Top Picks

Do you want to achieve a sophisticated look? Are you angsty and in need of a way of showing your emotions? One thing’s for sure: black nail polish has some interesting stereotypes attached to it.

Black polish has earned its reputation of being bold, but it doesn’t always have to be. You can kick back on the weekends with black polish without having to make a statement. It’s a versatile color that can be used for any occasion.

How do you choose the perfect polish when there are so many options available? We’ve gathered ten of the best polishes you can buy, so keep reading to learn how to pick what’s right for you.

Choosing the Right Nail Polish

A black polish is a black polish, right? Surely, you can’t overthink it.

Actually, there’s quite a bit to think about when it comes to picking the right polish. No two black polishes are the same, even if they look like they’re the same. From the finish down to the ingredients, there are a few factors you should think about before you make a purchase, especially if you’re not the type that likes hoard every polish under the sun. (But come on, who doesn’t want that?)

Consider the Finish

There are several different types of finishes to choose from, including:

  • Creme
  • Gel
  • Matte
  • Holographic
  • Jelly
  • Glitter
  • Pearl
  • Metallic
  • Chrome

Creme, matte, and jelly finishes are the most common for black nail polishes and usually serve as a base for the holographic particles to go in.

Pearl, metallic, and chrome polishes aren’t as common for black polishes because they often rely on multiple colors or really light colors for their effect to work well. Glitter is an additive that can be added to any base, though it’s most frequently mixed into jelly or holographic polishes.

To find out more details about each type of finish, check out our full guide below.

Duration

Not every polish can guarantee to last for a week. If you paint your nails because you don’t want them to be bare, then the longer the polish will last, the better. But, if you want to paint them for an event or just a weekend, then you might benefit from a polish that won’t last long.

Touching up your nails every couple of days can extend the lifespan of your manicure. So, if a polish promises to last up to a week, you could end up going beyond that with touch ups.

Number of Coats

Most polishes require two coats for it to be opaque. Black polishes look best with full coverage, so if you need three coats, it’s best to do so.

Jelly polishes aren’t meant to be completely opaque unless you use multiple coats, so this type is usually more difficult to get full coverage with.

Ingredients

A lot of ingredients go into a single bottle of nail polish, and unfortunately, they’re not always safe.

Chemicals that are known to be toxic can be put into nail polishes in small amounts, so long as the chemicals have been proven to be safe if used as intended. So, if a chemical is known to cause skin irritation but doesn’t have a negative effect on the nails, it can go in the polish.

The most common toxic ingredients in nail polishes are carbon black, formaldehyde, and phthalates. Carbon black is usually disguised as D&C Black No. 2, so that’s something to look out for. Toluene is also another chemical that was once used in nail polishes, but most brands are saying goodbye to that one. We’ll let you know if any of the polishes below have these ingredients, and how problematic they are in that particular formula; sometimes, in lower quantities, they can be much safer to use.

However, sometimes nail polishes will also include helpful ingredients, like vitamin E, green tea, or keratin to help improve nail health or make the polish last longer. We’ll also highlight when formulas use beneficial ingredients that make them stand out.

Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at the ten best black nail polishes.

Top 10 Best Black Nail Polishes 2020

1. Best Overall Black Nail Polish: CND Vinylux Nail Polish – Black Pool

CND Vinylux Nail Polish – Black Pool


Why we like it: This is a great all-around nail polish because it doesn’t need a base coat and will last up to seven days with a top coat. It’s chip-resistant, so it will hold up to hard work.

Editor’s Rating:

The CND Vinylux nail polish is the perfect choice for anyone because it checks off all the basics: it’s simple to use, easy to apply and will last for a decent amount of time. If you’re not looking for anything too complicated or fancy, this is perfect for you.

The only problems you’ll find are that it’s not a one-coat wonder, and it’s more prone to chipping if you don’t apply a top coat.

Finish

This is a creme polish that will appear slightly glossy. It isn’t intentionally glossy, but that’s how most opaque creme polishes end up looking like on the nails. If you do want something that puts the emphasis on gloss, you might be interested in Revlon Glossy Shine Finish – Knockout.

Number of Coats

You’ll need to use two coats to achieve full opacity with this polish. It’s best to wait and let the first coat dry before you add the second.

The brand recommends using a top coat, and you’ll only need one layer of that, but you can use two if you’d prefer.

This polish is specially formulated to adhere to your nails without a base coat. Base coats are almost always recommended (check out our full guide to find out why), so it’s up to you whether or not you want to use one with this polish.

Duration

This polish promises a seven-day manicure that’s chip-resistant if you use their brand of top coat. Expect the manicure to chip much sooner if you don’t use it as recommended.

Ingredients

The only concerning ingredient is terephthalate, which is a phthalate. Terephthalate only has low toxicity so there likely isn’t enough in a bottle of nail polish to cause any harm.

On the bright side, it contains vitamin E, keratin, and jojoba oil, all of which are excellent for fingernail health.

Pros

  • Doesn’t need a base coat
  • Fully opaque in just two coats
  • Contains beneficial vitamins

Cons

  • Only truly chip-resistant with recommended top coat
  • Contains alcohols and phthalates

2. Best Chip-Resistant Black Nail Polish: China Glaze – Liquid Leather

China Glaze – Liquid Leather


Why we like it: This polish is super chip-resistant. It’ll still chip of course, but it lasts longer than many other polishes on the market.

Editor’s Rating:

China Glaze has a reputation of being a sturdy nail polish with or without a top coat. This black polish will last longer than other polishes on the market since it’s made with a specific formula to help it stay flexible, so it doesn’t get brittle and break on the nails.

Finish

This is another creme polish that will be a little glossy on your nails. If you want it to be glossier, use a top coat to help add some shine.

Number of Coats

You should only need one coat of the polish to reach full opacity. Don’t apply it too thinly, or you’ll need a second coat.

Top and base coats are recommended and one of each should do. Overall, you’re looking at three or four coats for a complete manicure.

Duration

The duration of the polish will depend on how you apply it, but on average, it will last most people around a week. If you don’t use base and top coats, it will probably start chipping sooner, but it should last longer than other polishes.

Ingredients

This polish doesn’t contain any toluene or phthalates. The product says it doesn’t have any added formaldehyde. This means that they didn’t add any extra formaldehyde, but the resin it uses might contain small amounts of it.

China Glaze polishes use China clay, or kaolin, to make the polish chip-resistant. Kaolin is a type of clay that’s frequently used to make porcelain dishes. Another great sturdy polish that uses kaolin is Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Blacky O.

Pros

  • Chip-resistant
  • Can take as little as one coat for full opacity
  • Uses China clay for strength

Cons

  • Might have small amounts of formaldehyde

3. Best Quick-Dry Black Nail Polish: Essie Expressie – Now Or Never

Essie Expressie – Now Or Never


Why we like it: If you’re impatient or short on time, Essie Expressie won’t disappoint. It dries quickly, so you’ll be good to go in just five minutes or less.

Editor’s Rating:

Most nail polishes leave you waiting about ten minutes for it to dry, but Essie Expressie understands that you have things to do and places to be (or that it’s time for bed and you don’t want your polish to have lines in it when you wake up). It takes about five minutes for it to dry even if you use two or three coats. It also has an angled brush so you can easily apply it on both hands.

The biggest downside is that the polish claims to dry in one minute and doesn’t need a top coat, but that’s not exactly true. It will most likely take five minutes to dry and if you choose to go without a top coat, you can expect it to chip for the first time in just a day or two. If you can wait five minutes and apply a top coat, you won’t be disappointed. Maybelline New York Color Show – Black to Black is another fast-drying polish, but it might actually dry as you apply it.

Finish

The Now Or Never shade is a creme polish with a great glossy look. It’s best to use a glossy top coat with it to improve the effect.

Number of Coats

You’ll reach full opacity with two coats. If you use thinner coats you might have to use three. It won’t effect how quickly it dries, though.

The brand says you don’t have to use a top coat, but if you choose to do so, you’ll just need one thick coat.

Duration

Dry time might be fast, but so is the time it takes for the polish to chip. The brand says you don’t need a top coat, but this will increase the chances of chipping. Even with a top coat, you still might find that this polish chips faster than others.

Ingredients

This black polish is free of most harmful chemicals, but it might contain carbon black. Carbon black is also known as D&C Black No. 2. This bottle of Essie Expressie lists “Black 2.” It’s unclear whether or not this is the same stuff as the harmful chemical, but it’s something to be cautious about.

Pros

  • Dries much quicker than other brands
  • Angled brush for easy application
  • Top coat isn’t necessary

Cons

  • Chips quickly
  • May contain carbon black

4. Best Budget Black Nail Polish: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails – Black Heart

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails – Black Heart


Why we like it: You don’t have to spend a fortune to get good nail polish. This one is budget-friendly for anyone but offers excellent quality that you’d expect from a mid-range priced polish.

Editor’s Rating:

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails is a strong polish that won’t hurt your wallet. The Black Heart shade is jet black and only takes two coats for full coverage. It’s perfect if you want to try black for the first time or if you don’t paint your nails enough to go through an entire bottle – you get great quality for an excellent price.

Finish

Black Heart is a creme polish that sits somewhere between a matte and glossy finish. It’s not as glossy as other creme polishes but it isn’t a flat color, either.

Number of Coats

You’ll need two coats to get full coverage with this nail polish, but you might be able to use just one if you get it thick enough. If you use a base and top coat, you’ll just need one coat of each.

Duration

Expect this polish to last about three days before it chips for the first time. A good base coat and top coat will go a long way, and careful application will help it last longer, too.

Ingredients

This is a great polish to use because it’s made with green tea for nail health, which has been shown to strengthen nails and remove yellow discoloring. It’s also free of phthalates and formaldehyde.

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Just two coats
  • Beneficial ingredients

Cons

  • Chips rather quickly

5. Best Premium Black Nail Polish: OPI Nail Lacquer – Black Onyx

OPI Nail Lacquer – Black Onyx


Why we like it: This polish by OPI is high-quality and will last up to seven days. The glossy finish adds a beautiful shine that makes it look like the premium polish it really is.

Editor’s Rating:

If you’re looking for high quality polish with a glossy finish, you’ve found the best polish. Although it’s not specifically a glossy polish, it’s glossier than most creme polishes which gives it a beautiful and professional look.

Finish

This is a creme polish that will appear glossier than other cremes. To really finish off the glossy look, try using a glossy top coat for extra shine.

Number of Coats

Two coats are needed for an opaque coat. It’s recommended to use a base and top coat with this, so a complete manicure will have four coats in total.

Duration

You can expect this polish to last up to a week before it begins chipping. Of course, how you apply it and how rough you get with your hands will change the outcome.

Ingredients

This polish is mostly non-toxic, but it does contain a formaldehyde-based resin.

Pros

  • High-quality product at a great price
  • Super glossy
  • Lasts a long time

Cons

  • Contains formaldehyde

6. Best Glossy Black Nail Polish: Revlon Glossy Shine Finish – Knockout

Revlon Glossy Shine Finish – Knockout


Why we like it: Glossy polishes look sleek and professional, and this polish will be sure to give you that look. It’s fade-resistant, so it’ll last you quite a while.

Editor’s Rating:

Glossy polishes will lose their shine after a few days, but this Revlon polish will last longer than most. It’s made specifically to stay shinier longer so you won’t have to deal with a dull polish. The polish comes with a precision brush that makes it super easy to apply the polish evenly.

Unfortunately, this polish is prone to chipping pretty quickly, so it might not be the best polish to wear long-term, but it would be great for a weekend.

Finish

Knockout is a creme polish with a high gloss finish. Most creme polishes are glossy by default, but this one will stand out against the others.

Number of Coats

You’ll need about three coats to reach full opacity. The polish is thinner compared to the average polish, so you’ll need extra coats.

Duration

Since the polish is so thin and requires several coats, it’s prone to chipping fairly quickly. You can expect two or three days before the first chip, so it’s recommended to use a top coat to help protect the color.

Ingredients

This polish is mostly non-toxic, but it does contain Black 2, which is probably carbon black.

Pros

  • Long-lasting shine
  • The glossiest black polish
  • Precision brush for easy application

Cons

  • Thin polish will chip easy
  • Likely contains Black 2

7. Best Jelly Black Nail Polish: ILNP – Cityscape

ILNP – Cityscape


Why we like it: Jelly polish stands out from other polishes because of its lip gloss-like appearance, and the sparkles of this polish will really make it noticeable.

Editor’s Rating:

Jelly polish is a fun take on nail polish. Instead of your usual creme and gloss, it provides a Jell-O or lip gloss appearance but it still dries hard and is durable. This polish by ILNP is not only jelly, but it’s also holographic, making this polish even more interesting to look at. The downside? You’ll find yourself needing plenty of time waiting for it to dry.

Finish

This polish is a jelly polish with holographic particles added into it. Some holographic polishes have a gritty texture, but Cityscape feels smooth.

Number of Coats

Jelly polishes usually need multiple coats to achieve full opacity, so you’ll need three coats to do so. The translucent look of jelly polishes is what make them stand out from other polishes, so one or two coats will give you that effect.

One thing to note is that this polish takes quite a long time to dry. Wait ten minutes between each coat before checking to see if it has dried.

Duration

This polish should last about a week before it begins to chip. A base and top coat should extend how long it lasts.

Ingredients

This polish doesn’t contain animal products so it’s vegan, and they don’t test on animals. Plus, it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.

Pros

  • Smooth instead of textured holographic polish
  • Holographic particles are eye-catching in the jelly polish
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Takes a long time to dry

8. Best Gel Black Nail Polish: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Blacky O

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Blacky O


Why we like it: Sally Hansen’s gel polish doesn’t require UV lights to make it work. All you need is the polish, and you’ll get the hardness you’d expect to get from a traditional gel polish.

Editor’s Rating:

Gel manicures you get from the salon are great because the polish is durable and will last a long time. Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel gives you the durability of those manicures for a fraction of the price and without the hassle of using UV or LED lights.

You’ll need to buy the top coat that goes with the polish in order for it to work correctly. You can still use the polish without the top coat, but it won’t harden like it should and won’t last as long as it promises.

Finish

Blacky O is a gel polish that looks like a creme. The strength and durability of the polish is what makes it different than a regular creme polish.

Number of Coats

Two coats will give you full coverage with this polish. You’ll also need the top coat along with it. It’s up to you if you want the base coat.

Duration

The polish will last up to eight days without chipping with proper application of the polish and top coat. If you touch up the manicure every couple of days, you could make it last even longer.

Ingredients

This polish doesn’t contain any of the harmful chemicals on our list. Just like China Glaze Liquid Leather, Miracle Gel uses kaolin (China clay) to give the polish incredible strength.

Pros

  • No UV or LED light necessary
  • No chipping for up to eight days
  • Non-toxic

Cons

  • Must purchase the top coat for it to work as intended

9. Best Holographic Black Nail Polish: Cirque Colors Nail Polish – Alter Ego

Cirque Colors Nail Polish – Alter Ego


Why we like it: This black nail polish is lightened up by the fascinating holographic rainbow effect. The shifting colors will look best in direct sunlight.

Editor’s Rating:

Holographic nail polishes are mesmerizing – they’re shifting rainbows on your nails that look great in bright lighting. Alter Ego has that rainbow effect on a black base, so the rainbow will really shine against that. Even better, the polish is free of all harmful chemicals, so you can be certain that you’re putting something good on your nails.

Finish

This is a holographic polish with a great glossy effect that will really make the rainbow shine.

Number of Coats

You’ll most likely need three coats for this polish to be completely opaque. It’s best to use thin coats so it doesn’t clump up. A base coat and top coat are recommended with this polish.

Duration

This polish will be able to last for up to a week before it starts chipping if you use a top coat. If you don’t use a top coat, it should last a few days before it chips.

Ingredients

This is arguably the safest polish on the list. It doesn’t contain any phthalates, formaldehyde, toluene, or formaldehyde-based resins. It also doesn’t contain parabens or fragrances, which some people might have sensitivities to.

Pros

  • Non-toxic
  • Super shiny holographic effect
  • Will last a long time

Cons

  • Will probably require three coats

10. Best Matte Black Nail Polish: Maybelline New York Color Show – Black to Black

Maybelline New York Color Show – Black to Black


Why we like it: If you’re looking for something posh, this matte black nail polish is for you. Matte polish doesn’t have any shine to it, making it look sleek and fancy.

Editor’s Rating:

Matte black is a great choice if you want a more subdued look, and Maybelline’s Black to Black will be sure to give you the look you’re going for. This polish isn’t shiny but it’s still eye-catching in a more subtle way.

As with any matte polish, it will lose its matte appearance after a few days. Don’t use a glossy top coat on it or it will take away the matte effect completely.

Finish

It’s a matte finish but will begin to look slightly glossy after a few days as it loses the matte appearance.

Number of Coats

You’ll need at least two coats for it to be fully opaque. This nail polish dries super fast, almost to the point that you might struggle to get it on your nail in time, so it’s best to work with thin coats in multiple layers.

You can use a base coat if you’d prefer. If you want a top coat, use a matte top coat or this polish will lose its effect.

Duration

Unfortunately, this polish won’t last super long before it chips. You can expect it to last two or three days. Once it starts to look glossy, it’ll probably start chipping.

Ingredients

It doesn’t contain any toluene or formaldehyde, but it does have Black 2 and phthalates.

Pros

  • Beautiful matte finish
  • Dries quickly (but almost to a fault)
  • No formaldehyde or toluene

Cons

  • Will lose the matte effect after a couple of days
  • Contains phthalates and Black 2

Everything You Need to Know About Choosing Black Nail Polish

With so many brands and types of polishes to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose just one. You might see that one person says the polish lasted them a long time while someone else says it chipped in the same day. What’s that all about?

Application, the type of polish, and daily wear and tear will all affect your manicure and how long it lasts. Let’s get into the details of what makes one polish different from another and how to make any manicure last a little longer.

Nail Polish Finishes

The world of nail polish is diverse – shiny, matte, glitter, there’s so much to choose from. Each type of nail polish finish works a little differently than the others, and that’ll greatly change how you should apply and care for the polishes.

Creme

Creme polishes (which are also called cream and crème) are the most basic type of polish, and it’s likely the type you imagine when you think of nail polish.

These polishes are opaque and come in nearly every color under the sun. There’s nothing else in them besides the pigment, and they’re usually made from a white base.

Most creme polishes are glossy, meaning you’ll see a little shine on it when the light hits it. However, it won’t be super strong, so if you want a super glossy finish, you’ll need to add a glossy top coat.

Gel

Gel polishes are typically more expensive than creme polishes, but they’ve earned their right to be so. These polishes are stronger than creme and can endure more wear and tear and won’t chip as quickly.

Gel manicures in nail salons used to involve UV lights to set the polish, although these days, LED lights are used instead. The lights cause the polish to harden, which gives them the strength you want your manicure to have.

Do you need a UV or LED light for gel polishes you can use at home? Not anymore! Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel doesn’t require any kind of light, but you still get that solid gel finish. It’s an awesome way to get a durable manicure without breaking the bank.

In order for DIY gel polishes to work correctly, you’ll need a second coat. Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel has a Step 2 Top Coat that is what makes it durable as it should be. Different brands might have a different system, however, so be sure to follow the directions provided with the polish you buy.

Matte

Matte polishes can be described as flat or dull. There’s no shine to it, and it’s frequently used to achieve a sophisticated or subdued look.

Polishes can be made matte, like the Maybelline New York Color Show on our list, or you can apply a matte top coat to any creme polish.

Matte polishes will make glitter and glossy polishes (or anything else exciting) pretty dull, so you shouldn’t apply a matte polish or top coat with or on an exciting polish. They clash together and won’t really create a great look, although you’re more than welcome to experiment to see what you get.

Holographic

Holographic nail polish is a recent trend online that seems like it will stay popular for many years to come. These polishes have a special pigment in them made from aluminum that reflects and refracts light. Once it’s on your nails, moving your hand around under light will cause a rainbow effect to appear.

There are two different ways you can get the holographic effect on your nails. Nail polishes contain them, or you can get a holographic top coat. Holographic polishes typically have a creme base, and the top coats are usually glossy and can be applied on any kind nail polish.

The holographic pigments contain what looks like little pieces of glitter. The size will vary depending on what the polish uses. You can get a scattered holographic polish that appears random or a linear version, which shows the rainbow in a linear order.

Jelly

Jelly nail polishes look downright fun – they look like Jell-O on your nails. They might even look like you can squish them. But, they dry just like regular creme polishes, and there’s no squishy effect at all (admittedly, that’s pretty disappointing).

Many jelly polishes contain glitter and sparkles to make it look extra fun. An annoying aspect of jelly polishes is that they don’t always look opaque. If you don’t want to see your nail underneath the color, you’ll have to use several coats for full coverage, and that might cause you to sacrifice the squishy appearance.

Glitter

Pretty much any polish can be a glitter polish – it just has to contain glitter. Jelly and creme polishes are usually the types of polish you’ll find that have glitter in them. You can also find clear polishes and top coats that contain glitter. You can wear these by themselves or add them on top of another polish to really make the manicure stand out.

Pearl

Pearl nail polish has a soft sheen and is typically used for natural colors. Pinks and whites are common colors for these polishes, and you’ll be able to see your fingernails underneath. If you do find a black pearl polish, it’ll look more like a grey or dark green and won’t have the same effect as pink and white polishes.

Metallic and Chrome

Metallic nail polishes have the kind of shine you’d expect to see on metal. Black is a common color for this type of polish, although it will usually look silver because of the shine.

The chrome finish is similar to the metallic finish, but it’s much more reflective and it usually comes in the form of a powder instead of a polish. You have to buff the powder into the polish to get the effect. Chrome powders come in a variety of colors, but they’re usually silver or dark colors like purple or green.

Metallic and chrome finishes can get confusing when you see pictures online, but they’re easy to tell the difference when looking at products because one is a polish, and the other is a powder.

Nail Polish Ingredients

Nail polishes contain several ingredients that vary from bottle to bottle. The list for each polish will depend on the brand that makes the polish and the type of finish it is. However, all polishes usually contain the following:

Solvents

These are liquids that allow all the ingredients to mix together. Alcohol, butyl acetate, and ethyl acetate are all common solvents. Harmful chemicals that might be present in nail polishes that are used as solvents include formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, and formalin. We’ll dig deeper into the dark side in our look at toxic ingredients below.

Resins

Resins are what make the nail polish stick to your nails. They’re also responsible for making the polish dry hard and look glossy. Tosylamide-formaldehyde is frequently used as a resin.

Film Formers

Nail polishes would apply thick and chunky without a film former. They’re what makes the nail polish have a smooth surface on your nail. Nitrocellulose is often used the most.

Plasticizers

Film formers and resins cause nail polishes to be brittle, but plasticizers are added to make them flexible. If you see a polish marketed as chip-resistant, it probably contains quite a bit of plasticizer in it. If you see camphor on the ingredient list, that’s the plasticizer.

Pigments

It’s a no-brainer that nail polishes will have pigments in them. There’s a long list of possible ingredients that could go into a single bottle of polish, ranging from non-toxic to toxic. It’s common to find ingredients that you’d also find in a bucket of paint that you’d apply to the wall.

Extras

Each finish has its own ingredient list that will be different from all the others. Holographic polishes will likely have aluminum, glitter polishes will have plastic, and pearl polishes might have ground mica or titanium dioxide to achieve the desired effect. Many polishes might have thickening agents or ultraviolet filters to prevent fading in sunlight.

Toxic Ingredients

Unfortunately, nail polish has a history of containing toxic ingredients. They aren’t as common today as they used to be since consumers and manufacturers are trying to be more careful when it comes to health. Still, many polishes contain toxic chemicals that can be hazardous to your health.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, cosmetics, including nail polishes, don’t have to be approved by the FDA to be sold to customers. However, they do have to comply with FDA regulations about warning labels and ingredient lists, both of which nail polishes are required to have.

If a nail polish contains a toxic chemical, it can still be sold in stores if the chemical has been proven to be safe if used as directed. Basically, most of the toxic chemicals could harm you if you eat them or apply them directly on the skin, but if you keep the polish on your nails, they won’t cause harm.

The toxic chemicals you might find in your polishes include:

Carbon Black

Carbon black is a powder that makes nail polishes black that comes from carbon-based products like coal tar. It’s hazardous because it has been linked to cancer and is toxic to organs. Carbon black is often hidden under other names like D&C Black No. 2, acetylene black, lamp black, and channel black.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is used in industrial resins, plastics, disinfectants, embalming, and in antiperspirants. In nail polish, it’s been frequently used in the resin. In 2011, the chemical was officially claimed to be a human carcinogen. Because of its toxicity, more nail polish brands are omitting this ingredient.

Methacrylate

This chemical is found in artificial acrylic nails rather than nail polishes, but it’s still worth mentioning because it can cause reactions such as pain and swelling in the nails. If a polish mentions anything about being acrylic, it might contain methacrylate. Again, this is mostly found in acrylic nails.

Methacrylic Acid

This acid, also called MAA, can be found in nail primers that help acrylic nails stick to your natural fingernails. Since it’s an acid, it’s highly corrosive and might cause irritation or damage to your nails and skin.

Phthalates

Phthalates are found in the plasticizers that help make the nail polish flexible. These can be found in almost anything from glue to toys to paint and even in food. Many cosmetics and skin care products use phthalates. Even though they’re widely used, they’re super dangerous because they can lead hormone and fertility disruption.

Toluene

Toluene has been used in nail polishes for decades, but recent studies show that large amounts of it in nail polish cause irritation or harm to the person wearing it. Most nail polish brands are no longer using this chemical or are in the process of removing it from their polishes, so the chances of you finding it will be smaller when you buy new products.

Applying Polish for Longevity

Nail polish can say it will last up to seven or ten days, but how you apply it to your nails will determine how long it lasts. Some people have more nail polish knowledge than others and know how to properly apply nail polish. This will cause a big difference in reviews on many products. One person might say it lasted a day while someone else says they’re on day six of their perfect manicure.

If you want your nail polish to live up to the claims it makes on the bottle, then you’ll need to be willing to have the time and patience to make sure you apply it correctly. Follow these tips:

1. Use Base and Top Coats

You can find specific polishes that are labeled as base and top coats. You might even find a dual purpose polish that will work for both. If you’re not picky, a simple, clear nail polish will suffice. The base coat helps smooth out your nail bed while the top coat prevents the polish from chipping.

2. Push Back the Cuticles

Before you apply the base coat, carefully push back your cuticles with a tool or your fingernail. This will help the polish apply flat and will prevent any chipping or peeling.

3. Only Paint the Nails

You’re probably thinking duh, but any amount of nail polish on the cuticle or in the crevices around your nail will result in peeling very soon after it’s dried. Clean it up as soon as possible with a cotton swab and nail polish remover.

4. Stay Hydrated

Dry and brittle nails are prone to chipping and cracking, and a lack of moisture will do the same thing to your nail polish. Treat your nails and cuticles to nail oil at least once a day and use lotion regularly.

5. Be Gentle on Your Hands

Your nail polish will probably last longer if you sit at a desk all day than it will for someone who spends their day lifting heavy objects. Daily tasks like gardening, doing the dishes, doing laundry, or opening boxes will result in faster wear and tear and will chip your polish and even break your nails. Be extra careful with your hands if you want the polish to last a long time.

Final Thoughts

A lot goes into finding the right black polish. Whatever you choose, you should pick something that will work for you. Find the one that will give you the vibe you’re going for, whether that be moody, sophisticated, or something in between.