9 Creative Ways to Elevate a simple B&W Manicure
Hero are press-ons from ILLUMINATEbyLiana on Etsy
Black and white (let’s just say B&W) nail designs are classic and timeless. They can come of minimalist, avant-garde or punk - it all depends on the nail art you go for.
By simply switching up the type of nail art design, you can easily take a simple B&W manicure to the next level.
Whether you’re looking to stay simple or add a little extra drama, we have nine creative ways to elevate a basic black and white manicure.
Take Your Manicure From Plain B&W to Aesthetic
The first way to make B&W nails more interesting is to opt for a combination of textures. Try combining matte and glossy finishes, or enhancing your accent nail with a little sparkle. This instantly adds dimension and style to your look.
Matte press-ons from Etsy: BadTasteNails
Matte and glossy press-ons from Etsy: LunaStarDesignsCo
Next are the abstract designs. The black and white combo was made for abstract art! So go ahead and add more detail to your mani with the help of some nail art tools. Realistically, just get press-ons. But if you feel like DIY, a toothpick or a thin nail brush can help to draw on geometric designs or chevron patterns. A classic combination like black and white stripes or waves never goes wrong, and you can even switch up the pattern on each finger, for a unique and eye-catching design.
Minimalist line press-ons from Etsy: NailKis
Intricate press-ons from Etsy: PrestigeNailsUK
Swirl press-ons from Etsy: BadTasteNails
Another fun idea is to use fabric patterns. For this one, definitely get press-on nails, don’t DIY this - your time is better spent elsewhere I’m sure. Either way, celebrities such as Kaley Cuoco and Gigi Hadid have famously rocked houndstooth nail art, complete with black lines and white circles. Flowers, dots, fruit and other printed designs have also become a current favorite, with shades of white and gray to leave room for other colors like blush and tan.
Cherry print press-ons from Etsy: CyndisSmallBoutique
Next, let’s look at the grunge vibe which will have you wear much less regular patterns. As a variation on the art theme, top your B&W design off with some well placed rock stars for a “grunge-y” vibe like Zoe Saldana wore back in 2018.
Grunge aesthetic press-ons from Etsy: BadTasteNails
Spray heart press-ons from Etsy: BelleRoseNails
There is also a super easy way to make it more into glam. If you’re a fan of jewelry, try embedding some rhinestones or sequins into your nails to create a glamorous look.
Embellished press-ons from Etsy: YesQueenNails
Glam nail press-ons from Etsy: BelleRoseNails
Gold foil press-ons from Etsy: HandArtMaster
A few of the more subtle ways to upgrade your mani are to add a French mani-style tip to your design, or paint a few tiny rhombus shapes on one nail for a “floral” effect. Or, try simply painting a solid color on your accent nail, or adding an ombre style from black to white, gracefully transitioning from one shade to the other.
Press-ons with French tip and abstract swirls from Etsy: BadTasteNails
Negative space and B&W nails via Etsy: BelleRoseNails
The classic B&W French mani from Etsy: NailPaulish
Do you like your nails even bolder?
Black and white are classic shades for nail polishes and from the indie aesthetic point of view, a great way to start. However, if you want to stay on trend with your favorite aesthetic mood, you can combine a few design elements to take your manicure up a notch.
To get started, try some of the following design elements which are becoming popular:
First, add a hint of glitter to your manicure. Subtle streaks of silver, gold or holographic glitter can add a flicker of light and create interest to a basic black and white look. You can use a toothpick to create abstract zigzags and lines by dipping it into glitter, or you can opt for a framing effect when adding glitter to the edges of your nails.
Next, experiment with metallics. Nothing says bold and creative like metallics. You can add an abstract gold swirl design, use the stripes technique, or try the bubble design to add texture and depth to the manicure.
Third, create a pop of color for your manicure by using some bright and loud accent shades. Soft pink and pastel colors work well as contrast tones, while louder shades like electric blue or magenta can add an edge. The contrast between the bright colors and the monochromatic black and white will help make your manicure stand out.
Finally, try some of the more intricate nail designs like marbling, mod mime or reverse French tip. All these designs can be paired with a black and white manicure to create a sophisticated yet modern nail look. With these creative ways to elevate your basic B&W manicure, you can show off your aesthetic in more ways than one!
No matter how you choose to style your nails, it’s always important to finish off your mani with a good quality top coat to ensure a lasting result. With these nine creative ideas, you’re sure to never go wrong with a B&W manicure.