Nail Trend: Negative Space

Ciaté may have just made this nail trend easier for us – but I decided that as I’m on the last legs of my final ever instalment of student loan, I would probably have to go back to the drawing board! Luckily for me, on my desk – next to that lovely imaginary drawing board was a role of sticky tape. Sorted.

Negative Space Nails. 2015

Negative Space Nails. 2015

Negative space nails have been around for a while, but only recently have they been blowing up in the popularity stakes. Coachella saw a lot of this trend – I could barely scroll five photos on my Instagram feed before coming across a Coachella picture post. These posts generally divide into the following categories:

  • Beauty trends – you have your festival hair, fun make up, and look-at-my-tan type pics.
  • Fashion looks – this year’s must wears for the festivals, basically a massive this is what to put on your ASOS wish list till you have saved up enough to buy for which ever festival you a frequenting this summer.
  • Look how much fun I’m having while you’re sat inside writing your dissertation posts – I may have made this one up, but seeing pictures of all the already summer ready, tanned and bikini clad people in the sun just isn’t as fun to see when you’re not also sunning it up somewhere… classic case of Insta-evny!

(Note: Insta-envy is also prevalent when your friend posts an artfully shot picture of her delightfully nutritious and delicious breakfast and you managed a bite of a stale bagel and a sip of cold tea – fab!)

Any-who, after an exhausting scroll through my Instagram I was inspired and decided to have some fun with my latest nail look. I have posted the method for all may lovely readers below.

Negative Space Nails
What you need
  • Nail polish – monochrome is the way to go, but once you’ve mastered this trend why not mix it up with metallics and brights for a more summery feel.
  • A nail file
  • Sticky tape
  • A pair of scissors
  • Clear nail polish / top coat
  • Base coat
What to do

Firstly, shape and prep your nails. I used the Sakare ‘Passion’ Nail Kit, to ensure a primed base that will keep my nails looking healthy and help the paint to last longer before chipping.

Next I painted my base coat. For this I wanted a smooth even finish that would work well, so I used my go to product: Essie Millionails Strengthening Treatment Base Coat. This cloudy polish comes out clear, coating the nail evenly with the easy to use brush. This formula also dries quickly and is kind to your nails – full of iron, amino acids and kevlar.

Now, be patient your nails need to be dry or when you peel off your sticky tape, off comes your evenly applied base coat. Disaster.

For the tape (I used Scotch Magic Tape – the matte finish makes it easy to see when placing on your nails) cut a section from your dispenser – if you have one – this makes it easier to cut smaller strips for your nails. Cut the shapes you want, stripes, triangles, etc. I always use shapes that mean I can have excess tape over the edge of the nail for ease of peeling off later.

Now your nails are dry, place the designs you have chosen onto your nails. As I’m right handed I did this on my four fingers of my left hand first and then painted them as normal with your chosen colour (I used Nail Paint by Barry M 161 Vivid Purple and Ciaté Paint Pots 044 Superficial), leaving to dry partially before peeling off the tape. I then repeated on my right hand and finally my thumbs.

Negative Space Nails. 2015

Negative Space Nails. 2015

(Note: it’s important to wait until the paint has dried partially so the paint doesn’t travel over the negative space you have made – but don’t wait too late or more of the paint may come away with the tape than intended)

Good luck…

If you Tweet or Instagram me your Negative Space nail looks with the hash tag below and I’ll share them on the blog!




Fun Fact

Ciaté is an anagram of Colour, Innovation, Aspiration, Trend, and Extraordinary – these words also form the popular London brand’s key values. Find out more about Ciaté London HERE


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