Negative Space Manicure

negative-space-manicure-000My favorite nail art trend is the negative space manicure. So what is negative space? In the art world, negative space is the space around and between objects that make interesting shapes, not the shape of the object itself.

negative-space-manicure-001The negative space manicure trend had a major moment last fall and this spring at Fashion Week. I love how Marissa Webb created a negative space manicure with a simple stripe of clear nail up the middle with a navy polish on either side.

negative-space-manicure-002Since spring is officially here in Phoenix, I thought it would be fun to try the negative space manicure trend using some vibrant spring colors. If you aren’t sure about bright colors, or using two complimentary colors like I did, you can do something more subtle.  You could use more neutral colors, or just one color, like Webb did.

negative-space-manicure-003I love this negative space manicure because it is so easy to do, and can easily be adjusted using different colors or tape designs. Here are the super simple steps to create your own negative space manicure.

negative-space-manicure-004Negative Space Manicure


2 Colors of Nail Polish (I used Essie’s Cute as a Button & Watermelon)
Base Coat (optional)
Top Coat (I used Sally Hansen Big Shiny Topcoat)
Masking or Scotch Tape


  1. Prepare your nails by gently pushing back your cuticles and removing any old nail polish.
  2. Apply a light base coat (optional—I didn’t have a base coat, so skipped this step)
  3. Cut masking or scotch tape into thin strips.
  4. Apply one strip directly above the natural half moon shape on your nail bed and press to ensure all the air bubbles are out of the tape for a secure seal.
  5. Paint below the tape with one color and above the tape with another color of your choice. I applied two thin coats for the desired color.
  6. After the paint is dry, quickly remove the tape strips.
  7. Once all tape strips are removed, paint on a top coat.



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