21 Black Ombre Nail Ideas That Feel Glamorous Goth

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Black nail polish is a must-have for trendy nails, but there are plenty of ways to tone down the super saturated color a bit – and one of the ways to do that is with an ombre design. “If you want a look that’s more creative and less harsh than solid black, go for black ombre nails,” says the celebrity nail artist. Elle Gerstein.

Unlike every other color, black doesn’t have tons of different shades, Gerstein points out. This means, however, that your black ombre manicure will likely incorporate grays or many other colors and textures into the mix. Translation? You have plenty of room for creativity.

While it’s true that the bold, mixed look is a great choice for Halloween nails, you don’t have to wait until October every year to make the design pop. Gerstein says nail art is always about your personal style rather than a special occasion. And seeing as there are so many different ways to wear black ombre nail art, it always works as a modern mani idea. “You can do [ombré] vertically, horizontally, the Skittle nail, a jelly look or a simple mood polish that does it for you,” says Gerstein. Want examples of all the looks she mentions? Keep scrolling for 21 ways to tailor the glamorous goth manicure look to your style preference.

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black and clear

Adding white to black will give you grays, and if that’s not the look you’re going for, try mixing it into a clear topcoat instead. This will give you that faded finish without totally changing the color.

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magnetic polish

Another way to achieve the cool color changing effect is with magnetic polish or cat eye gel polish which creates depth in the nail to give it an ombre look like the black and purple mani here. It takes a bit of practice or a trip to the salon, but it’s worth it IMO.

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Velvet Nails

Here’s a slightly more subtle version of nail polish that changes color, but you still get the overall ombre effect and velvety nail look. From certain angles, the color appears black, but when you move your hand, the color changes to blue or purple.

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Color changing varnish

Gerstein says the easiest way to tinker with the look is to go with a color-changing two-tone polish (like Dare to Wear Metallux Hypnotic by LeChat) which itself creates a shadow effect. “The way it paints on gives you a flawless application because of how the particles are suspended in the formula,” says Gerstein. “It goes on like hairspray versus chunky glitter, so it dries really well.”

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Rainbow Ombré

Using black nail polish doesn’t mean your manicure has to be moody: this multicolored design is proof that black ombre nails can be fun and sparkly, too.

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Shaded Midnight

This dreamy ombré goes from purple to blue to black – that is, all the shades of twilight. Add a twinkle star or two to really set the scene (and also hide any imperfections in your blend).

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keel nails

Instead of blending colors on each nail, create an ombre effect all over the nails for a unique take on the trend that Gerstein calls “Skittle nails.” Start with your darkest bnlack on one finger and use a shade of gray that continuously lightens from finger to finger to create a gorgeous gradient.

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Glitter Gradient

Looking for a beginner-friendly technique to try? The sequins are very forgiving and always look great. Find a clear glitter polish and gradually build up layers over a black nail base as you get closer to your cuticle for an easy blend.

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Black & Burgundy

The closer your second shade is to black, the more subtle the transition will be. At first glance, these look like simple solid black nails, but on closer inspection, you can see the slight transition to burgundy red nail polish, making it a sultry color duo.

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Shaded Chrome

Add metallic accents to the chrome ombre nails to add another cool element to the design. Gold streaks like these are not necessary but serve as an eye-catching pop.

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Black and Silver Ombré

Make your nails look like the night sky with a black to beige ombré base and a layer of silver glitter mixed on top – even better if you also give the glitter a gradient effect.

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Snake skin

This stiletto nail shape with a gold, black and white ombre base and a snake print design on top is a well done animal print. With a longer nail that has plenty of room for blending, you can really let the ombre shine.

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checkerboard

Combine two nail art trends into one by sporting black ombré on some nails and a black and neutral checkerboard print on others for a powerful shock moment.

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black with stars

Instead of using a glitter top coat, grab a black glitter nail polish that has it all blended in for a more cohesive blend. Play up the feel of the starry sky with a few white twinkling stars on top.

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Red Black

Bright red to black ombré is a classic holiday nail choice because it suits so many different occasions, like Halloween and Valentine’s Day. But if you fancy a vampy design, this works as a vibrant mani look any day of the year.

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Black & Pink

Pair black nail polish with a light pink for a color combo that offers just the right amount of edge and softness.

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Black & Purple

As this IG user writes, black and purple ombre nails serve up Disney villain vibes. Rock the mani design on pointed tips to take this effect to the next level.

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chrome sky

Another way to channel the night sky is to combine black, gold and super light silver – all in shiny chrome – for your ombré. Top it off with glitter and stars for the ultimate celestial effect.

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Metallic accents

When you add gold foil to a base of shimmering black and sheer ombré nails, you end up with a brilliantly shiny manicure.

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Smoky

This intricate design uses the ombre effect to create a smoky effect, complete with swirling puffs that fade away – it’s so realistic it looks like the nails have actually caught some smoke.

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Leopard print

Paint leopard print spots on a black and white ombré for a snow leopard inspired design. Sprinkle the inside of your animal print with shimmering sequins for added texture and shine.

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