The Coolest Black-and-White Nail Designs, According to Instagram

women's hands close-up with black and white manicure, Sunny photo.
Natalia Saudi / Getty Images

Sometimes there's just something to be said for the crisp, deliciously-dapper look of black-and-white. And in our humble opinion, it's especially eye-catching when layered onto nails during the darker months of fall and winter. Oh, and did we mention it's the quintessential combo for Halloween? But TBH, black and white tips are appropriate all year round.

However, finding black-and-white nail looks that are 100 percent chic—not cheesy—can be harder than you'd expect. So we took out the guesswork and rounded up 40 above-and-beyond black-and-white nail looks to inspire your next manicure. Check them out below.

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Negative Space Hearts

Forget what they say, there's nothing wrong with wearing your heart on your tips.

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Lunar Lengths

For those with a weakness for all things astrology, take note. This black-and-white moon phase nail design is everything.

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Curved Stripes

Keep it simple this season with a polished application of black highlighted by a stoic diagonal streak of white. So simple, so chic. 

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Teeny Stars

Sometimes a stunning black-and-white nail look is as simple as gluing a few teeny stars to the base of each nail.

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Black and White Half Moons

Love the negative-space nail art trend? This manicure idea nails the look with black, white, and clear polishes in half-moon shapes.

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Two-Tone Geos

For a cool geometric twist, start with a crisp white base before adding strategic shapes in an inky shade of noir. 

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Celestial Inspiration

Why paint your nails exclusively black or white when you can bedeck the statement nails of your choosing with an application of black and chrome glitter or a celestial-inspired print?

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Statement Nail

An all-white nail look complemented by one statement nail with intricate geometric designs makes for a mani that's one part dramatic, one part understated.

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Zebra Stripe

We love this simple way to jazz up a classic French manicure.

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Tiny White Dots

This is one of the easiest nail designs in the bunch. With a stark-black base accented with a barely-visible dusting of snowflake-like polka dots, it's simply adorable.

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Half Moons

Negative-space nail designs are still en vogue, and this polished black-and-white version currently has our hearts. 

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Black Bandana

Forgo the traditional bandana shades of red, black, and white and opt for a black-and-white paisley nail design instead.

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Thin Lines

Thanks to the clear-coat background and barely-there stripes, this black-and-white nail design is as modest as they come. Plus, it will perfectly transition from the office to cocktail hour in the blink of an eye.

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Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice

Enough said.

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Pretty Kitties

If you're one for a touch of whimsy on your tips, why not accent your nails with cute contrasting cats? The cool black-and-white palette keeps it neutral enough to be office-approved.

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Eyeball Aesthetic

This half-nail look works best on longer lengths, and the half-circle accents complement rounded tips. And, if you're rocking them for Halloween, you can be imaginative and pretend they're half-hidden eyeballs.

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Matching Patterns

We don't know what's cooler, the detail in the birds or the idea of matching your manicure with your shirt.

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Vans Check

Recreate this checkered mani with easy-to-apply nail stickers like the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Check, Please! Nail Polish Strips ($8). And, for an extra fun take, rock them with everyone's favorite black check Vans for a matchy vibe.

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Striped Tips

If you work in a corporate environment, we recommend having fun with this minimalistic nail art topped off with your favorite matte topcoat.

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Polka Dots

How could you go wrong with a classic polka dot pattern? White-on-black, black-on-white, or both mixed will never be wrong.

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Tuxedo Tips

We love that this look is both playful and dressy so you can sport it on any occasion.

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Triangle Accents

Wear this nail look on days when the art is more important than the polish itself. This scattering of geometric shapes and lines is modern, fun, and super low-maintenance.

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Gingham Nails

This timeless print creeps back into nearly every season, and our obsession grows each time. Plus, we love how clean the black and white version looks in this manicure.

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Feather Fingers

There's something about this look that gives off poetic Renaissance vibes and we love it.

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Black and White Talons

Can't decide on a look? Why not go halfsies and paint black tips on one hand and white tips on the other?

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Dalmation Dots

Polka dots and negative space are the perfect pair—especially if you're dressing up as Cruella de Vil for Halloween.

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Monochrome Leopard

Leopard print is perfect for a high-contrast combo like black and white. We dig both colors as backgrounds equally.

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Adidas Lover

A '90s Adidas throwback? Yes, please.

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Single Stripes

Need a nail look in less than five minutes? Swipe these simple black and white stripes across your nail bed. To keep lines straight, use the Winstonia Pro Nail Art Long Striping Brush ($6).

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Lightning Strikes

Can't paint a straight line to save your life? Good news for you: lightning nails look better the more squiggly they are.

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Abstract Dots

Even if we have no idea what to name this design, it's still super dope.

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Woman Power

Because every day is International Women's Day in our books.

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Double French Tips

Update an old-school French manicure with double-hued tips.

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Mixed Materials

We're not sure what to love more: the 3D pearls or graphic design?

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Plant Lady-Approved

Who needs real plants if you can paint them on your tips? This is the perfect mani for your inner plant lady.

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Simply Magnetic

This abstract black-and-white nail design brings images of magnets to mind—which is totally appropriate given how alluring it is.

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These 3D stripes create an ombré effect of size, not shade, and with negative space bases, they won't look unkempt as they grow out.

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Cuticle Cuties

There are days when barely-there nail art is a must. To pull off this base-level design, make sure your cuticles are well-groomed and hydrated. One of our favorites to reach for is the Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil ($20).

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Solid Color

For a more basic but still totally trendy nail look, swipe on both black and white polish in whatever pattern you please.

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Simple Scribbles

Back to our storybook idea: this comic-like print is super unique and allows you to showcase your personality.

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