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22 DIY Minimalist Monochrome Manicures

To complement your fall wardrobe of black, black, and more black.

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1. Polka Dot Party Nails

With accent nails, aim for 2 on one hand and 1 on the other. Paint the black first and let dry, then with the back of an eyeshadow brush, carefully dot the white on top.

2. Random Chevrons

Paint the white background first and let dry. Then, cut small triangles from tape, framing them with straight tape pieces and filling in the center to make your chevron. Or, use a nail art brush and try not to jiggle!

3. The Half Moon

Paint the white first, and let it dry. Then, use circular stickers to block off the white, or a steady hand to paint the outline with a nail art brush and fill in the rest with black.

4. Plain Punctuation

For grammar nerds and English majors! This one can only be done with a steady hand and some patience. Try a toothpick for the dots and a nail art brush for larger symbols.

8. The Black and White French

Paint your base black. Let dry, and with a steady hand apply a thick coat of white. If you need help, tape or store-bought French Manicure guides can help you keep your line on track.

9. The Dotted Ombre

Achieve this great look by painting your base color, letting it dry, and using a toothpick to stipple on the contrasting color. Go heavier on the dots at the nail tip, fading to smaller, lighter dots as you move toward the cuticle.

11. The Jailbird

Try this one with a white base, then use thin cut strips of tape to block out stripes for the black accents. Let the white dry COMPLETELY before adding the black for a sleek and clean stripe.

12. Roll The Dice

Great for a night out in Vegas, or whenever you're feeling lucky. Paint the white base, then use the back of an eyeshadow brush, or the tip of an old-school wooden pencil to make the black dots.

14. Beautiful Bows

These were probably done with nail striping tape, but you can achieve a more natural look (where the bows don't end mid-nail) with a striping brush and a steady hand!

15. Color Blocking

Paint the lighter base first, and let dry. Then do two rounds of taping-off to fill in the black squares (bottom squares, then top. This requires 3 rounds of polish drying, so be sure you have some time on your hands. No pun intended)

22. Yin Yang Redux

This one takes a few drying cycles. Paint the white base, let dry. Use tape to mark off the black diagonal side, paint and let dry. Use a toothpick to dot the contrasting colors, let dry and top off with a shiny clear top coat.

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