Everything You Need to Know About Rocking Navy-Blue Nails

  • Navy-blue nails are currently a trending manicure style.
  • The color is perfect for transitioning from summer to fall.
  • We've rounded up navy-blue nail inspiration to bring to your next manicure appointment.

When it comes to cool, dark-and-mysterious nail-polish shades, navy-blue manicures take the cake. Navy polish is currently trending, especially since Polar Night, a seriously dark blue, was named one of Pantone's fall 2022 core classic colors.

"You can really have fun with navy," celebrity manicurist Sunshine says. "It's another take on a neutral tone that looks good with just about anything." Here, we get her tips on how to pull off a navy-blue manicure and inspiration to take with you to your next salon appointment.

What to Ask For at the Salon

Navy blue isn't a one-and-done color: there are many different shades of navy. You could choose anything from a lighter, more royal blue to a super-dark almost black (like Polar Night) to a metallic or sparkly polish. You can ask your nail pro for the shade to best complement your skin tone, Sunshine says, or just go for the color that calls to you. "For some, skin tone doesn't matter, so they may just want to be more creative when choosing navy."

How to Make Navy Nails Last Longer

"First, make sure your nail tech polishes with two even coats that cover the entire nail and topcoat," Sunshine says. If you're using traditional polish, once you get home from the salon, apply a topcoat again the same day, skip the next, and then do a topcoat again on the third. "I find this method to be chip-proof, and your manicure should last seven to 10 days — almost as long as gel polish," Sunshine says. If you're wearing gel polish, then there isn't much at-home care besides not picking the gel off, she adds.

Pro Tricks For Doing a Navy-Blue Manicure at Home

Lay the foundation for a neat and lasting look by starting with a primer or ridge-filler base coat. "This will make sure that your polish can be applied evenly with full coverage, and it can also aid in not tinting your natural nail plate blue," Sunshine explains. Use three full strokes — down the middle, on the left, and then on the right. For the second coat, go a little slower so everything is filled in. Next, swipe the tip of the nail with color, and finish with a shiny topcoat. "Nails will look like water at night," Sunshine says. Chic!

Can You Do Nail Art With Navy?

Of course! But doing it yourself might be tricky, as darker colors can be unforgiving. Try something simple like a french design with a navy tip. "A stripe or two or a few dots are also very easy to do and don't require much practice," Sunshine says. Just be sure your base color is dry before adding nail art.

Best Navy Nail Polish Inspo

Short Navy Nails

Dark navy works for any nail shape — round, square, or almond, Sunshine says. And here's a fun fact: "Darker shades tend to make the nails look slimmer," she says.

Navy With Negative Space

As Sunshine says, you can have fun with navy. This design pairs the sophistication of the shade with modern-looking negative space plus a touch of metallic.

Navy French and Checkered Combo

Since navy is a neutral, it can be worked into an elaborate mani like this one that involves gold and a grid design.

Gold-Dipped Navy

Want to make navy the star of the show with a little extra zhuzh? Make navy your base, then highlight it with just a sliver of gold at the tip.

Navy Moon and Stars

Just like the night sky, navy looks great with sparkling celestial enhancement.

Matte Navy

Keep things simple with just matte polish, or add a spattering of studs on a few nails to subtly spice things up.