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What Is The Best Black Nail Polish: Flat or Gloss, Top 5 Brand Reviews

Updated on August 11, 2014

Gloss or Flat, The Best Black Nail Polish

Lately, there’s one color you can find in everyone’s nail polish arsenal - and that’s black. Black nail polish, formerly considered fairly edgy, is making a comeback with celebrities, stylists, and girls next door - cherished for its versatility. Yes, it can still look edgy; but it can also look super chic when combined with the right outfit. In this article, I’ll review some of the best brands of black polish - and go over the pros and cons of flat versus gloss finish.


Black nail polish: does it have a deeper meaning?

Many people wonder about this, and the simple answer is no. Fifteen or twenty years ago, black nail polish was likely to be found on a member of the goth community or a heavy metal band. But all that has changed, and now the only meaning black nail polish has is stylish. It is just like wearing any other color and you should not be concerned about any message you broadcast when wearing it - other than the message that you like to be stylish!

Overall, gloss or flat, black nail polish is great because it makes a statement, but a subtle one - almost acting as a neutral. Classic glossy black is elegant, while matte black is a bit more trendy and edgy. In either case, experiment with layering glitter or other colors overtop.

Best Basic Black Nail Polish: Essie Black Licorice

For many people, the go-to basic black is Essie’s Black Licorice. Essie is a well-respected brand and this color is known for being the perfect amount of glossy.

Easy to apply and not expensive, you can’t go wrong with trying Black Licorice. Incidentally, this polish is free of the worst toxins.

Best 3-Free Nail Polish In Black: Zoya Raven

There really isn’t anything bad to say about this black polish. Like all Zoya nail polishes, it’s free of the top three nasty chemicals; and like all Zoya polishes, it’s easy to apply and highly resistant to chipping.

Raven is a deep, saturated black with a glossy finish and a hint of silver. Plus, this brand is committed to sound environmental and health practice - so you know you’re getting a safe product.

Best Flat Black Nail Polish: ‘Matte Is Murder’ by Manglaze

If you want a true flat black nail polish, look no further than Manglaze - don’t be fooled by the name, this color is wearable for either sex!

This is a truly matte black nail polish and has no gloss or shine whatsoever, and wears very well. Plus, it comes in an interesting bottle and is definitely not your average polish!

Tip - don’t put a top coat over this one, as that would ruin the matte finish. This polish is also designed to work without a base coat. Low maintenance, high style. Perfect.

Manglaze Matte IS Murder

Best Polish For Luxury: Nails Inc - London Black Taxi

Nails Inc London Black Taxi has a devoted fan base - it is reputed to be a one-coat polish, meaning it’s often wearable with only one application. Besides that perk, this nail polish gets points for being the perfect black - and smooth and luxurious to boot.

It’s a little pricier than the average polish, but you get what you pay for - in this case, quality.

Best Holographic Black Nail Polish: Something A Little Different - Stark Raven Holographic

If you’re craving a change to your usual nail routine, try out this gorgeous polish by KBShimmer.

Apply the recommended three coats and watch as the polish changes color depending on your movement - you’ll see a beautiful shimmery effect of greens, blues, and violets showing up within your black nail polish.

This stuff is 3-Free, and gets great reviews!


Flat, Gloss, Or Holographic - The Best Black Nail Polish At Your Finger Tips

As you can see, there are plenty of options for great black nail polish - the biggest option you’ll find is choosing which one to try. If you’re stuck, I’d recommend starting with Black Licorice or Black Taxi - and see where they take you from there.

How about you - do you wear black nail polish? Are you a fan of it plain or do you prefer to use it layered under other colors? Please share in the comments!

Black Nail Poll

What look do you prefer with black nail polish?

See results


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    • LindaSarhan profile image

      L Sarhan 3 years ago

      Twenty if you count ;)

    • manicuregirl profile image

      Sarah 3 years ago from Canada

      Hi Linda, yep... lots of options to play with! So many options, so little time, and only ten fingernails to experiment on! :)

    • LindaSarhan profile image

      L Sarhan 3 years ago

      I love mixing the matte with the glossy top coat like in the video. If I use the matte nail polish, regardless of the color, I love using a glossy top coat to make designs. It is a cool effect. Great Hub as always! :D