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.
Negative Space Hearts
Forget what they say, there's nothing wrong with wearing your heart on your tips.
For those with a weakness for all things astrology, take note. This black-and-white moon phase nail design is everything.
Keep it simple this season with a polished application of black highlighted by a stoic diagonal streak of white. So simple, so chic.
Sometimes a stunning black-and-white nail look is as simple as gluing a few teeny stars to the base of each nail.
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.
For a cool geometric twist, start with a crisp white base before adding strategic shapes in an inky shade of noir.
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?
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.
We love this simple way to jazz up a classic French manicure.
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.
Negative-space nail designs are still en vogue, and this polished black-and-white version currently has our hearts.
Forgo the traditional bandana shades of red, black, and white and opt for a black-and-white paisley nail design instead.
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.
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice
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.
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.
We don't know what's cooler, the detail in the birds or the idea of matching your manicure with your shirt.
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.
If you work in a corporate environment, we recommend having fun with this minimalistic nail art topped off with your favorite matte topcoat.
How could you go wrong with a classic polka dot pattern? White-on-black, black-on-white, or both mixed will never be wrong.
We love that this look is both playful and dressy so you can sport it on any occasion.
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.
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.
There's something about this look that gives off poetic Renaissance vibes and we love it.
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?
Polka dots and negative space are the perfect pair—especially if you're dressing up as Cruella de Vil for Halloween.
Leopard print is perfect for a high-contrast combo like black and white. We dig both colors as backgrounds equally.
A '90s Adidas throwback? Yes, please.
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).
Can't paint a straight line to save your life? Good news for you: lightning nails look better the more squiggly they are.
Even if we have no idea what to name this design, it's still super dope.
Because every day is International Women's Day in our books.
Double French Tips
Update an old-school French manicure with double-hued tips.
We're not sure what to love more: the 3D pearls or graphic design?
Who needs real plants if you can paint them on your tips? This is the perfect mani for your inner plant lady.
This abstract black-and-white nail design brings images of magnets to mind—which is totally appropriate given how alluring it is.
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.
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).
For a more basic but still totally trendy nail look, swipe on both black and white polish in whatever pattern you please.
Back to our storybook idea: this comic-like print is super unique and allows you to showcase your personality.