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These 10 Dark Nail Polish Shades Really Bring the Drama


While spring and summer nail colors are all about going as bright and bold as possible, cooler weather tends to bring darker, more dramatic manicures to mind. In lieu of neons and pastels are shades rich enough to match the moody landscapes and long nights associated with the seasons. Winter and fall nail colors are all about midnight blues, crimson reds, and sometimes even jet blacks. While these colors may not be as vibrant as their warm-weather counterparts, they definitely still pack as much of a punch.

Looking to bulk up your supply of dark nail polish? We've highlighted 10 of our favorite shades below. P.S. All of these formulas have already been given a seal of approval from Ipsters who received them in past Glam Bags.

COLOR CLUB Nail Polish in Catwalk

COLOR CLUB Nail Polish in Catwalk

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Best Dark Red Nail Polish

COLOR CLUB's "Catwalk" is perfect for when you want to warm up a bright summer red. The rich, yet still vibrant color is ideal for livening up the fall and winter months, however, it’s beautiful all year round. The highly pigmented formula goes on opaque and will stay chip-free for days. It's no wonder this brand is a favorite amongst manicurists and nail artists.

Ipster kittenbarnes can attest to the longevity of this formula. She says, "I painted this on my toes and this paint seriously hasn't come off for over a month!"

WE ARE FLUIDE 7-Free Polish in Strut

WE ARE FLUIDE 7-Free Polish

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Best Metallic Nail Polish

For an industrial look that still feels delicate, reach for this trendy winter nail polish. The shimmery deep blue-gray shade creates a dramatic manicure that feels both mature and glamourous. Plus, this unique neutral goes with just about anything—be it jeans and a t-shirt or a ball gown. It's also a non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, and 7-free formula, so you don't have to feel guilty about reapplying it time and time again.

"This was a fun surprise for me because I would never have tried dark blue nail polish, but it looks great and is long-lasting," one Ipster writes. "Great quality and a nice product that I’d never tried before."

KASCA Nail Polish in Velvet Black Matte

KASCA Nail Polish

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Best Black Nail Polish

To create the ultimate modern mani, skip the shine and go matte. This 15-free black nail color features a unique matte finish that adds extra edge to an already edgy shade. The result: a velvety, streak-free finish that's utterly eye-catching. This polish's wide brush makes application super quick. Can't commit to a fully black manicure? Try using it as an accent color. Dip a thin nail art brush into the bottle to create velvet-like nail art on top of your favorite nude nail polish.

"This nail polish is absolutely beautiful," writes Ipster jumarylicious. "The matte finish is wonderful and it dries really fast."

CONTEXT SKIN Nail Lacquer in The Morning After


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Best Navy Nail Polish

If a fully black nail polish color is just a bit too dark for your taste, take a small step back by using this midnight blue shade. In low light, it can pass as black, but in the sun it’s got a gorgeous, rich blue glow that will flatter every skin tone. Bonus: This 5-free formula skips all the sketchy ingredients for natural, healthy alternatives.

Ipster cgugliel15 says, "The color has more depth than you can tell from looking at the bottle. It looks like a very dark blue but goes on with green tints. Very rich and beautiful!" Another Ipster says this shade looks almost identical to OPI's iconic shade "Lincoln Park After Dark".

TRUST FUND BEAUTY Nail Polish in I Kaled It OR Zero Carbs


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Best Dark Green Nail Polish

Transport yourself to an evergreen tree-filled forest every time you glance at your hands with this gorgeous dark green. The polish's neutral undertones help make this color appear deep and dark on the nail, rather than overly saturated. If you're in the mood for something a bit more playful, try topping this color with a sparkly top coat to add a touch of shimmer, while still keeping your manicure winter-friendly.

One Ipster was thoroughly impressed by this longwear formula. She writes, "I usually use OPI or Essie and I sometimes have problems with chipping on day two or three. This one lasted close to a week without chipping!"

SUNDAYS Nail Polish in No. 35

SUNDAYS Nail Polish

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Best Jewel-Toned Dark Nail Polish

Here's a creamy cruelty-free formula in a rich jade blue that’s so flattering on hands or toes. All of SUNDAYS' polishes are vegan, 10-free, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and void of harmful, harsh chemicals. Instead of dehydrating your nails with every use, it actually strengthens those delicate beds. Consider it nail polish done right.

You'll notice the difference immediately when you apply it. One Ipster writes, "This nail polish is so great! Once it dries it smells like flowers, it didn't chip right away, and it dried super fast. Love it."



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Best Dark Purple Nail Polish

Dark polish doesn't have to exclusively consist of blues and blacks. Brighten things up with this royal shade of purple. The color's dark blue undertones add richness to the color making it ideal for both everyday wear or special occasions. Want to darken it up even more? Try applying a pure black polish as a base coat.

"This polish lasts so long, even with my daily wear-and-tear, like work, house duties, and dishes," says Ipster nhudson78. "I always get gel polish, but with this brand, you don't have to pay extra!!"

SUNDAYS Nail Polish in No. 18

SUNDAYS Nail Polish

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Best Burgundy Dark Nail Polish

Need a red nail polish that will match your favorite merlot? Done. This super creamy, ultra-rich burgundy shade is where decadence meets durability. The deep berry color is a fun and easy way to instantly add elegance to your look—even if you're only really wearing a clean face and loungewear these days.

"Favorite color of nail polish," one Ipster says. "This stuff lasted two weeks before looking really bad which is amazing. Smells good too."

DOSE Color Pill Nail Polish in Stormy

DOSE & CO Color Pill Nail Polish

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Best Dark Neutral Nail Polish

Here's a formula that will instantly set itself apart in your nail polish bag. The innovative polish comes in a fun pill-shaped bottle that makes for easy handling. The trending shade was created exclusively for IPSY. It's a stunning grey-violet that features a super subtle holographic glow when it hits the light just right. It's truly a neutral that's fit for any and every occasion.

"I love this color and the formula is so awesome," says one Ipster. "I only needed one coat and it looked great."

PRETTY WOMAN Nail Polish in Don't Be Jelly


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Best Dark Mauve Nail Polish

If you love pastel pinks and fuchsias in the spring and summer, this deep mauve is the perfect transition shade into colder seasons. With rich berry notes and smooth, neutral undertones, it's an easy way to add a soft touch to winter nails.

"Love it—still wearing it," Ipster nash7007 writes. "It's one of those shades that you can get so much out of and wear for any occasion!"

Want in on all the IPSY Glam Bag fun? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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About the author
Cortney Clift
Cortney is a New York-based freelance writer who has written about beauty and wellness for more than six years. She was previously the senior writer and special projects editor at Brit + Co where she covered a wide range of news and lifestyle topics.
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Article Last Updated January 11, 2021 12:00 AM