Dark Academia Nails 2023: How to Achieve the Perfect Moody Manicure

Craving a new way to articulate your adoration for the dark academia aesthetic via your manicure? Search no more, dark academia inspired nails are your answer! This stylish nail art trend skillfully blends broody, scholarly tones with sleek, university-redux designs for a cultivated and daring appearance.

You can channel your inner Wednesday Addams and embrace your scholastic super-goth side with dark academia nails. Think plaid patterns, deep jewel tones, and moody neutrals. Whether you’re heading to class or the office, these nails are all business and totally chic. Plus, they’re a great way to add a touch of personality to your look without going overboard. So why not try dark academia nails and see how they can elevate your style?

History of Dark Academia

Dark academia has its roots in the campus novel, a literary genre that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s and focused on the lives of students and faculty at universities. These novels often explored themes of intellectualism, elitism, and the tension between tradition and modernity.

In the mid-2010s, the dark academia aesthetic began to gain popularity on social media platforms like Tumblr. The aesthetic’s focus on classic literature, libraries, and education resonated with many users, and it quickly became a cultural phenomenon.

Today, the dark academia aesthetic has expanded beyond social media and into fashion, beauty, and home decor. Dark academia nails are just one example of how this aesthetic has permeated popular culture.

What is the Dark Academia Aesthetic?

If you’re a fan of the dark academia aesthetic, you’re likely familiar with its focus on intellectual pursuits, classic literature, and timeless fashion. But did you know that you can also incorporate this aesthetic into your nail art? Dark academia nails perfectly showcase your love for this style while adding a unique touch to your look.

At its core, the dark academia aesthetic is all about embracing the intellectual and academic side of life. This means that libraries, books, and learning are all central themes. The style is often associated with classic literature, art, and architecture, and it typically features a muted color palette of blacks, grays, browns, and deep greens.

When it comes to dark academia nails, there are a few key elements to keep in mind. First and foremost, the color palette is essential. Think dark, moody shades like deep burgundy, forest green, and navy blue. You can also incorporate neutral colors like cream, beige, and gray for a more subtle look.

In terms of designs, plaid patterns are a popular choice for dark academia nails. You can also incorporate other classic patterns like houndstooth or pinstripes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try adding small illustrations of classic literature or art to your nails.

When it comes to nail shapes, a classic square or almond shape is a great choice for dark academia nails. These shapes are timeless and sophisticated, which perfectly complements the aesthetic. You can also experiment with different nail lengths to find the perfect look for you.

Dark Academia Color Palette

Dark academia is all about embracing darker, more muted tones, so you’ll want to avoid bright or neon colors. Instead, opt for dark neutrals, such as brown, gray, beige, burgundy, and green.

Gray is a trendy color in the dark academia color palette. It’s a versatile shade that can be paired with many other colors, and it has a timeless, classic look that fits perfectly with the academic aesthetic. You can use shades of gray in your manicure, from light gray to charcoal. You can also combine gray with other colors, such as burgundy or green, to create a more complex look.

Another color that works well in the dark academia color palette is brown. Brown is a warm, earthy color that can add depth and richness to your manicure. You can use different shades of brown, from light tan to dark chocolate, to create a gradient effect. You can also combine brown with other colors, such as green or beige, to create a more natural, organic look.

When choosing your colors, it’s important to think about how they will work together. You can create a cohesive look using different shades of the same color or contrast by pairing complementary colors. You can also use patterns like stripes or polka dots to add interest to your manicure.

Dark Academia Nails Designs

French Tip Dark Academia

French tip nails are a classic and timeless design, but adding a dark academia twist takes them to the next level. Instead of the traditional white tip, opt for a deep burgundy or navy blue. You can also add a touch of gold or silver to the tip for a more luxurious feel. This design is perfect for those who want to add a subtle touch of dark academia to their look.

Tortoiseshell Pattern Dark Academia

Tortoiseshell pattern nails are a trendy and unique design that look great in dark academia colors. To achieve this look, start with a deep brown or black base color. Then, use a toothpick or nail art brush to create irregular shapes in shades of beige and brown. Finish off with a matte topcoat for a sophisticated finish.

Plaid Dark Academia

Plaid nails are a fun and playful design that can easily be adapted to the dark academia aesthetic. Start with a black or dark green base color, then use a thin nail art brush to create a plaid pattern in shades of white, beige, and brown. This design is perfect for those who want to add a touch of whimsy to their dark academia look.

Incorporating Dark Academia Style in Daily Life

Think classic pieces with a modern twist when it comes to dark academia style. Incorporating plaid patterns, muted colors, and vintage-inspired accessories are all great ways to achieve the look. And your nails are no exception! Try a matte black or deep burgundy polish for a sophisticated touch, or add a plaid accent nail for a subtle nod to the trend.

But it’s not just about the color and pattern of your nails. The shape and length can also play a role in achieving the perfect dark academia look. Opt for a square or almond shape with a medium length to keep it classy and timeless.

In addition to your nails, there are plenty of other ways to incorporate dark academia style into your daily life. Think tweed blazers, oxford shoes, and vintage-inspired accessories like pocket watches and leather journals. And don’t forget about the educational aspect of the trend – pick up a classic novel or brush up on your Latin phrases to fully immerse yourself in the dark academia world.


How do you become a baddie nail?

u0022Baddie nailu0022 is a term used to describe a certain style of long, polished nails with accessories like crystals, glitters, stickers, and ombre prints. To achieve this look, one should grow their nails long, maintain them well, and use accessories to decorate them. 

What are dark academia hobbies?

Dark academia is a subculture that values intellectualism, literature, and the arts. Some hobbies that fit within the aesthetic include reading classic literature, writing, painting, playing classical music, learning Latin, visiting museums and libraries, and practicing calligraphy.

Are black nails stylish?

Yes, black nails are considered stylish and timeless. They can be worn in a variety of ways, from a classic glossy black manicure to intricate designs with glitter, ombre, or other colors. Black nails can be edgy, chic, or elegant, depending on the style and occasion. 

What are the subjects of dark academia?

Dark academia is a subculture that values intellectualism, literature, and the arts. The subjects that fit within the aesthetic include history, philosophy, literature, art history, classics, and languages. It also emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, and self-expression. 

Are dark nails classy?

Yes, dark nails can be classy and sophisticated. They can add a touch of elegance and mystery to any outfit, and are a versatile choice for both formal and casual occasions. Dark nails can also be paired with a variety of colors and styles, making them a timeless and chic choice. 

What is a rich girl manicure?

A rich girl manicure is a term coined by celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik to describe a perfectly manicured and polished nail look. It is characterized by neutral or pastel colors, a glossy finish, and a clean, straightforward design. The trend has gained popularity among celebrities and on social media.

Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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Elisa Steffes reviews designer fashion brands and elegant pieces for a living. She also loves Old Money Brands and is passionate about writing about topics related to this classic style.
She has close to 3 years of experience in SEO and has taken the Streetstylis Pinterest account to one of the most popular magazines on Pinterest and Instagram.
When she's not working, you'll find her doing Pilates, dancing or hanging out with her friends in Malta.

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