Tutorial: Pastel Negative Space Nail Art

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negative space nail art for short nails

Negative space nail art have become a classic look. There was a time when they were exclusively worn by nail art enthusiasts but now this look can be seen everywhere. I estimate about 80% of the nail designs at this year’s New York Fashion Week were negative space. It’s not surprising that negative space manicures are taking over – they’re so easy to do in any colour combination and you don’t need to have long nails to rock it. They look fantastic on short nails!

So in addition to 2014’s biggest hit: Black & White Negative Space Nails, here’s a pastel version for 2015.


  • Blue, pink and white opaque nail polishes
  • A ridge filling base
  • A matte topcoat
  • Nail art stencils

negative space nail art tutorial


  1. Start by prepping your nails. With negative space nail art the condition of your nails is particularly important. So first apply your usual nail strengthener and follow up with a ridge filler base to ensure flawlessly smooth foundation.
  2. Once the base is is dry, apply nail stencils* in triangle shapes as pictured on all nails.
  3. Now work one nail at a time. Apply blue, white and pink nail polish as pictured and accurately remove the tape.
  4. Repeat on all fingers.
  5. Accurately clean up around cuticle and where any ‘mistakes’ on negative space.
  6. Apply a matte top coat over all finger nails.

*Make sure you attach the stencils really well to the nail, otherwise nail polish may bleed under the stencil.

negative space nail artpastel negative space nail artnegative space nail artnegative space nail artblue and white nails

Used:  Essie Ridge Filler as a base, Color Club French Tip (white) and Weaker Park (pink), Dance Legend Baby Blue and straight line nail stencils, Morgan Taylor matte top coat.

Wearing: T-Bar ring.

Are you a fan of negative space nails? Do you like this pastel or the 2014 black and white?

– Maria, xx

P.S. As always, if you try this nail design, I’d love to see you work – Tweet or Instagram me a photo with the tag #sonailicious.

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