5 Tips for a Negative Space Mani

The cute cutouts in dresses and peek-a-boo skin of cold-shoulder tops have finally trickled over into mainstream manis! Negative space manicures first hit the runways in 2014, and the trend is finally picking up speed in everyday life. A negative space manicure has varying degrees of bare nail peeking through your regular nail polish – whether it’s the top, the bottom, graphic lines, or an entire bare nail with just one polka dot in the middle. It’s a super easy way to get creative this spring, and the dry time is c’est magnifique.

A mani with the bottom part of the nail bed bare allows for no-fuss nail growth

This minimalist, low-maintenance, easy-to-achieve style is for anyone who’s on the go and wants a longer-lasting no-fuss manicure. Basically all of us! Check out our simple DIY tips below and have fun!

Tip #1: There are no rules when playing with negative space! These manis look best when each nail is unique, or when the pattern is super simple. So try out something new each time! Check out our Pinterest nail board for lots of negative space mani inspo.

Tip #2: Just like in fashion and makeup, your final result is only as good as your base layer. Prep your nails like you would for any manicure, but pay special attention to any stains you may have gotten from using bright color lacquers. A good way to help lift nail stains is soaking your nails in warm lemon water for 1 – 2 minutes. Stains still not budging? Try a combo of baking soda (exfoliate), a few squeezes of lemon juice (acidic lightener), and olive oil (moisturizer) and apply gently to the nail with a toothbrush.

Tip #3: Start out with your favorite base coat – we like Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat ($5.99), which dries almost as fast as you apply it.

Tip #4: If you’re feeling artistic and want to use tools other than the nail polish wand brush, check out a nail art kit (Ulta has one for $11.99 and our girl Sally Hansen has one for $6.49). These kits come with multiple tools made for swiping thin or thick lines on the nail, a dotter, and a tiny brush for clean up.

Tip #5: Finish with a top coat and hit the road.

 

Pops of color on neutral

 

Window pane stripes

 

It doesn’t get much easier than this

{all photos from Brit + Co}

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