How to Get Black Nails Like Jessica

10/26/2006 at 06:00 AM ET

Chanel’s most in-demand Black Satin nail polish, priced originally at $18, is selling for more than $50 on Ebay, making it an official beauty craze! Not since the brand’s dark Vamp nail polish hit in the mid-90’s have so many women ditched their light pink polish and gone for the dark side. Not just for teens, black polish looks chic and sophisticated on all ages. But darker polish does require a little bit more finesse. We’ve got a few pointers to help you wear it well — and how to get the look for less. Click through to the next page to see our tips.Melissa Liebling-Goldberg

To see stars with dark nails and more hot looks for fall, click here for our Would You Wear These Beauty Trends gallery. For more beauty stories on Off The Rack, click here!

Photo Credit:

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty

1. Black polish looks best on short, square nails. Go too long or too pointy, and you look more like Elvira than fashionista.

2. Chips in dark polish are much more apparent. A protective top coat, like Barielle Manicure Extender, will help keeping your digits look perfect.

3. To get the color consistent across your nail, try 2-3 coats over a good basecoat, like Seche Base, $7. One coat will end up looking too streaky.

4. If you don’t feel like breaking the bank for the Chanel Black polish, try getting the look for less with Urban Decay Perversion Polish, $5 or Essie Licorice, $7.

5. If black is a little too dramatic for you, try a dark red like Nars Chinatown, $15, or a deep plum, like Essie Charleston, $7.

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Showing 113 comments

Nicky on

Love Love Love it!

Brittany on

I have always loved Jessica Simpson’s style so as soon as I saw her sporting the black nails quite a few months back i went out and bought some…i wear it on my toes and love it! back in the 90’s i thought it looked horrible and goth but now it looks really classy especially if you have the right outfit!

Karen on

Love the very dark nail polish – looks great – its a nice change from the light pink. I loved it in the mid 90s too! I am using Essie Sole Mate and its very close to black!

Mags on

FYI – OPI’s Black Onyx is just as pretty and going for a respectable price on eBay. (I got a bottle for $7.50 total with shipping)

And really – how many articles do we need on celebs wearing black nail polish?

beth on

I like it. However, if someone really pale wears it, it may look like you are trying to be gothic. And maybe you are; but if you have a decent tan, and a nice outfit, black nail polish can look elegant. I’ve been using Zoya Nail polish, and it’s a very dark purple – I love it! I find it matches just about everything I wear!

racheal on

Victoria Beckham has been wearing black nail polish long before Jessica-but it does look great on all!

laura on

yeah, it’s cute.

Laurie on

OPI’s “Black Tie Optional” is a great dark color as well. It looks black but it’s actually a deep deep purple. I actually have it on my short round nails right now. HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!!

Wendy O on

Short black nails are cute as long as you keep them up…there is nothing trashier looking than chipped away nail polish and the darker the color, the more it will show!

celebfan on

anything that stars like jessica simpson, paris hilton or lindsay lohan sport should not be deemed trendy. they all have hopeless and ridiculous fashion sense. For trends, we should look to timeless and classic icons such as jennifer aniston, courteney cox, gwyneth paltrow etc. For a wilder look, gwen stefani is great. Amongst young hollywood, rachel bilson is way better than most. Why on earth do we think people like lindsay lohan and jessica simpson are trendsetters when one wears unflattering oversized t-shirts and something that remotely resembles a glove on one hand and the others, who continues to think that mini skin hugging dresses are flattering, even after being criticized by the tabloids innumerable number of times???

Elaine O'Brien on

It’s black nail varnish, get over it!!!

candy on

I just love Jessica. I always have. I’m an individual, like most, however, Jessica does have a good fashion head on her shoulders as far as brands and labels go. She’s Just going through a rough spot, like we all do! ps-I own a boutique and its a mandatory rule that all employees wear black nail polish! (j/k) it’s not mandatory, however, we all do, wear the black polish!!! : )

Susan on

I really like dark nail polish for the fall. You do have to keep your nails short for it to look the best. I recently put OPI’s Lincoln Park after Dark on my toes and it looks wonderful. This trend is one I will keep for the rest of the season.

Angie Turner on

I have always liked the black nails look. I am glad that someone is finally trying it out.

katgrrrl on

Elaine O’Brien, LMAO! I’ve been wearin’ black nail polish since I was 10 back in 1980 (whew! times flies)! I loved it then and I love it now. Although then and throughout my high school/punk rock years, I couldn’t wait for it to start chipping. Now, when I wear it, no more chips (although I’m still into my punk rock stuff). My black nails have to be perfect. Polished, if you will.

KS on

I LOVE the look! I use Chanel’s Black Satin for the pure black but if you want something with a touch of sparkle and color Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Revamp is incredible!

Jill Lattanzi on

I love it!!! Maintain the classy look with a daily coat of clear. It will stop it from chipping and look fresh!

Sam on

I thought this article was a hoot. I am currently wearing black nail enamel after having gone to a Halloween costume party as Death Warmed Over last weekend. I had no idea my $2 Wet n Wild costume nail color would show up in Off the Rack this week! Who needs $50 nail color? Hit the Halloween super store!

christine quimbo on

I love the look of black nail polish… even before Jessica Simpson wore it. If you don’t want to go too shiny black, OPI’s Black Satin is a beautiful black with a touch of shimmery silver gray.

Mari on

I wear black all the time, don’t give a $#@! about the “trend” of nail polish.

your mom on

news flash celebfan….>Rachel Bilson is sporting the black polish too….

bethany on

the black nail polish looks either gothic OR trashy…

Mary on

Get over it already…rockers have been sporting dark nail polish for ages. Why is it suddenly new and trendy now that Jessica Simpson and others wearing it? Go out and pick a style that’s yours! Trends are overrated.

jenny on

What is she trying to Pull? Shes all makeup and plastic.

yourdadcameoverlastnight on

jennys jealous…
its ok to be..

Dallas on

I bought the OPI color Lincoln Park After Dark last fall when the dark colors were coming back in style and I have loved it ever since. It is a great color and I get tons of compliments on it. It is a great brand and is only $7.50.

Crystal Falobas on

well…see…im 15…almost 16….i am gothic..and now to see preppy people wearing black nail polish…its ok and im fine wit it bein a free country and all but see…you gotta give us goths credit…we finally got SOMETHING right…so stop criticizing us.

Tresca on

Jessica knows fashion like she knows how to work on a relationship!

andi on

im commenting on the statement Mary made, it’s trendy now because it’s sort of unusual to see a pink loving, girly girl wear black nails. it kind of expected to see rockers wearing it!!!!!!!!!! DUH

Jessica on

It looks sort of trashy and low rent

jo on

I have always worn black nail polish, and now that the trend is in, I will start doing my nail in some other color. I have always marched to the beat of my own drum, so now I guess I will paint my nails with polka-dots.

Rajaa on

I love it, the black satin from Chanel is the best balck polish, it’s so shiny and won’t chip. It’s a great look for this winter, everybody is wearing it here in France…

Joann on

I love it. Anything Jessica Simpson wears is awesome.

Mary on

Andi, there’s something admirable about a girl who goes and does her own thing. Be an individual…don’t go out and buy black nail polish because Jessica Simpson is wearing it. Girly girls don’t need to mimic every move a celebrity makes. If you like it, you like it. Period.



Alexandra on

Another nice dark color is Revlon shade #570 (Vixen) it’s a good, dark, reddish purple., it’s 4th from the left in the second row from the bottom; it’s a lot less purple in real life.

Angel1982 on

Did you know that a coat of silver or gold sparkled clear polish on top of the black looks really good? Looks like a starry night

lauren on

jess is amazing..she always looks great…just add this to the list!

Amber on

I don’t really like the black nails trend, it seems kind of goth like.

rt on

Also OPI Black Onyx is good, it is discontinued but I get it on Ebay at this store

Meredith on

omg girl….its tight~!

Andrea on

Okay so the black nail polish is O.K. I agree with a previous poster.. I think you need to have a nice tan or otherwise if you’re pale you might look gothic. Also, I have always heard that if you wear extremely dark polish that when you take it off your nails will have turned yellow. Is this true? I heard it even happens if you put a clear coat of polish underneath.

Shasha on

Do you really think Jessica does her own nails. She is so fake her dad is her maneger/commender from heck and jessica wears it and it becomes a trend? Puh-lease a lot of other celebs have been doin it for a while aka Keira Knightly, Nicole Richie,and alot of other people.I’ve been doing this forever as well so just because a fake-o like Jessica Simpson we should too? You should do it ’cause you want too,not cause it’s a trend

Melissa on

I don’t care who wears black nail polish…who ever does has problems. Unless your trying to be creepy don’t wear it.

cassie deangelis on

the black nail polish looks awesome!!!

Stacy on

who cares? tons of people wear balck nails and she is defintly not the frist

Olivia on

FYI sweet lily: I just got my Chanel black satin yesterday & I am loving it. Nordstrom got another shipment & I was on the waiting list, so I guess it does pay off to wait for great things!

Malorie on

I love Jessica and this trend looks very classy on her. I plan on trying it but i don’t think it will look as good on me.

Erica on

I’ve had black nail polish in my beauty bag for years. I am not goth either. My mom used to wear it in the 70’s, so did my grandmother! It’s not as extreme as people think. But when I used to wear it in HS people were so “shocked” Ha! It’s just a color! I stopped wearing it for a while since my 90’s teen years, but now that it’s in style I just did them a week ago. Didn’t have to buy it, just went took it out of my makeup bag. And it’s not chanel, it’s the cheapo brucci that I’ve literally had for years just sitting there and works just fine (not messed up after so long!).
Save your money and buy a cute outfit, or buy chanel lipsticks instead (they’re worth the 29 bucks) Nail polish isn’t!!
Do a base coat, three thin coats and a top coat. The key to keeping them neat is when they chip just paint that chip, not the whole nail. It’s so dark it will blend right in. And have fun girls, remember this is all for fun anyway.

Jennifer on

Wow Melissa. Way to judge a book by it’s cover! I had pink hair in college and my friend was a punk guy with multiple piercings who wore chains. He also did not do drugs, had a straight A average and was the most gentle person in the world. To say people who wear black nail polish have “problems” is laughable! I am a pretty tame surburban chick now, but I would never judge someone just cause they like to experiment with their look. Talk about discrimination!

Sarah on

I have never liked the black nail polish look, for some reason it looks cheap to me.

jennifer on

its like so hot!!??!?!?!? lov it hate it gotta have it!!

Steph on

I heart the look…although the Ashlee Simpson poppy punk thing is so PLAYED OUT. I just wanted to say that Dr. Drew from Lovelines says that every Heroin addict he ever treated had black or purple nail polish……

Sarah B. on

Um, Excuse me??? Black nails have been going on for years!!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Lots of people started doing this before sweet little Jessica did it, but does anyone care about them? No. So, let me get this strait…because Jessica started wearing black nails, it is now a “trend”?!? I really don’t understand that. People, listen…the “fashion” world does not revolve around HER. I wonder how many people actually follow her and do what she does. I cringe at the thought!!!

Christine on

I didn’t think it would look good, but guess what??

IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

candace on

I don’t see why we all have to go with a bunch of different trends. If you like something then try it, but if your just doing it because everyone else is what does that say about yourself?

Samantha on

I think it’s classy, as long as you follow the ‘rules’ – no chipping, short and rounded nails, etc. Deep dark reds (like a raisin color) are goregous too. However, I think such dark colors should be reserved for fall and winter; in the spring and summer they look gothic!

noa on

i’m from israel and here it started to be trendy too’ so like the red nail polish’ but on jessica it looks classy’ i neer thought that black nails canlook that good!!!

Melanie on

personally, i love black nails. Their sophisticated, but cool.
I really think Jessica Simpson is trying hard to change and we should give her another chance.

soleil on

i luv the black its sexay ha

rocky on

Ipersonally think its beuatiful. i think itlooks great on jessica simpso n and it def. looks sexay on me

EChizzle on

Heartbreaker from the Lippman collection is Great. That nail polish was designed by Pat Benetar. Bath & Body sells the Lippman line.
I agree w/Angel1982 – Revlon’s Vixen is a winter color must have.

Carol Z on

It just isn’t Jessica. It takes from her true self and she needs to go back to the soft sensual colors that compliment her skin tones and hair. It looks like her sister Ashley is taking her old look and making it new.


Don’t let any man bring you down! They are not worth it, and there are too many fish in the sea!

Kelly on

I’ve been wearing this look a long time ago, finally people realized how cool it looks!!!!

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

lauren on

i love those nails i just had a baby girl9OCTOBER 19TH) and her name is apple rae jones i am 21 and have a 6 yr old girl megan! i am trying those my kids are like mommy u a witch!


ive been wearing black nailpolish since i was like 10. i love it sooooooo much. it never seemed gothic or anything on me, but on pale people, they have to watch out. maintaining it is soooo simple! i bought my black from a halloween store!! anything goes, right?!

beauty on

i think they’re cute, but not for every day polish

A.S. on

Love the black nails for Fall. Mine are painted black right now. Another great black polish is Sally Hansen *Hard as Nails* “Black Out” which sells at drug stores for about $6-$7.

Suzi Q on


Chelsea Levirs on

I hate how just becuase people that are famous wear things and then jsut becuase there famous people want to start wearing the same things… But I still like the black nail polish!

betty sue on

OMG how amzin is jessica she is just so awesome!!:) u go girl

Sam on

I think it looks really cool

PurdyGurl on

Revlon’s “Vixen” is my all-time favorite dark polish – very french.

jessica on

ive been paniting my nails black for a while so its nothing new to me


I DIG IT!!!!!

jessica on

I found an affordable black satin nail polish by Rimmel in drugstores

reba on

Nail polish for $50 bucks give me a break…try wet-n-wild 99 cents.

Belinda on

Totally luvin it!


she needs to re-color it !! ı hope :)

Refried on

I find it quite interesting that people try so hard to defend their choice in style, and yet put down that of others. Stop pretending you do it only for yourself and that you don’t care. The truth is that you (those who negatively stereotype “trendy folk”) DO care. You care NOT to be trendy because you are superior to those who conform to trend, yet you conform to the un-trend. You care so much you will go to great lengths NOT to do anything the general public might find attractive for fear of being “normal” (what a sin that is). I mean think about it – you (as are the rest of us) are on of all places looking up trends from one of today’s most currently trendy names – Jessica Simpson! Stop trying to be offended. If you just don’t like the current trendy look and are experimenting with your own style, good for you. But don’t put down others who like to go with the current trend.
Oh, and black nails? Not the biggest fan – not sure if it would look good on me, but am always surprised when celebrities can pull things off the way I’ve seen them pull off black nails. Kind of like “Jem and Holograms” – they made long blue hair look completely normal and beautiful.

ilovejohnmayer on

it looks horrible as soon as it starts to chip, though .

kelsey on

love it love it so much

Jennifer Gonzalez on

Im really digging the black nail polish. Its a huge contrast from your typical classic french manicure.Ive been wearing the color for quite some time. Just dont forget to wear nails short and square for an elegant look.Chipping make nails look dirty and skanky.By the way, Macys will be restocking Chanels Black Satin as early as next week so call immediately for your bottle for I have already reserved mine.For ladies that dont like black polish, a Macys personal shopper has informed me that Chanels Vamp Rouge Noir wich is a blackened red will be available soon also.Rouge noir came out in 1994 and was one of the most best selling polishes around.

Princ3zzC on

um i dont think its herrr style maybe pink n black

Sandy on

I love her….She looks good in anything!

Courtney on

Not Jessica’s style, she is too goody goody girly.

But I love the trend.

Taylor on

I think jessica looks good with black nails! Pink works too!

christine on

i love it i wear it all the time. it is fun and tendy.

Shakira on

Black is not a pretty color but it’s fun because it’s new to most people.

Peter C on

Sorry girls, you’re way behind the curve. Black nails have been fascinating me for over a decade. Dark and daring is what the world needs.

Lisa on

Wow, so people just discovered black nail polish… I wonder what color is it that I’ve been wearing for the last 30 years…

casey on

i love the black nails look, i have been painting my nails black since freshman year, trying to make it a fashion statement — i’m the farthest thing from “goth” or “punk” but i think the black gives an edgy touch to the clothes that i wear — now all my friends are wearing it — which can get annoying at times — but i’m glad the celebs are making it a norm so people don’t think i look goth!

Megan on

Try OPI’s black satin with white polka dots. Its adorable. I think some of the comments people have made on here are rude. Jessica is a positive female role model to some. She has gone through different stages through her life. However, we change to. You also have to think that we don’t have paparazzi in our faces 24/7. Celebrities hae to act a certain way and play a certain part. We can actaully go out with a person asking for an autograph.

T on

I dont get it…no one makes a big deal out of PINK nail polish why all the hype about BLACK nail polish?? And all of you posters that think its goth…hello since when was black just a goth color?? Does wearing purple make you Barney? Its just another color!

Macko54 on

I can’t get ovet all this chat about black nail polish!!
what’s the big deal. Black nail polish was in fashion before Jessica freakin Simpson started wearing it. I have been wearing for years ever since Uma Thurman wore ‘Rouge Noir’ nail polish in pulp fiction!!! That was way back in the early 90’s and as many of the others on here have stated punks and goths have been wearing it since time and memorium!!

It’s only nail polish guys lets keep it in perspective!

Emily on

Black nail polish has been around for quite sometime, and I’ve been wearing it, before it became ‘trendy hip Hollywood.’ Just because Lindsay Lohan or Jessica Simpson has been wearing it as of late, doesn’t mean it’s the NEW thing. I’m not gothic neither, I just like it on my nails. I preferably go for the dark looking colors, and black is one of them.

Courtney on

great, now i cant wear black nail polish anymore. i hate that so many preppy girly girls are wearing it, and now everyone thinks its cool all of a sudden. cheerleaders are wearing it at my school, for crying out loud! im sorry, but can you say POSER??

stina on

omg!!!! like so totally adorable!!!!!

Brooke on

Yeah black has been around forever. I painted my nails black in like 5 grade. Sorry Jess you didnt start this “trend” If I wanted to do it again I would buy the wet n wild $.99 bottle. Its not like its any differnet from the $50.00 and if it is who is really going to be at your nails with a magnifying glass…???

lili on

i luv dark nails

shannon on

The first time i saw Jessica wearing the black nails i decided to try it also.The next day i went it to get my nails done.As she put the polish on i was a little worried it wouldnt look right,but ever since then ive been sporting the black nails. I LOVE IT!!!

Claire Mc Hugh on

black nail varnish is vry cool n i think it luks really well and classy with of course the right outfit!!

Jordon on

hey omg i love black nail polish. i have some o write now. but will you pleasee send me an email at and tell me if it’s ohk to wear it on your toes. because i know it looks good on your nails but what about your toes?!??

with the answer

thanks. byee

peppermint patty on

you can still get the chanel polish in australia.
i saw it on monday.
i wear opi onyx. its hot. but before that i just wore whatever balck polish i could find over the years. its another perfect example of fashion going full circle oh and a whole lot of people wanting to be hardcore hehehe.
don’t let fashion make you – you should make your own fashion xx

Dazys on

how annoying to those of us that have always worn black nail polish, that all of a sudden its become a ‘fad’. Trust a celeb to mess up a cool, underground, sometimes artsy, sometimes goth look and turn it into a short lived trend that every other girl and her mother are wearing. SIGH

Asahina on

I had my nails painted black when i was in highschool… i was part of a progressive youth group and we did it as a ministry tool… odd i know but it worked… kids at school would come up to us to ask us if we were into witch craft… and we would spin it on them that we were into jesus… i loved the look and carried it into college but once i got into the real world… you know the work world… i couldnt wear it anymore… its fine for a weekend hanging out with friends… but do not do not do not bring it into monday morning meeting with the boss… its not professional and its trashy in the business world… get over what ever hot trend is right now… it will come back in three months anyways… as “the new thing that no one has done before”… find your own trend and stick to it…

Bethany on

Looks like Jessica’s sister Ashlee is having an influence on her…..Ashlee was wearing black polish way before it was ‘cool’…Way to set a trend, little sis!

kristin on

I disagree with half the comments regarding “it used to be gothic!” Black does not make one gothic, ESPECIALLY not black nails. If you recall, black has been trendy for quite a while. In the late 90’s people suddenly became afraid of the word “goth” and assoiciated it with everything black and it became taboo, but made a comeback circa 2005.

As for the person who commented on always wearing black nail polish and it being ruined–you don’t own black nail polish. You shouldn’t get offended when other people start to wear it.

On a last note, pale and black nails does not look like you’re trying to be “goth.” The ‘classic’ look (aka pale)is extremely chic. Black nail polish is chic. Chic + chic = ultrachic. Duh. If anything, being extremely tan and wearing black nail polish looks bad.

Brandi on

I love the look of black nail polish. People may think it is “gothic” or “goth” but i think it’s classy paired with the right outfit and looks really good.

fez on

she looks cute

Rita on

I don’t know if it exists in the US but in Portugal we have a great (I mean really great) brazilian polish called Risqué Niasi and it costs around 2,50€, which I think it’s almost the same in dollars. They don’t have a black one but they have one called Café Brasileiro (Brazilian Coffee), which is a brown so dark that it looks like black. I’m fifteen and here we have had lots of emos lately so at first I thought it looked really dramatic and gothic but then I saw it on Scarlett Johansson when she made her appearence on Justin Timberlake’s videoclip “What Goes Around”, and I thought: “Wow! She looks really elegant!”, so I trade my lipstick red and my dark red for it and I love it! I wear it on my medium hand nails and on my toes too and it matches every single outfit I have! You just have to take care because it lasts very little and when it starts to chip you look really trashy.

Rachel on

The black kinda scares me. It too gothic and Im not into that stuff anymore.

Carly on

Love it! I’m totally gonna wear black nails for Back to School! I don’t give a spleef what anyone thinks! I’m unique, and uniqueness ROCKS!

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