The Underrated Dark Nail Polish to Try When You're Bored of Black

Erin Lukas
·4 min read

haileybieber/Instagram

As far as favorite nail polish colors are concerned, it depends on the season. Like switching from cold brew to classic hot coffee, odds are you're going want to ditch your neon yellow and blush pink for rich oxblood and glossy black once the temperatures dip below 60 degrees.

But these aren't the only dark shades to reach for as we transition from fall into into winter's sub-zero temperatures. Just ask Hailey Bieber, who recently leaned into the impending polar vortexes with a long, shiny navy manicure that looked seasonally-appropriate when paired with a beanie, North Face fleece vest, and steaming cup of coffee.

But the celeb isn't the only one embracing a navy manicure. The color also keeps popping up on the feeds of some of Instagram's most popular nail artists.

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While a navy manicure just screams "winter," there are a few other reasons why the deep, cool shade is trending this year.

"2020 has been a hectic year and blue is a calming color," says Elle, a celebrity nail artist who counts Blake Lively, Chrissy Teigen, and Katie Holmes as clients. "It also was Pantone's color of the year!"

Dark nail polish colors like navy may be notorious for staining nails, but Elle says that any color can leave residue if the manicure was done incorrectly. Specifically, if the cuticle was not properly removed off the nail plate. Oh, and don't skip out on a base coat, too.

"If you have staining, the best cuticle/stain remover is Orly's Cutique," Elle shares. "It helps whiten the nails again without drying the nail plate."

Once you've mastered painting your nails a solid navy shade, Elle recommends taking things to the next level with a matte finish or glitter to create texture with your manicure.

Ahead, some of our favorite takes on this winter trend, plus the best navy nail polishes to inspire your own manicures.

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The Best Navy Nail Polishes

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Rhythm

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This classic navy polish is infused with strengthening ingredients such as ceramides and bioceramics to nourish and make nails strong as you enjoy your mani.

To buy: $28; chanel.com.

Orly Breathable Treatment + Color in Good Karma

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While this Orly bottle looks like the average nail polish, it's actually a two-in-one treatment. The formula nourishes nails with argan oil as well as vitamins B5 and C, plus it doesn't require a base or top coat. Your at-home mani just got easier.

To buy: $10; ulta.com.

Nails.Inc 45 Second Speedy Gloss in Time for Trafalgar Square

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We've all been there: Your freshly-painted nails seem dry until hand-washing dishes smudges them. Luckily, Nails.Inc has created a nail polish formula that sets in 45 seconds flat (yes, really!). Time for Trafalgar Square, a deep navy, is also easy to apply thanks to the brand's patented brush that works with the shape of the nail.

To buy: $9; sallybeauty.com.

Pear Nova Gel Lacquer in Clear Your Space

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Pear Nova's gel polish has the longwear, chip-free finish you love, but with a 10-free, vegan formula. Clear Your Space is a glossy navy spiked with a hint of shimmer, ideal for the holidays or whenever you're feeling fancy.

To buy: $21; pearnova.com.

essie Nail Polish in Waterfall in Love

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This creamy navy shade will give you the perfect moment of zen, long after you've finished giving yourself a relaxing manicure. While you don't need more than a single coat for even coverage, another layer really makes the color pop on your nails.

To buy: $9; ulta.com.

sundays studio Nail Polish in No.41

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A midnight blue that isn't flat, this glossy polish also stays chip-free for days. The formula is 10-free, plus vegan and cruelty-free.

To buy: $18; amazon.com.