50 Classic Black And White Nail Art Designs


Each and every year the know-it-all fashion gurus define the key trends for the season, turn the color spectrum upside down once again and come up with “enchanted forest”, “fuchsia shock”, “Donegal tweed”, “mountain meadow”, “honeysuckle blast”, “virgin snow”, “quiet veranda”, “deadly nightshade”, “unmellow yellow”, “social butterfly” and whatsoever musts.

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The avant-garde writer, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau defined it perfectly well: “Style is a simple way of saying complicated things”.

Today we are here to remind you of the old-but-solid-gold-combination, the evergreen in the forest of nail art, the manicure’s red carpet hero of all times: the black and white design.

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As the topic suggests, there are two sides to every coin. Take a look at the traditional B&W classy patterns below and try to remember how many of these you have tried out (and when). If you’d be eager for some more options, check out the alternative solution we have provided for each of the 4 classics:

Black Cats, White (De)tails

Creepy or adorable, bringer of perfectly bad or extremely good luck, a black cat always goes with dualities.

The black cat nail art should only be practiced by manicure specialists who are not superstitious. A friend told us the mysterious story of her nail guru who has been doing her nails perfectly for several years.

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“Rebecca was so gifted, her pictures on my nails were masterpieces. She used to draw a different sacred geometry symbol on each one of my nails – Metatron’s Cube, Tree of Life, Dodecahedron…”

Our friend has always been highly impressed by the drawing skills of her manicurist so she thought a “black cat’s head for Halloween” (as she described her request) would be easy to cope with.

Easy to say, hard to do. The manicurist, Rebecca, believed that a black cat must never be depictured in any way. The story behind this belief seemed to be mysterious and dark: every time a relative of the Rebecca had passed away, a black cat always appeared (“as if from the other side”) next to the coffin. This happened on the funerals of her father, both her grandmothers, a cousin and a nephew + on three home-organized funerals of different pets. The black cat (Rebecca couldn’t tell if it was always the same black cat, but she deeply suspected it actually was) happened to be a creepy personification of the Devil, the manicurist claimed, and she never ever wanted to see this animal again, and she definitely would never ever draw it.

However, the three examples of great black-cat-manicures we have picked might give your manicurist some ideas. Remember: no matter if you choose many black cats on white background (as in picture one) or black cat heads on base coat (as in picture three), the details are the “spices” that make the whole black cat composition really unique (for example, can you guess if the moggie on the first picture is trying to catch a bird or a fly?). A nice white tail, moon-star combination and several paws –that could be all you need to turn your manicure routine into an enchanting black cat nail art experience.

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Alternatively: Don’t’ worry if you find the black cat nail art too mainstream, you are not alone here. Instead of dealing with the hair-raising dark animal, why don’t you make it simple and cool, in other words – punk rock style: classical black base coat and “Bad wolf” written in white dick letters on two of your fingers.


Roll the dice to entice

Dice are claimed to be the most ancient among all gaming instruments. The mankind has been rolling the dice since thousand years, so it is your turn to take a chance and add some pips to your nail art.

We were told the story of an enticing young ladycalled Claire who accidentally won a breathtaking amount of money in a casino inLas Vegas on the same day she had dice drawn on her nails. Claire firmly believed that it was the dice that brought her luck, so after this fortuitous evening she stuck to the six-face cubes nail design every time she had an important decision to make. Luckily, her boyfriend was aware of this peculiarity and flexible enough to delay his marriage proposal trice until he saw the dice. He knew Claire would only accept the ring if her nails were properly “diced” and, happily, so she did. Needless to say, it was not very hard for the young lady to choose her wedding nail art.

You may consider that very design does not offer that many variations, but you shall be wrong.Even if you stich to the black-white pattern, there is a whole lot of dice innovation out there (don’t forget to share your pictures with us).

We are presenting you three B&W dice nail arts we found really classy and catchy (and totally easy to implement even by yourself). Try out adding some glitter, silver or gold (as in picture one), mix dots and dice (as in picture two) or choose a symmetric design divided into a black and a white part mirroring each other (as in picture three).

So, dare to roll the dice and make your best out of it.

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Alternatively:Still rolling the dice in hopes of a better result? If you like the idea of black and white dots, you may want to try out these adorable white eyeballs on black background (or vice versa).


… And the bird comes third

A Chinese proverb says:Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.” This is exactly what happened to the young bird lover and ornithologist Andrew. No man knew more about bird anatomy, behavior, nests and eggs, conservation, migration, interaction with other species, ecology and anything else that has to do with the flying creatures. Andrew has dedicated his life to ornithology since he was four and didn’t even know the meaning of that word. 30 years later it turned out there were not many jobs for brilliant (or any) ornithologists, so Andrew had to find another source of income. He took a manicure and pedicure accredited diploma course and started a part-time job in a beauty salon. Soon Andrew became the most popular nail technician in the district, sometimes working over 12 hours per day in order to handle with all client requests. His passion for ornithology, talent for drawing and love for detail made his nail services unique and the majority of female clients confessed they have never known that birds were SO interesting and exciting. Needless to mention, the nail technician was at least that, even if not more, interesting and exciting to several dozens of ladies who were furiously competing for his attention and appreciation.

One day Andrew realized he was madly in love with the tiny, smart lady who he was just discussing with the deforestation as the main reason for the Sumatran ground cuckoo to be endangered. Luckily, his feelings turned out to be mutual. Something more – his beloved one happened to be a rich heiress, so soon after the wedding the couple moved to a lovely castle in the very heart of France where they could take long walks in the adjacent forest, watch and professionally discuss birds as long as they wanted. No one was surprised with the names of their baby twins – Falcon and Francolin.

As imaginary as it may sound, this is actually one of the true stories from around the globe which proves that nothing is impossible when it comes to real life scenarios.

Back to nail art, there is always a chance your manicurist to claim that she is not good at drawingbirds (and it is not an easy job indeed!). Alright, then make her order a bunch of different water slide nail decals and let the perfect bird land on your nails (for instance, a raven, as in picture one, and an owl, as in picture two). Also, do not forget to remind her that, as Audrey Hepburn has once defined it, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible!”. Smart, right?

Here is a Tip of The Day you may want to use: for some weird reason the prevailing B&W bird nail art is usually performed as a combination of white base color and a black bird (or, alternatively, bird + feather, bird + tree or bird + cage). The reverse combination is far not that popular, so if your direction is away from the mainstream, here’s the real deal for you: black base color and a white bird (+ skull, key, bottle, pirate flag, clover, hexagram, etc.). Unfortunately, we do not have a picture to illustrate that… hmmm… let’s call it “unexpected combination” (see how rare it is?!), so if you happen to take a photo of your own nail art, we will be glad to add it.

Alternatively: Leave the bird story to the real bird lovers and stick to the motives that always make it cool: try out sometribal nail art.


Cross and heart –combine it smart

The nail art is an expression of moods, statements and expectations. Sometimes we have too many ideas to depicture. Sometimes we decide that a combination of drawings would be the best way to have it all in one. And sometimes the result is a mixture of symbols and patterns combined into a meaningless puzzle.

If you are eager to break the chains and try out some new images and designs, it is totally fine, go for it. However, keep in mind your nail art is not a tattoo, so you have plenty of time to test different combinations.

The heroine of another true story we were told was known in her neighborhood as the “Shiva wannabe” (after the Hindu god Shiva who is four-armed). This lady, let’s call her Margot, was a horror legend among the manicurists around. She was touring the manicure salons and demanding the impossible. Every time Margot succeeded to make an appointment somewhere, it lasted not less than four hours, but she always paid as for the usual, half-an-hour service. Margot was crazy about “combos”, as she called it, so always she appeared on the salon’s door with the ecstatic scream “Combo timeeeee!”, scaring the guts out of the poor manicurists. The combo maniac insisted on nothing less but pure perfection and stared at each and every miniature symbol for minutes before letting the manicurists go on with the next or required re-drawing of some details several times until she got satisfied with the result. One of the “victims” was swearing that Margot ordered 24 symbols to be drawn on her pinky nail alone, hence the nickname “Shiva wannabe”. “Margot was acting as if she was having at least two arms more based on her impossible requests”, the manicurist explained. “She was even carrying her own catalogues containing more and more weird symbols, most of which very small and hard to draw.”

Even if the above described mania is a single case, there are many clients who tend to overdo nail art combinations. If you’d like to combine several symbols and patterns, it may be fine, but it may also be obviously kitschy. Make a quick comparison between picture one and picture two and you’d surely get the hang of the message.


Alternatively:A skull is always a good way to say “No” to the nail art mainstream where hearts, flowers, butterflies and roses prevail. It is perfect to combine with bones, flags orflames, and fits very well black and white designs.


Talking about combinations, check out this design brought to life especially for that articlededicated to the B&W concept. We thought it may be relatively easy and quite good-looking to actually combine similar symbols like stars, moon and sun;the black and white spirals add a touch of individuality. You may try it out with any elements that have a logical connection between each other (animals, geometrical symbols, letters and even phrases, funny faces – or any faces), but don’t forget to always add a tiny unit to differ from the rest.