Going through a breakup? Eschewing rom-coms this year to binge-watch the new season of You? Simply looking for a V-Day nail look that actually doesn't require you to sacrifice your all black aesthetic in favor of red and pink (and to that I say same)? Don't go anywhere, because we have just the look for you this season: gothic Valentine nails, the latest seasonal trend to have us immediately swiping right.
As you might expect, gothic Valentine nails are a decidedly moodier take on a lot of the season's signature motifs. You'll find black hearts aplenty, as well as smoky marbling and even drips of blood to add some edge to Valentine's Day classics. (A look that tells all your local vampires that you're ready to live out your own Twilight saga is the ultimate dream.)
Now that you know the sky's the limit when it comes to giving your Valentine's Day nails a darker sensibility, all that's left is to choose the design that sets your cold, dark heart aflame. Ahead, see our favorite gothic Valentine nail ideas, and get ready to fully embrace unconventional romanticism this holiday.
One of the most straightforward ways to take a Valentine's mani into gothic territory is to quite literally paint it black. This design, which alternates solid nails with a heart design, strikes the perfect balance between edgy and soft and would be a chic choice for any time of year.
Sultry Valentine's Marble
If you're intrigued by classic V-Day colors like pink and lilac but feel it might contrast a bit too much with your signature style, make the vibe a bit darker by marbling the shades alongside a smoky gray. Together with black accent nails, the vibe is refreshing but not sickeningly sweet, making it sort of like the negroni sbagliato of festive manicures.
You don't have to be exclusive when it comes to choosing a gothic Valentine nail look to rock this year. You can flirt with all your design crushes—from pulsating hearts to classic checkerboard to a romantic yin/yang—together in a cohesive color palette. This mani isn't afraid to have fun, but the black and white shades ensure it goes with everything and can work all year long.
We totally understand (and relate) if you're hopelessly in love with the idea of being a Cullen. Use that obsession to your advantage by going for a bright red blood drip French mani, which sticks to a traditional Valentine's Day color while embracing a slightly morbid vibe that truly warms our hearts.
You can buy yourself flowers—or you can embrace the bouquet of your heart's desires as part of your manicure. Pair this black floral nail design with a flowy nightgown or nap dress, and you'll feel just like a Victorian ghost haunting their former lover. (Maybe that wasn't everyone's first thought, but as a Scorpio, I had to.)
If your favorite stories involve star-crossed romance or an enemies to lovers arc, embrace that energy with some texture play. With a half-matte, half-glossy finish, this mani subverts expectations and makes the contrast between the black and red that much more stunning.
A Rose By Any Other Name
Featuring a sheer base, black French tips, micro dots, and an intricate pink rose detail, this mani is utterly decadent and makes us think of a gothic romance novel. While you'll probably want to head to a pro to ensure the look turns out exactly how you want, the result will be so worth it when you get to match your LBD, statement tights, and bouquet on Valentine's Day.
Sometimes all you need to make your Valentine's nails feel a little bit darker is a deep oxblood shade of red. As a stereotypical New Yorker whose outfits are usually black and featuring multiple leather pieces, I've fallen hard for this hue over the past couple of years—and you probably will, too. From the slightly abstract designs to the elongated shape, this mani is sure to seduce anyone who's ever advocated for the existence of a black sparkly heart emoji.
Spark a happy medium between love and darkness by opting for a red-to-black gradient mani. No matter how you're feeling on Valentine's day, at least one of your nails will match your mood.
Looking for a mani that can take you from New York Fashion Week to Valentine's Day to your next afternoon at an art museum? These gothic Valentine's nails have all you need and more. Playful and sophisticated with a majorly powerful elongated shape, the design makes the case for falling in love with maximalism.