Black nail polishThat's right, I said it: Black nail polish. To most people, the trend may bring about thoughts of wannabe-punk thirteen year-olds and surly teen goths that hang out by the local 7-11 dumpster, but I assure you, black nail polish will stick around for a very long time. Just take a look at the popularity of Chanel's "Black Satin" and New York Magazine's brief -- but fascinating -- history of black nail polish.

I started wearing black nail polish a few years ago because of my nail-biting habits. It started getting out of control when I realized that I loathed shaking peoples' hands, in fear of them seeing my horrible, gnawed up fingernails. Since I knew I couldn't possibly resort to the bitter nail-biting cream (I have a tendency to forget I have stuff on my hands and proceed to rub my eyes), I decided I would try wearing bold nail polish all the time. So, I bought some nice black nail polish -- black being the only color that goes with everything I own -- and started wearing it all the time. Having nice-looking nails turned out to be incentive enough to keep my hands away from my mouth. Thanks to black nail polish, I haven't bitten my nails in over two years!

End testimonial. Ahem...

The beauty of black nail polish is that, when applied correctly, it adds a bit of an edge to an otherwise ultra-femme outfit or a bit of class to a grungier look. However, some people end up looking like bad Halloween witches when they wear black nail polish. Why is that? Well, the secret to properly sporting black is all in the nails... If the nails are cut damn near the bone, the black makes fingers look stubby. If nails are too long, the dark polish gives that weird "witch with talons" effect. The best thing to do is cut the nails short and square (similar to the pictured nails, even though they're starting to get a bit on the long side). It's very mod, no?

The only downside of black nail polish is that it is surprisingly high-maintenance. Nails have to be constantly clipped to maintain the proper length and shape, and top coats have to be applied and re-applied to prevent chipping. Even the tiniest chip creates a wannabe Avril Lavigne look, and I'm sure no one wants that. But if one is willing to put in the time to care for their nails, black nail polish is a wonderfully versatile look that will stick for a long time.