With every Halloween comes the chance to dabble with the dark side. Whether you're going as a witch, flapper or skunk, black nail polish is a solid go-to this time of year. But some contend black isn't just black. Brands are carefully naming their nail polish shades to create a character around their bottles' content.
The gritty: Zombies listen up. Illamasqua, with the tagline: "Make-up for your alter ego, calls its black "Scorn," which just might reflect your walking dead attitude toward the living. Vampires and Goths or just Goths-for-the-Night might browse the drugstore aisles for Sally Hansen's "Black Heart," to achieve a dead-on dead-on-the-inside look. Werewolves, check out Nars Night Breed black lacquer before hitting the streets.
The glam: Sephora Collection's "Chic and Rebel" suggests polished with an edge, a good choice for bikers and rockers. Slipping into a Catwoman costume? (A la Julie Newmar from the classic 60s Batman TV series as pictured at left.) Take a look at China Glaze Liquid Leather. Going for sexy raccoon with a "Risky Raccoon" costume -- yes, that's an actual costume available at various retailers -- SpaRitual's Street Smart might be perfect.
The grand: The right black can be exquisitely opulent, oui? Dior's Untitled Black is the finishing touch for a museum curator costume. Just add black frame glasses! Yves Saint Laurent's No. 27 or Noir Primitiv could top off an over-the-top Lady Gaga ensemble.
The princess: Sephora by OPI taps into black's girly girl side with two shades of black: "What's a tire jack?" and "Never Enough Shoes." A black girly enough for a fairy princess or toddlers in tiaras? A fancy black mani might be the offbeat detail that wins you a crown.
Sure there are purists out there who will insist black is black and a few brands have named their darkest dark exactly that. As namers and consumers of nail polish ourselves, we feel part of the fun is playing the personality game, picking the shade that says something about you, even if it's a version of yourself you're only playing for the night.