TikTok’s black nail theory is here to boost your confidence
It’s giving dark feminine energy
By Briar Clark
Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / November 03 2023
Anyone who’s ever struggled with acne will be able to tell you – how you look can impact how you feel.
But these perceptions aren’t just limited to the appearance of our skin.
The way we paint our faces, style our hair and tattoo our bodies affects how we perceive ourselves, and how others perceive us in kind.
It’s this very sentiment that has buoyed TikTok’s black nail theory and ballooned its impact to viral proportions.
What is the black nail theory?
The black nail theory surmises that painting your nails with black nail polish has the ability to boost your confidence, and leave others with the impression that you’re a bold, mysterious and daring individual.
It’s also aligned with the ‘dark feminine’ and ‘man repellent’ aesthetic that’s captivated a younger generation of women who would rather wear makeup that makes them look unapproachable than appeal to the male gaze.
Nail artist and TikTok creator @lovetrenna says that a woman with black nails wears them as a “warning”.
“Girls with black nail polish are most likely to swing on you [first] in a fight,” she explains. “They are complete badasses and they're showing you through their nails. This is a girl that you don't mess with.”
The best black nail polish
Want to test the black nail theory for yourself? These are the best black nail polishes for the job…
1/ Essie Nail Polish in ‘Licorice’
2/ OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish in ‘Black Onyx’
The OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish in ‘Black Onyx’ ($23.95 at Adore Beauty) imitates the longwearing finish of a gel polish without the need for a UV light. Two coats is all you’ll need for opaque colour pay-off and a glossy shine.
3/ Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in ‘Sequins’
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.