Nail Art Tutorial: Negative Space Nails

A trendy negative space manicure tutorial - learn how to do this hot look on your own nails at home.
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Paige - Marist College
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A trendy negative space manicure tutorial - learn how to do this hot look on your own nails at home.
Negative space nail art

Negative space nails are one of the latest and most popular nail art trends. These incredibly simple yet stylish nails are surprisingly easy to create, and I'll show you how to do so below:

What You'll Need:

  • A Base Coat.I used Rimmel's Base Coat Top Coat Pro
  • Any color(s) of your choice. I used Revlon's "Blackout" and "Plum Seduction". Do not use any thick polishes or glitters; try to use a thinner polish for cleaner results.
  • Nail Striping Tape. You're totally thinking "Where the heck can I find nail striping tape and what even is that?" but trust me on this one. Nail striping tape is thin tape used to make clean lines in nail art. It can be found at any beauty supply store, like Sally's Beauty, or online, at places like Born Pretty Store for $0.99. This cannot be substituted for regular clear tape. I tried it out and was left with a clumpy mess! The striping tape I used is by It's So Easy.
  • Top Coat. I used Rimmel's Base Coat Top Coat Pro once again!

Get the Look:

Start with applying a base coat to your nails. This is, of course, optional, but it will help protect your natural nails and help your design last longer.

Once this base coat is dry, stick the striping tape onto your nail. Make sure you cut off the excess tape, but leave some overhang so it's easy to remove. Also, make sure to press the tape down very well.

Negative space nail art step 1

TIP: Use a toothpick to press down the tape to make sure it's firmly adhered to each nail.

Next, paint two coats of your fave polish over the tape. It is important to use gentle strokes and thin coats. You want to make sure the polish does not bleed under the tape.

Negative space nails step 2

Wait for the polish to dry almost entirely (I waited about three minutes), then slowly and carefully remove the striping tape.

Voilà! The trendy negative space nails are complete. If any nail polish happens to bleed under or get in your negative spaces, dip a toothpick in nail polish remover and clean up your lines.

The Finished Look:

Negative space nails final

This nail art look is versatile and classic, and can be created with any color (although lighter colors tend to be easiest). It is also super-easy to customize this nail art because you can change the thickness of the space by purchasing thicker nail tape.

What do you think?

Do you think you'll try the negative space nail trend? What other nail art trends are you crazy about? 

If you try out this look, don't forget to use the tag #collegefashionnails and tag the CF Instagram, @collegefashion. We would love to see your recreations!