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23 Black And White Manicure Ideas And Designs To Try Yourself

Black and white manicure ideas
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Instagram/thehangedit, Instagram/amyle.nails
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Black and white is probably the only color combo that's as modern as it is retro. Because of that, black-and-white nails are one of those looks you're going to want to come back to over and over (and over) again, so you're going to need lots of style inspiration. Take this time to go grab a bottle of white nail polish and black nail polish so you can get started ASAP trying one of the below designs. So with that said, keep scrolling for 23 black-and-white nail designs you can wear all year long:

  1. Abstract Nail Designs

    Combining opposite shades, like black and white, can create some really cool, balanced looks, even when the design is asymmetrical. Take the abstract shapes on these ballerina nails, for instance.

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  2. French Tips With Fine Lines

    Does a line this thin still count as a French manicure? YUP. Use a striper brush to get a super-duper thin line like this, but switch your shades halfway through.

  3. Black-and-White Cartoon Nails

    Instead of using a high-shine lacquer, stick with all matte polishes and use your white polish to create faux shine marks for a cartoon-like look.

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  4. Plaid Prints

    Plaid = the best winter nail art inspo. To pull off this print, grab that striper brush we talked about and maybe some nail art tape while you're at it.

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  5. Black-and-White Curved Lines

    What pairs perfectly with a sharp, pointy stiletto nail shape? A soft, curvy design over the top of subtle pink polish. Remember, it's all about ~balance~.

  6. Black-and-White Polka Dots

    If you've advanced past the newbie stage, try this look that uses spots and dots in an interesting way for a modern take on the classic polka dot print. Nail-art hack: Use the tip of a bobby pin to get the perfect dots each time.

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  7. Scalloped Tips

    Enhance the shape of oval nails with a lacy, scalloped design along the free edge. The trick to layering the shades without having to do a million coats is to start with the lighter polish (in this case, the white nail polish), then trace inside the lines with the black.

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  8. Outlined Edges

    Okay, yes, the Frenchie nail decal is super-cute, but don't let that distract you from the super-cool nail art going on in the background. This otherwise plain nude nail look has a fun little peek-a-boo surprise along the sides that makes this design fun and unexpected.

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  9. Black-and-White Accent Nail Designs

    Need I explain why these yin-and-yang symbols work so well with black and white nail polish? Yeah, I didn't think so.

  10. Floral Nail Art

    We all know flowers for spring aren't exactly groundbreaking, but black-and-white flowers?! That ish is. Go with this unexpected color combo for a unique take on this throwback flower motif.

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  11. Star Designs

    Normally stars feel a little seasonal, like designs inspired by Fourth of July fireworks, but this black-and-white version with just a touch of gold nail polish feels like something you could wear year-round.

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  12. Half-Moon French Manicure

    Half French manicure, half half-moon nails, this black-and-white design is all about pairing opposites together and looking damn good while doing it.

  13. Astrology Nails

    Your zodiac sign more than inspires these nails—this nail look straight-up slaps your constellation on an accent nail to let everyone know your sign (if they can't tell already).

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  14. Tortoise Shell

    Replace the typical fall shades of browns and gold with black, white, and shades of gray nail polish for a unique interpretation of a tortoiseshell pattern.

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  15. Stormy Sky Design

    Nature-inspired nails are always a good idea, but if rainbows and blue skies aren't really your vibe, maybe something a little moodier, like thunderstorms are. These little lightning bolts not only look cool, but they also help to elongate an almond nail shape like this one.

  16. Black-and-White Checkered Print

    Not quite white, this cloudy, sheer color gives the checkerboard design on round nails a softer look that doesn't scream (screamo?) Vans Warped Tour '08.

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  17. Black-and-White Freehand Shapes

    You might need a particular type of manicure with nail extensions to get these cool see-through tips, but the organic lines and abstract patterns you can totally do yourself.

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  18. Geometric Mani

    You can apply a few coats of glitter nail polish to give texture to a few of the nails, but for this minimal look, the thinner and simpler, the better.

  19. Zebra Print Nails

    If you don't know how to paint your nails and can't paint a straight line to save your life, you're in luck because zebra stripes are everywhere right now and super-easy to DIY. Squiggly lines FTW.

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  20. Cow Print Nails

    What's another animal print that's been having a major moment? Cow print, but you already knew that. As it turns out, animal print is much simpler than you think to recreate.

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  21. Smoky Marble Manicure

    While your black base coat is still wet, swirl a few drops of white nail polish into the black nail polish to create a smoky or marbled effect like this.

  22. Minimal Mani

    Dice, dominoes—whatever the black-and-white dots and lines on these short nails make you think of, they prove that your design doesn't need a whole lot going on to get your point across and you don't need long nails to do it either.

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  23. Evil Eye Nails

    When you're working on tiny designs with two starkly different colors, allow your nail polishes ample time to dry before layering them so you don't end up with muddy gray blobs.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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