Black Gel Nails 101 And The Best Black Gel Nail Polish For A Flawless Finish

What black gel nail polish is the best for creating black gel nails? How to apply black gel polish? What nail art can I create with it? This article has all the answers.

Let’s jump right in!

Black gel nails and black gel nail polish are a real fashion statement.

You can wear black gel nails anywhere, from to a rock concert to a night club, to using black polish for complementing an all-black outfit for any occasion.

You can also use black gel nail polish for creating gorgeous nail art with chrome powders, glitter, diamonds, or stamping. Or use it as the background for the super trendy cat-eye manicure.

The biggest problem you have to face when creating black gel nails is selecting a high-quality black gel polish.

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LeChatLeChat Perfect Match DUAL SET Soak Off Gel Polish & Dare to Wear Nail Lacquer - Black Velvet - PMS30 by Lechat Nail Care [Beauty]True black in one coat, comes with matching lacquerCHECK ON AMAZON
OrlyOrly Perfect Pair Matching Lacquer and Gel Duo Kit, Liquid Vinyl12-free, non-toxic gel polish, great coverage in 2 layersCHECK ON AMAZON
Gel IIGel II Soak-Off Gel Polish, Midnight Black, 0.47 Ounce2-step formula, no base coat needed, good coverage in 2 layersCHECK ON AMAZON
Red Carpet ManicureRed Carpet Manicure LED Gel Polish, Black Stretch Limo, 0.3 Fluid Ounce.Good coverage in 2 layersCHECK ON AMAZON
DNDDND Duo 447 Black LicoriceDuo pack with matching lacqueCHECK ON AMAZON
IBDIBD Just Gel Polish, Viva La NocheBlack with glitterCHECK ON AMAZON
Modelones9D Galaxy Cat Eye Gel Polish Set Chameleon Magnetic Glitter Gel Polish Glitter Matte Top Coat Base Top Coat Shine Set10ml with Magnet Stick UV/LED gel nail polish set 2pcsComes in a cat eye manicure setCHECK ON AMAZON
VinyluxCND Vinylux Weekly Nail Polish, Black PoolEasy to use gel-like polishCHECK ON AMAZON

What is a good black gel nail polish?

It must offer full coverage of the nail plate in 2 thin coats.

With no streaks or sheer patches.

So it must be opaque.

It also must have a pure black color, not brown or dark blue, or green.

And the polish must stay on well.

Not all black gel nail polish will give you the results you need.

Black gel polish from different brands has different opacity and other qualities.

But here are the best black gel nail polish brands for the maximum nail plate coverage and opacity:

LeChat Perfect Match Black Velvet

Black gel nails, black gel nail polish, black gel polish

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LeChat is a professional gel nail polish often used in salons.

The brand’s line of gel nail polishes is called Perfect Match.

Every gel nail polish in the Perfect Match line has a matching shade of LeChat nail lacquer and dip powder.

LeChat even sells Perfect Match gel polishes and matching lacquers as dual sets.

So you can use the gel polish and have the lacquer on hand for quick touch-ups when your nails chip or grow out.

Or you can use the lacquer for a quick manicure when you don’t have the time for gel nails.

LeChat Black Velvet offers great coverage.

You get a completely opaque black in just one thin coat.

Without any sheer spots or streaks.

So basically there’s no need to apply a second layer if you don’t want to.

It’s also a great jet black shade with no leaning towards any other hues.

LeChat polish has a good formula so it doesn’t shrink in the lamp if applied right.

But still make sure to apply thin coats, as this gel polish is a bit too thick.

You can buy LeChat Black Velvet as a duo pack with a matching ordinary polish.

LeChat never tests their products on animals either.

Orly GelFX Liquid Vinyl

Black gel nails, black gel nail polish, black gel polish

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Orly is one of the oldest brands in the nail industry.

GelFX is their brand of gel nail polishes that also work great together with Orly Builder in a Bottle easy to use sculpting gel.

Orly GelFX is a healthy, vegan, and cruelty-free gel nail polish.

Orly is actually one of the healthiest gel nail polish brands available today because it’s non-toxic and is 12-free (doesn’t contain most harmful ingredients).

In addition to that, this gel polish is infused with vitamins and minerals that can improve your nails’ health while you are wearing this product, according to the manufacturer.

Orly is another brand that offers their gel nail polish in a duo pack with matching nail lacquer for touch-ups or quick manicures.

Orly GelFX black gel nail polish is a nice jet black color that doesn’t lean towards other hues.

It’s completely opaque with 2 coats but it’s a bit sheer if you apply it in one layer only.

So you can create gorgeous black gel nails with two coats.

Gel II Midnight Black

Black gel nails, black gel nail polish, black gel polish

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Gel II is a brand of professional gel nail polishes created by La Palm Spa Products.

La Palm Spa Products started as a small family business based in the USA.

The company also manufactures pedicure spa products under the Volcano Spa name, and gel nail polishes and dip powders under the Gel II brand.

It’s another line of salon-grade gel nail polishes that you can also use at home.

A great feature of Gel II polishes is that they are 2-step and soak off ones.

You don’t need to use a base coat or a primer when you use Gel II products, because they have a 2-step formula.

So you can perform your manicure a lot faster than if you are using other gel nail polishes that require a base coat and a primer.

And Gel II gel polish is less damaging to the nail plate, as the manufactiurer promises.

The company claims it’s not harmful to people who are allergic or sensitive to gel polishes, because Gel II polish contains no solvents.

Gel II Midnight Black is a beautiful jet black color.

It’s absolutely black, with no other undertones.

And it’s a bit less opaque than LeChat when you apply it in one coat.

But it becomes completely opaque with two very thin coats.

So it provides a very nice coverage.

You just need to apply it right or the polish may shrink if the layers are not thin enough.

Gel II black gel nail polish is also a bit harder to soak off than LeChat.

But it’s a good quality and long-lasting product. So it can stay on your nails for up to 3 weeks, as Gel II suggests.

Red Carpet Manicure Black Stretch Limo

Black gel nails, black gel nail polish, black gel polish

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Red Carpet Manicure (RCM) claims to be the manufacturer of the world’s first at-home gel nail polish system.

Just like Orly, this gel nail polish is pretty sheer in one coat.

But it’s also opaque in 2 layers.

It’s a true rich black color in 2 layers but looks like brown when applied in one coat.

This polish is a bit thin and runny, but it’s quite easy to apply in thin layers.

RCM gel polish also can stay on pretty well for up to 2 weeks with no chips.

DND Licorice

Black gel nails, black gel nail polish, black gel polish

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DND is a professional gel nail polish brand often used by salon nail technicians.

Just like LeChat, DND sells their gel polishes as duo packs together with matching ordinary nail lacquers.

Black gel nail polish by DND is part of a duo pack too.

The white polish bottle in the duo pack actually contains the black Licorice gel polish.

The bottle is opaque to prevent natural UV light from thickening and ruining the gel polish inside.

The black bottle contains the ordinary nail lacquer.

So you can fix your manicure with an ordinary polish when your nails grow out or when the polish chips.

Or you can get your nails done quickly using the lacquer if you don’t have enough time or don’t have a lamp at hand for a proper gel manicure.

A big plus of DND is that it’s a low odor polish.

And the downside of this gel nail polish is that it’s rather thin and runny.

So it may run into the cuticles while you’re applying it and can take longer to cure.

IBD Just Gel Viva La Noche

Black gel nails, black gel nail polish, black gel polish

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If you are looking for a beautiful black polish with sparkles then IBD Just Gel Viva La Noche is the only black gel nail polish with glitter on this list.

It’s a jet black polish with gold sparkles.

IBD Just Gel is a bit less pigmented than LeChat or Shellac.

So it may require up to 3 thin layers for even coverage without streaks.

You may also need to shake the closed bottle well to distribute the pigment before the application.

The polish is not too runny and not too thick, and it’s quite easy to apply in thin coats.

The shimmer is very cute and subtle.

IBD polish is also long-lasting and can stay up to 2 weeks, as the manufacturer promises.

A nice feature of IBD is that Just Gel polishes are pretty easy to soak off. 10 minutes is often enough.

Modelones

Black gel nails, black gel nail polish, black gel polish

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Modelones is a popular Chinese brand that manufactures gel nail polishes, gels, poly gels, dipping powders, and other products and tools for nail art.

Some of their moat interesting offerings are chameleon cat’ eye magnetic gel nail polishes.

Cat-eye manicure is a hot trend today.

It’s created with special magnetic nail polish and a small magnet tool that creates the cat-eye stone effect on your nails.

But the first step in a cat-eye manicure (after the base coat) is the application of a thin layer of black gel nail polish.

Black gel nails serve as the background for the beautiful chameleon color effect.

And black gel nail polish can also be used for painting or stamping designs over the finished cat-eye layers.

You can buy Modelones black gel nail polish as part of a 2 piece set together with a cat-eye gel polish and a magnet tool.

That way ou’ll have everything you need for creating pretty chameleon nail designs.

Vinylux Blackpool

Black gel nails, black gel nail polish, black gel polish

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Vinylux is a gel-like nail polish by CND, the maker of Shellac.

This product was released later than Shellac.

After Shellac’s success, CND saw the demand for polishes that would have the longevity of Shellac but would be easier to apply.

So they created a “weekly nail polish”.

It’s just like an ordinary nail polish because it doesn’t require curing with a UV/LED lamp.

However, Vinylux can stay on your nails longer than an ordinary polish, for up to a week.

This is less than the promised longevity of Shellac, which is 2 weeks.

But Vinulyx is much easier to apply.

You can simply air dry it. And still, it dries quicker than ordinary polishes.

In a few minutes after the application it’s hard enough, and you won’t smudge it.

Actually, for this reason, Vinilux is probably my favorite nail polish.

You don’t even need a base coat.

Vinylux has a special formula that makes it adhere to the natural nail plate really well without damaging the nail. For me personally it’s the least damaging nail polish I’ve ever used.

Like Shellac, it’s 5-free and non-toxic.

In addition to that, Vinylux contains only a minimal amount of acrylates, which can cause allergy to gel polishes in some people.

That’s why Vinylux is a great alternative to gels.

To apply Vinylux you just need to paint 2 color coats and one layer of the special Vinylux Top Coat.

And this polish is easier to remove than gel polish.

There’s no need for a lengthy soak off process.

You can remove it just like an ordinary polish. You can even use a remover without acetone.

However, Vinylux is formulated to harden on your nails with time. So it may be a bit more difficult to remove this polish if you keep it on your nails for too long.

Vinylux has the same color palette as Shellac.

So the black Vinylux polish is also called Blackpool, just like the one under the Shellac brand, and contains an identical shade.

It’s a beautiful jet black color that offers complete coverage in just 2 color coats.

What to look for in a black gel polish

Opacity

Black gel nail polish should cover the nail plate completely in 2 (maximum 3) thin layers.

That means the natural nail color must not show through.

The coverage must not be streaky.

There should be no see-through patches.

So the polish should not be too sheer.

It must be opaque enough.

At the same time, you need to get that full coverage and opacity in as few thin layers as possible.

And the layers should be really thin.

If you apply gel nail polish in thick layers or build up too many layers of the gel polish over your nails, the product won’t cure well enough. And it won’t stay on the nails for long.

A thick coat of gel polish may bubble up, wrinkle or shrink while you cure it in the lamp.

Then after a day or two, it will peel off or chip.

And thicker layers of polish may be more difficult to soak off.

Thickness

The polish you should be looking for must not be too thick or too runny.

If it’s too thick it would be very difficult to apply it in thin coats.

If it’s too thin it will run into your cuticles.

Shade

If you are looking for a black gel nail polish then you don’t want it to look brown, dark blue, or dark green.

You want it to be true deep black under any kind of light.

All the polishes on this list provide a nice pure shade of black.

Longevity

And of course, the polish must stay well on your nails.

Normally, for up to 2 or even 3 weeks.

It also must not be prone to shrinking or wrinkling when you cure it with a lamp if applied right.

How to create black gel nails

How to apply black gel polish for better coverage?

Preparation

Prepare your nails by pushing your cuticles away and shaping the nails with a file.

You may need to buff the shine off your nails unless you are using Shellac.

Clean your nail plate with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and a lint-free wipe to remove all the dust from filing or any other debris.

Some gel nail polishes need the use of a primer to prepare the nail plate too.

Base coat

After that, apply the base coat in a very thin layer and cure it with a UV/LED lamp.

Black gel nail polish

When you’re done curing the base coat apply the first coat of the preferred black gel polish.

Make sure this polish layer is very thin.

It’s always better to add another thin layer for better coverage than re-do all your manicure if the polish bubbles up in the lamp.

Cure the polish layer.

If you don’t see a complete coverage and if there are bald spots, streaks, or the color coat is too sheer then apply another thin layer and cure it too.

Some polishes may even need a third layer for an opaque look.

Top coat

When your color layers look good and are fully cured apply the top coat and cure it too.

Some top coats stay sticky after you cure them and may require an extra step in your manicure.

You will need to wipe the stickiness off the top coat with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol.

Many brands manufacture no wipe top coats.

Black gel nails: some nail art ideas

Cat-eye nails with a black gel polish background

One of the best uses for black nail polish in nail art is using it as the base for the trendy cat-eye nails.

After you’ve applied the base coat and cured it you need to add a thin layer or two of the black gel nail polish and cure these layers.

Black gel polish serves as the background for your design.

Then you apply the cat-eye effect color polish.

But before you cure it you need to hold a magnetic tool next to your nail to see the magnetic gel polish create a beautiful cat’s eye pattern.

After that, you cure the polish and apply the top coat.

You can add stamped or painted designs over the cat’s eye background.

Matte black gel nails

Black gel nails, black gel nail polish, black gel polish
Image Source: @rudevich.nails

You can create beautiful matte black gel nail designs by finishing your manicure with a matte gel top coat instead of a glossy one. Yes, it’s as simple as that.

Here is my full guide on how to create matte gel nails.

Recommended reading:

Best Professional Gel Nail Polish Brands Used In Salons: The Updated List For 2020

Best Gel Base And Top Coat: The Updated List Of The Best Gel Nail Base And Top Coat Sets

Non-Toxic Gel Nail Polish Brands 101: Choose The Safest Gel Nail Polish

Matte Gel Nails Ultimate Guide: Best Matte Gel Top Coat Brands List [Updated] Plus Gorgeous Matte Gel Nail Designs

Most Popular Shellac Colors – The Ultimate List Of 15 Best Shellac Colors For Fantastic Manicures

Gel Nail Polish vs Regular Polish

CND Shellac Ingredients And What They Mean

Best No Wipe Gel Top Coat: An Honest Review Of 12 Best No Wipe Top Coat Gel Brands

Kiara Sky Gel Polish: Full Review And Buying Guide