Top 10 Dark Nail Polishes

From Bordeaux To Black, Here's Your Official Guide To Fall's Most In-Demand Dark Nail Colors

From Bordeaux To Black, Here's Your Official Guide To Fall's Most In-Demand Dark Nail Colors

Our Top 10 Lists help shoppers quickly and easily find what they need. Using an intense review and approval process (which you can learn more about here), we break down the best products according to what consumers most commonly search for and want.

If you ask us, the transition from summer to fall is the most exciting time of year. Hear us out: humidity is basically non-existent, you can sip hot coffee without sweating up a storm, and rather than wearing as little as possible to keep from overheating, you get to pile on all the blanket-like sweaters, trendy jackets, and cool coats as you darn well please.

Another obvious plus? Getting to switch your go-to nude nail polish for something deeper, darker, and moodier. It's an incredibly easy swap to make, but it's one of those things that makes a huge impact and can instantly get you into that autumnal state of mind. With that, we scoured the internet in search of the most popular dark nail colors out there right now. From mossy greens and almost-black blues to an ever-so-classic merlot, look no further than the 10 shades below for your next salon or at-home manicure.

How We Found The Best Dark Nail Polishes

As with all of our Top 10 lists, we used our ultra-smart algorithm to round up this selection of top-trending dark nail colors. This proprietary tool finds the best products on the market by factoring in data from best-seller lists, reviews, social buzz, and even recommendations from top publications and beauty editors. Ahead, find our official guide to the most in-demand dark nail colors you can buy and wear right now.

Next up, check out the 10 Best Nail StrengthenersOpening image: oliveandjune.com

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October 21, 2021

Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings

Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish In Caviar Bartarget.com

Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish In Caviar Bar

Our Score


WHO IT'S FOR: If you're sick of sporting your usual deep reds and merlots, switch things up with this award-winning midnight blue. It's so dark that it almost veers black, but it feels a little fresher and more feminine.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Essie's unique Gel Couture formula provides up to 14 days of glossy, chip-free wear and requires no base coat.

Olive & June Polish In CN

Our Score


WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This chocolatey hue called CN (named after Candace Nelson, the founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes) is slightly softer than your average black mani but still feels just as rich and bold. Plus, it's universally flattering.

WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: According to the reviews, this nail color—along with the rest of Olive & June's collection—has incredible staying power. In fact, many reviewers claimed they had to remove it simply because their nails grew out.

Essie Nail Polish In Licorice

Our Score


WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Is it really fall if you don't sport at least one black mani? Equal parts classic and cool, this iconic Essie shade is the crème de la crème of inky black nail colors.

HELPFUL TIP: Black is more versatile than you might think. For a subtler take, try using this shade for the tips of a French mani.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish In Lady Is A Tramp

Our Score


WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Meet the red to end all other reds. Lady Is A Tramp is that classic, cool-toned, works-on-everyone shade that makes you think of ripe apples, rosy cheeks, and your favorite MAC lipstick. You could keep this one on all season long and probably never tire of it.

WHAT IT DOES: This nail lacquer has a lot to offer beyond its beautiful shade. It's made with evening primrose to reduce moisture loss, biotin to stimulate keratin production, nonychosine F to deliver strength and resilience to weak and brittle nails, aucumea to prevent ridges, and green tea extract to protect against free radicals—and that's just the beginning of the healthy, nail-loving ingredient list.

OPI Nail Lacquer In Russian Navy

Our Score


WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: You've probably heard of OPI's Russian Navy, and there's a good reason for it. It has that sophisticated, almost-black look, but it has gorgeous hints of purple and touches of shimmer that make it so unique.

USER REVIEW: “I have been buying this color for about four years, and I use it to the very last drop. The coverage is great, and the color is simply stunning. If you like dark colors but want to lighten it up a smidge, grab this color and enjoy.”

OPI Nail Lacquer In Things I’ve Seen In Aber-Green

Our Score


WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Over the obvious fall shades of burgundy, black, and deep blue? This enchanting forest green is a fresh alternative that still evokes all the fall feels—think scenic drives and premature Christmas decor.

USER REVIEW: "I LOVE this color. I used it for weeks around Christmastime, and then I just kept using it throughout the winter because I like darker shades and like this color much better than the navy and burgundy colors I've used in the past. My roommate noticed my nails the first day I wore it and immediately asked to borrow it that night."

OPI Nail Lacquer In Lincoln Park After Dark

Our Score


WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Is it purple? Is it black? No list of the best dark nail colors would be complete without this cult-classic, shade-shifting OPI polish. The epitome of rich and dramatic manis, Lincoln Park After Dark is one of the most unique, compliment-inducing hues out there.

USER REVIEW: "I had this polish applied during a pedicure and loved it so much that I had to get my own. It's richly dark in just one application. I've worn it on my fingernails for over a week, and, despite washing dishes and practically living in the pool, it hasn't chipped or shown any wear yet."

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour In Rouge Noir

Our Score


WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Bordeaux is an absolute classic come the fall season, and this Chanel shade is one of the most iconic of all time. The reddish-black made its first debut on the Chanel runways in 1994, and it's been a staple ever since.

AS SEEN ON: Go for an unexpected French look a la celebrity nail artist Betina Goldstein, using Rouge Noir as the base and a shimmering gold shade for the tips.

OPI Nail Lacquer In Malaga Wine

Our Score


WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Finding a nail polish that's dark red without steering too maroon can be tough, but OPI's Malaga Wine does just that. Not too vampy but not too bright, it's a staple red shade and an absolute must-have for fall.

COMPLETE THE LOOK: After two coats of color, add a high-quality top coat—you'll want this one to last.

Essie Nail Polish In Wicked

Our Score


WHO IT'S FOR: If you're looking to swap your bright red for something a little moodier, try this sinister shade. It's one of the deepest, darkest, inkiest colors on the list that's not black, and it looks flattering on all skin tones.

AS SEEN ON: Hailee Steinfield nailed the vampy look with her coordinating matte lip.

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