Black nail varnish has the ability to evoke drama, rock and roll rebellion and has even been considered modern chic. I’ve worn black nail varnish loads of times and have loved the instant transformation of attention-grabbing nails. It makes quite the statement, but sometimes the reasons why we love black nail varnish can also be part of the reason why it poses a dilemma.
Without getting too into science and semantics: Black isn’t really a colour – there aren’t shades of black, there is just black. On it’s own, black can seem one dimensional and be a little too dark for some people or the event you’re going to.
You can soften the hyper intense nature of black by opting for a colour at it’s darkest hue. Here are some alternative colours which carry a softer and more interesting twist on black:
Almost black shades with red undertones can be a great option if trying to make dark colours more wearable. Maroon-type shades are commonly accepted, probably as an extension of the classic red, and won’t tend to raise eyebrows as much as jet black nails. One of my favourites as you can see by the amount I’ve used is Revlon’s Vixen.
When I was deciding which purple hue to choose as my favourite, it dawned on me that my three finalists were all made by Rimmel. Thinking about it, Rimmel does a great selection of purples generally, but for the almost-black shades my favourites are Black Cherries, Night Flight & Trend Spotting (which I will no doubt be swatching soon! It’s like a much darker version of Essie Bahama Mama.)
Dark blues and navies really deserve a lot more credit. As with fashion, navy can be a great way to soften a look. With nail varnish it can even add a touch of vibrancy in contrast to a muted black. My favourite is without a doubt Motcomb Street by Nails Inc. This particular shade is very close to black, but you can go a teeny bit lighter with shades that are more on the Royal Blue spectrum.
You can also experiment with plays on green and brown; but I think Reds, Purples and Blues truly capture the intensity of black without being as harsh.
Will you be wearing any of these alternative colours to black?