Long gone are the days when black nail polish was strictly reserved for rock band members and those who wanted to emulate their underground style. In more recent years, the shade is used in a variety of glamorous manicure styles, especially come the fall and winter months. From minimal line art to black chrome nails, there is no shortage of ways to use black nail polish — especially when celebrities are constantly serving up manicure inspiration. Vanessa Hudgens’ stiletto nails at Milan Fashion Week are proving yet again that black manicures are both effortlessly chic and in a league of their own.
This week, the singer and actor appeared at the drama-filled Versace show in her signature smoky glam makeup and an ensemble designed by the Italian fashion house. A complement to her series of black-and-white Versace outfits, the star showed off a stiletto-shaped set of nails with a gorgeous black ombré design. The look was courtesy of Hudgens’ go-to nail artist, Zola Ganzorigt, who also works with stars like Hailey Bieber (with whom she created the viral glazed donut nail trend) and Kendall Jenner.
In both a headshot shared by her manicurist’s agency and a video diary posted to Hudgens’ own Instagram account, you can see that the nails are painted a sheer, grayish-white shade at the cuticle that fades into a deep black for a glossy, gradient effect. Long, and filed to a sharper point than almond-shaped nails, Hudgens’ stiletto manicure is so vampy and perfect for the upcoming Halloween season — and all without sacrificing any glamour.
Gradient nails have emerged as a massive trend this season, beloved for their hazy look and use of multiple colors. Earlier this year, the gradient-adjacent aura nails trend capitalized on the same faded effect but placed the design more centrally than true gradient nails. Another gradient nail trend, ombré French nails, recently took over TikTok, too. Unlike a traditional French manicure, this style incorporates two shades from the same color family in a vertical ombré design that alternates on the tip, so that each side of the nail bleeds from one shade into the other. Rather than the usual light-pink-and-white that you’re used to seeing in a classic French mani, creators have been experimenting with fun, bold colors like bright purples and blues.
To get the look at home, gather up at least three polishes in the same color palette — for example: a baby blue, a true blue, and a deep blue — and dot just a bit of lacquer in the desired area. Use a makeup sponge’s fine tip to blend the shades together and seal it with a top coat.
The gradient nail trend seems to only be ramping up — so if you’re on board, now would be a great time to brush up on your blending skills.