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40 Acrylic Nails on Black Women

Acrylic nails offer women from all walks of life the opportunity to rock stylish and strong nail designs that celebrate womanhood. But Black women and acrylic nails go hand and hand. From ancient times to the current day, our ability to set trends, and push the envelope is unparalleled. 

Fake nails date back to ancient Egypt originally worn by Egyptian royals as a symbol of wealth and high status.  Acrylic nails as we know them now were invented accidentally by a dentist who used his dental acrylics to mend his own broken nail in the 1950s. Fast forward to the 1980s when a Black woman, THE FASTEST WOMAN ALIVE, Ms. Florence Griffith Joyner wore them and popularized them as part of her trademark style while racing for Team USA in the Olympics.

Even with centuries of historical and cultural impact, acrylic nails (like many other Black cultural inventions) are still often devalued and described as unprofessional or “ghetto,” when worn by Black women, meanwhile applauded and praised as chic and trendy when worn by others. 

This post celebrates everything that is bold, beautiful, and undeniably Black about acrylic nail styles. From short to long, nude to bedazzled every look brings with it fierce, fashionable femininity, Enjoy!

Are acrylic nails unprofessional?

No. Acrylic nails, like natural, polished, or gel nails are professional and appropriate so long as they are clean, not chipped, and not impeding your ability to perform in your professional role.

How many nail shapes are there?

There are approximately 8 nail shape variations: Square, Round, Oval, Squoval, Almond, Stiletto, Coffin, and Ballerina. An additional 5 shapes are Mountain peak, Arrow Head and Edge (similar to Stiletto), Lipstick, and Flare.

Are acrylic nails expensive?

A full set of acrylics can range from $25-$55 depending on where you live and the reputation of the nail technician. Researching your nail tech’s work including online reviews and referrals can help you avoid unsatisfactory results, infections, or long-term damage. 

If you’d like to reduce the cost by doing your own nail set at home, all you need are:

Please only attempt to do your own acrylic nails if you already have some knowledge of nail application. If you’ve never done your nails at home, please go to a nail salon near you.

But if you’re up for the challenge and insist on doing your own nails at home, then I suggest watching this video to see how to use all of these tools and products to create the perfect nail set at home, please watch the video below.

Will acrylic damage my nails?

Over time, acrylic nails can leave your natural nails dry and prone to breakage. Removing acrylics improperly can worsen this damage. Leave it to the professionals when it is time to remove your acrylics. Staying hydrated, taking breaks after 3 months of acrylic applications, and taking supplements can help combat potential damage.

If you´re a DIY queen and would prefer to take down your own nails at home, please watch the video below to see how to safely take down your nails without damage.

1. Natural pink crystal bling

Iridescent rhinestones and diamond-like encrusted nail jewelry take these pink nails to the next level.

bling acrylic long nails for black women

2. Burnt orange gold foil stilettos

Matte top coat and nail foil complement gold and bronze jewelry.

matte orange acrylic stilleto nails on brown skin

3. Black and natural crystal flaming hearts

Gemstone nail jewelry and rhinestones use the full length of this acrylic canvas in this chic handpainted design.

long acrylic nails for dark skin

4. Dark taupe ballerina nails

Monochromatic classic ballerina nails are a perfect fit for moms folding clothes to bosses closing deals.

trendy coffin acrylic nails

5. Powder pink rock candy ballerina nails

The powder pink color evokes the ballerina slippers that give this nail shape its name. Rock candy texture accentuates the ring finger and draws attention to any sparkly jewelry on that hand.

long square nails for black girls

6. Assorted French tip designs on square nails

Variety is the spice of life. Here the indecisive can have it all; pink and white, cow print, rhinestones, and cartoon faces. No holds barred.

medium length acrylic nails with rhinestone

7. Pastel cartoon French tips

Pretty pastels take a page from a comic strip borrowing dimension, shading, and shadow techniques from cartoon illustrations. A simple but unexpected design.

cute french top nail art for black women

8. Classic French tip freestyle square nails

Classic pink and white is beautiful with freestyle sweeping swooping lines for added interest.

classic french tip nails design on dark skin

9. Just Desserts sparkly square nails

Sweet tooths only. Here dessert-themed charms, jeweled appliques, rhinestones, and magnetic nail pom poms scream birthday girl season.

3d acrylic nails for black girls

10. Baby blue variations on long square nails

The baby blue color palate will pair perfectly with blue denim of any shade. The combination of nail jewelry, gems, texture, and glitter is giving big date night energy

trendy acrylic nails design for black women

11. Rhinestones and glitter and bears oh my! Long mauve square and stiletto nails

If you can dream it, then you can wear it. Nail charms come in every shape, size, and gummy bear flavor. Glitter sand adds sparkle and dimensions to this flirty look.

cute acrylic nails on black women

12. Mint and lilac short stiletto nails

Stiletto? Mountain peak?, Sharp almond? No matter what you call the shape, these pastel pretties are a Spring fever dream.

mint stilleto nails for black women

13. Chocolate love on white square nails

She’s got her eyes on you! These freestyle chocolate hearts are serving up Black Love in a whole new way.

short acrylic nails for black girls

14. Sesame after dark, cartoon art on long square nails

Elmo? Cookie Monster? Is that you?? The artist puts a new adult spin on our favorite childhood characters. Every neighborhood has an after-hours scene!

doodle nails design on dark skin

15. Mirror French manicure on short square nails

Acrylic styles can be short and cute, especially when long glamorous nails impede your work. This short mirrored manicure is great for newbies who need to type or perform precision tasks.

simple pink french tip nails for black girls

16. Simple nude and white coffin nails

This subtle white outline emphasizes the coffin shape without overpowering the monochromatic nude paint.

classic acrylic nails for black women

17. Shades of pink and assorted gemstones on long square nails

A pink color palette showcases floral, freestyle designs, and jewels for a most feminine style.

3d nail art design for black girls nails

18. Purple reign on long ballerina nails

Majestic purple hues, regal nail jewelry, ombre paint, and freestyle accents make for a royal style fit for a queen.

blue ombre nails with rhinestone

19. Hand-painted French tip in pink and white on ballerina nails

Softly sweeping white paint accents are understated and elegant.

swirls french tip nails for black women

20. Pink and gold variety coffin nail “press ons”

These ready-made designs are easily applied at home. Press-on kits make mixing and matching super easy.

baby pink with rhinestone nails for dark skin

21. Green gradient stiletto nails

These wicked green stiletto nails are frighteningly fierce.

simple french tip nails for black girls

22. Candy shop long square nails

Meet your boyfriend at the candy shop in these summertime sweet nails. Colorful charms are youthful and fun.

3d candy on acrylic nails for dark skin

23. Minimalist natural square nails with pink and white accent and acrylic strengthening

Here acrylic is layered upon natural nails to reinforce the natural length. A subtle powder and hot pink angular accent design emphasize natural nail contours.

simple acrylic nails design for black girls

24. Powder blue mountain peak (short stiletto) nails

Prom perfect, masterful maid of honor, fine in formal wear. This perfectly posh look demands a closeup.

powder blue short stilleto nails on brown skin

25. Gray sky pearl coffin nails with rhinestone accents

White? Gray? Clouds? Sky? No matter the color name this mystery gray sky color is always a conversation starter.

swarovski nails design on black women

26. Under the sea mermaid jewels and glitter on coffin nails

Black girl mermaids are all the buzz here lately. This mermaid tail color palette will turn heads.

glitter acrylic nails for black girls

27. Pretty in pink and gold on coffin nails

Glitter makes everything better.

elegant pink nails for black girls

28. Skin tone neutrals on coffin nails

Gold foil, marbling, and ombre effect showcase how neutrals are everything right about this style.

classic brown nails design for dark skin

29. Natural and nudes on medium almond nails

Nail stencils will guarantee a precision gold line every time.

cute almond nails for black women

30. Tropical bright freestyle on long square nails

These beach-ready acrylics boast bright tropical colors and designs. Is it summer yet?

spongebob theme acrylic nails

31. Pink oval nails

Bubblegum pink against chocolate brown skin is a stunning contrast.

pink natural nails with almond-shaped on black women

32. Golden drip on nude almond nails

The gold drip is a sexy addition to neutral matte nails. This design is alive with movement.

metallic drip nails design for black girls

33. Shady French-tipped coffin nails with jeweled accent applique

Diamond studded nail jewelry is just the statement piece to turn heads. The gray contour shadows add depth and nuance to this classic design.

cute white french tip nails for black women

34. Clear and white heavenly square acrylic nails

This angelic look is soft, sweet, and innocent. The white petal art is cloudlike and as weightless as an angel’s wings. Perfect for weddings and graduations.

3d acrylic nail art on dark skin

35. Sandy gold textured square nails

Nail glitter powder adds visual interest and texture to this neutral color palette. The large Gucci logo charms are an unexpected nod to luxury.

cute 3d bunny nails for black girls

36. “I Do,” Wedding day french with pearl studded tips on pink and white coffin nails

Nothing says “going to the chapel” like a classic pink and white manicure. The pearl studding is symmetrical and stunning.

elegant white french tip on black women

37. “Out of this world” glitter, marble, and ombre technique on space-themed coffin nails

Here various paint techniques combine to bring the night sky alive right at your fingertips.

black nails design for black women

38. Just peachy short coffin acrylics

A simple peach color palette gets a boost with opaque glitter paint.

pink nails design for black girls

39. Elevated pink and white with freestyle tips and rhinestone accents on coffin nails

Another fun and flirty variation on the classic pink and white.

acrylic nails with rhinestone

40. Classy claws matte black stiletto nails with silver glitter and rhinestone accent

This final look is EVERYTHING. Black matte claw-like stiletto nails are powerful, strong, and sexy. The silver rhinestone studded accent nails grab your attention, while the other eight nails won’t let you look away. Pair this look with leather, not lace.

black stiletto acrylic nails for black girls