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

black and white yin yang nail design

@yagirlstar / Design by Cristina Cianci

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 honestly, 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 34 above-and-beyond black-and-white nail designs to inspire your next manicure. Check them out below.

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Negative Space Hearts

Black-and-White Nail Designs Negative Space Hearts


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

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Lunar Lengths

Black-and-White Nail Designs Moon Phases


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

Black-and-White Nail Designs 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

Black-and-White Nail Designs Stars


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

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Black and White Half Moons

Black-and-White Nail Designs 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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Celestial Inspiration

Black-and-White Nail Designs Celestial


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

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Statement Nail

Black-and-White Nail Designs Statement Nail


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

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Cow Print

Spring Nail Designs Black-and-White Cow Print


Cow print may be one of the most fun ways to jazz up a black-and-white nail design, and it couldn't be more on trend.

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White Tiger Print

Black-and-White Nail Designs White Tiger Print


Want to try an animal print that's a little different from what's everywhere now? White tiger print is as sophisticated as it is wild, and if you're a fan of zebra print, this is the perfect way to switch it up.

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Pretty Kitties

Black-and-White Nail Designs Cats


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

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Optical Illusion

Black-and-White Nail Designs Negative Space


This half-nail look elongates almond-shaped nails, and the cool part of this negative-space design is that you only need black polish—the tips of your nails will add a natural touch of white.

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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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Negative-Space Check

Black-and-White Nail Designs Negative Space Check


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

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Striped Tips

Black-and-White Nail Designs Striped Tips


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

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Polka Dots

Black-and-White Nail Designs 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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Framing Curves

Black-and-White Nail Designs Framing Curves


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

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Triangle Accents

Black-and-White Nail Designs 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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Mixed Bag

Black-and-White Nail Designs Mixed Patterns


Can't decide on a look? Try mixing a few of your favorite pattens—the black-and-white color scheme means they'll all go together.

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Black-and-White Nail Designs Yin/Yang


A balanced design and negative space are the perfect pair.

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Black-and-White Nail Designs Criss-Cross


A simple crossed design is perfect for a high-contrast combo like black and white. We dig both colors equally.

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Simple Dots

Black-and-White Nail Designs Simple Dots


Sometimes a minimal design makes the maximum impact. We love how the placement of these dots creates sophisticated intrigue.

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Single Stripes

Black-and-White Nail Designs Single Stripes


Need a nail look in less than five minutes? Paint a white base and then swipe on thin black stripes—or feel free to switch it up or alternate if you so desire. To keep lines straight, use the Winstonia Pro Nail Art Long Striping Brush ($6).

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Sparkling Hearts

Black-and-White Nail Designs Sparkling Hearts


If you're looking to spice up a heart pattern for Valentine's Day or any time, adding a few sparkles and alternating with solid black and white is sure to do the trick.

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Abstract Dots

Black-and-White Nail Designs Abstract Dots


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

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Swooping French

Black-and-White Nail Designs Swoop French Manicure


This black-and-white nail design keeps your dark side subtle and chic, with raven tips swooping around the side in the artsiest way.

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Double French Tips

Black-and-White Nail Designs Double French Tips


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

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Mixed Materials

Black-and-White Nail Designs Mixed Materials


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

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Faux Stiletto

Black-and-White Nail Designs Faux Stiletto


Who said you need long nails or acrylics for the stiletto look? This is the perfect mani for creating a fun illusion.

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Minimalist Ghost

Black-and-White Nail Designs Minimalist Ghost


At first glance, this looks like just another abstract black-and-white nail design, but when you look closely, you'll actually find tiny ghosts.

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Thick and Thin

Black-and-White Nail Designs Thick and Thin


These stripes create a complex effect of size, not shade. We love how the different directions and widths mean the design will still look cool even if it doesn't go exactly as planned.

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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 Squiggles

Black-and-White Nail Designs Squiggles


If you're feeling whimsical, this unique print has some major personality. The best part? These are actually a set of press-ons from Chillhouse, so getting the look takes minimal effort.

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