Black and white are dramatic, universally flattering and incredibly versatile colors. When worn alone, they’re crisp, classic and chic, but when paired together, they create a graphic look that makes a bold statement. If your clients want stand-out nail art, mix in some unique finishes like a glossy topcoat for dimension or get artsy with hand-painted embellishments.

Whether your customers are looking for a minimalist design that’s effortlessly cool or a full-blown mani masterpiece, create something they’re sure to love with these two timeless shades. Need some inspo? Here are five black and white nail art ideas to get you started.

1. Play with Negative Space

Negative space manicures — minimalist designs that expose a strategic portion of the natural nail — are a runway nail art staple. For a “barely there” effect, paint one black or white dot just above the center of each cuticle, and finish with a glossy topcoat. Want something a little more glam? Paint a black arc around the “moon,” or lunula, of each nail, leaving the moon either polish-free or painted stark white. After at least 10 minutes, or until the polish is definitely dry, finish with a shiny topcoat.

Photo Source: @cndworld

Photo Source: @trajni_lak_rijeka

2. Paint Linear Looks

Sometimes a simple line is the perfect nail art accent. This style is easy and quick to create, but it makes a stunning graphic impact, especially with the contrast of black and white. Using a thin striping brush, paint black diagonal, vertical or horizontal lines across white long-wear polish. Paint a black base and white lines on alternating nails for a unique overall look.

Photo Source: @cndworld

Photo Source: @oliveandjune

3. Rethink the Classics

The traditional French mani will be a client favorite forever. So next time your customer has a formal affair, why not suggest they try French with a twist? Paint at least two coats of shiny black as the base, then use an ultra-bright white as the tip for a modern take on a classic.

Black and white French manicure

4. Mix Textures

Add a little dimension to your nail art by working with at least two different nail polish finishes. Consider mixing black matte with a black metallic shade or a creamy opaque white with a shimmering white. For a sparkly look, mix a holographic glitter with a pearly iridescent polish. There are endless options for textural combinations, and they’ll all leave your clients looking fierce.

Mixed-texture black manicure

5. Add Bling

Who needs jewelry when your gem-pressed manicure glistens? Pair this hot-off-the runway trend with black polish for evening drama or white polish for something a little more bright. To go subtle, press a tiny stone at the very tip of each nail. To go all out with an over-the-top look, mix and match rhinestones of all shapes and sizes, applying as many as you can fit. When it comes to bling, the more the better.

Gemstone-clad black and white manicure

From checkered print and houndstooth to polka dots and chevron, the options for black and white nail art designs are seemingly endless. Which of these styles will your clients love?