Nail Techs Swear By These Dark Nail Colours for An Expensive-Looking Manicure

There are some nail colours that exude a classy vibe. They are the expensive-looking nails colours that transcend nails trends, and make you look like you dropped a lot of money on your manicure. You see, dark nail colours tick all of the boxes. They're chic, ultra-glossy and add a certain luxurious vibe to your fingertips. In fact, I'm wearing these nails colours all through autumn and winter to elevate my nails alongside my autumn/winter wardrobe.


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

There are certain dark nail colours that I've been recommended by nail techs over the years, both in gel polish and nail polish, and they've become somewhat iconic. And I see them everywhere when I scroll on Instagram. There's an art to making dark nails look as luxe as possible. Manicurists tell me that dark nail polishes look best on short nails, with a soft square or oval shape, for the most luxe-looking results. Dark nails can look great on long nails too, but lend more of a gothic vibe. For this look, keeping nails short lets the nail colour do the talking.

If you're ready for some dark nail colour ideas, scroll ahead to see all the best dark nail inspiration I've saved, as well as the best dark nail polishes to recreate the look at home if you're not heading into the salon.

1. Bordeaux


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Deep red, burgundy, oxblood or Bordeaux—whatever you call it, it's a timeless and chic option if you want to go for a dark nail colour that's elevated. Nail techs love OPI's Malaga Wine and Chanel's iconic Rouge Noir nail polishes for a dark red mani, which is pictured above.

Shop Bordeaux nails polishes:

2. Hunter Green


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

If you find black too harsh, then opting for a deep green is a chic way to tap into the dark nail colour trend. In fact, I've been seeing so many people wearing this Bioscultpture gel shade in Free Lovin'. If you want to recreate the look with polish, I've found some equally beautiful options below.

Shop hunter green nail polishes:

3. Onyx


(Image credit: @monikh)

Black is an excellent choice for nails. Like black boots or a black leather handbag, black nails will go with whatever you're wearing, no matter the time of the year. As this hue is so dark chips can be more prominent, so be sure to apply a top coat every other day to keep chipping at bay if you're opting for nail polish.

4. Chocolate


(Image credit: @hollyjone_s )

I'm seeing brown nails everywhere night now. Brown nails were backstage at London Fashion Week for SS24 and I spied them on the hands of the LFW attendees, too. Wether you opt for dark bitter brown or milk chocolate, there's a brown nail polish hue to suit everyone. Nail pros love OPI's range of brown nail polishes, as well as the longevirty of CND's Vinylux polishes.

Shop chocolate brown nail polishes:

5. Olive


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

I've been seeing olive green nails a lot lately. While in summer we wore matcha green, for Autumn/Winter I'm seeing more khaki and olive tones doing the rounds. It's the ideal colour if you want a pop of colour that still feels right for the season.

Shop olive green nail polishes:

6. Navy


(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

Inky blues lend a brilliant shine to nails, and much like a navy jumper or dark wash of denim, it's a timeless colour to have in your nail wardrobe too. Trust me, it'll go with everything. The above shade is Bioscultpture's Blue Mushroom if you want to ask your nail tech for it. However, Chanel, Dior and Nails Inc have some beautiful navy blues for your DIY mani at home.

Shop dark blue nail polishes:

7. Rosewood


(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

I see this beautiful brown-red shimmer crop up around this time of the year, and it's such a pretty shade if you want a deeper take on red. The brown undertone in this Rosewood Stardust shade by Biosculpture has flecks of gold shimmer, making it a great hue to take you through any occasion.

Shop rosewood nail polishes:

Up Next, This Quiet-Luxury Nail Colour Just Entered the Chat and It's Perfect for Autumn

Eleanor Vousden
Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor for Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards for her work on Powder and also contributed to the title winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards.Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career, as well as celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner and her miniature dachshund.