glossy nail polish doesn’t have. I absolutely Zoya for a pearl finish in their ‘Blake Nail Polish’. 

Ease of Application:

When buying a black nail polish or base coat ease of application and removal is key, we don’t want a black nail polish that’s a challenge to apply or difficult to remove. This should be your top priority.

Quality and price:

The need to get the best for your money’s worth is paramount. Lucky for you I have selected some real gems for both the quality and price.

Quick Dry Formula: 

We all want convenience when it comes to painting our nails, usually we should allow at least 2 minutes in between each layer, but it next to never happens. Why you may ask? Life gets in the way, maybe a friend has called or you’re bored of waiting so you go on your phone. That’s when you realize that the polish hasn’t fully dried– disaster!

How to apply black nail polish:

Now when it comes to black nail polish the base coat is the most crucial step– no one wants stained black fingernails for months, do they? 

Applying black nail polish isn’t rocket science but there are steps you cannot skip or miss out on.

Step one: apply a good base coat (check out my base coat guide to find my best selection). A base coat not only prevents staining but it provides a sticky surface for the nail polish to stick to. This prevents chipping and makes your manicure last longer overall. 

Step two: Push the cuticle back, if you don’t know how to cut them properly I would recommend just pushing them back as it can actually damage your nail bed. This allows for a flat surface for your nail polish to sit on and prevents chipping. 

Step three: Apply your first layer of black nail polish, they usually only need one or two layers as they are very pigmented. I always set a 2-minute timer in between layers to prevent getting impatient and doing that next layer when the one before isn’t quite dry. 

Also, ensure you apply thin coats only, thick clumpy coats take forever to dry and will make your nails more prone to chipping. 

Step four: Seal the deal with a good top coat (check out my topcoat guide for my best selection) Make sure you cover the whole of the nail, including the tip to prevent peeling and chipping. 

Step five: hydrate the cuticle, I would recommend buying a good cuticle oil, they keep your nails hydrated and not only prolong the life of your nails but prevent damage.

Step six: reapply a top coat every few days. By black nail polish being so dark and pigmented, you will easily spot chips as they appear. I would recommend reapplying the topcoat every few days to enhance durability. 

Frequently asked Questions

Where can I find matte black nail polish? Well, there are actually many places you can find black nail polish. I would recommend trying Amazon as they have a wide array of matte black nail polishes to choose from or even a matte topcoat to make your ordinary black nail polish have a matte finish. 

You can also pick up some good quality matte black nail polishes from the drugstore! 

How do I remove black nail polish? If you make sure you use a base coat, it should remove like an ordinary nail polish– you may need to soak in the corners. If you are struggling with stained nails I would recommend soaking them for 10 mins in acetone to remove the excess.

Summary

When it comes to beauty we should stand out from the crowd, fitting in nowadays is so overrated! 

Today I have selected the most daring and beautiful black nail polishes that will not only last a long time but also top off any look, from an elegant night out to running daily errands to the store. 

We all deserve the very best when it comes to our nails, so I have searched down the very best black nail polish, so you don’t have to! I have looked into durability, finish, longevity and even added some options that are safe while you’re pregnant.

Select any of the ones I have given today and you won’t regret it! 

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Jess Rowley

Nail Technician Expert

ABOUT

Jess Rowley, a veteran nail tech, has been studying beauty over the last 11 years and has completed the nail technology program in California. Watching the latest trends in beauty, Jess searches for the highest quality products that make your nails feel loved.