Nail art isn't going anywhere, but you don't have to cover each and every nail entirely to up your mani game. In fact, it's pretty cool to leave a little space. Plus, opting for a sophisticated and sleek negative space nail design is just the update your basic manicure needs to feel new again. Negative space nail art relies on diverting from the expected and gives nails a cool, futuristic feel we're totally embracing.
From graphic black-and-white color palettes to glittery accents, there's bound to be an iteration of the trend even the most die-hard, anti-nail art person can appreciate. Interested in this style and looking to book a nail appointment, stat? We sifted through Instagram to find 29 negative space nail ideas to serve as inspiration.
Keep scrolling to find your fave—and don't forget to save them on Instagram to show your manicurist.
Pink and Blue
We're getting South Beach Miami Art Deco Historic District vibes from this geometric manicure.
We're suckers for the cow print nail trend, so it's no wonder this black-and-white print mooved us (sorry).
Black and Yellow
Black and yellow color-blocking take us back to the roaring '20s.
Cobalt blue marbling on the cuticles and tips feels reminiscent of crashing waves.
Is anyone else feeling this 13 Going on 30 color palette?
This geometric nail design reminds us of The Great Gatsby thanks to its Art Deco-inspired shapes and lines.
We love the way this manicure switches the direction of colors on each nail.
Negative space nail designs don't have to be difficult. Here, it's all about well-placed stripes in a variety of different colors.
One word: yeehaw. We love how the brown polish complements the skin tone.
Love abstract manis but don't want to go all out? Pop it on an accent nail.
This pointy nail look is like pretty malachite crystals—which, by the way, are said to bring balance and abundance to your life.
How adorable is this graphic, sunshine-inspired nail design? So very '60s.
Turquoise and Gold
Here's another gem-inspired nail look we can't take our eyes off of. The pops of metallic gold really bring it together.
These shibori nails are a tie dye-lover's dream, though they're admittedly a bit more challenging to DIY. If it looks too complicated to figure out, we recommend keeping it as inspiration for your next salon manicure.
These pointed almond-shaped nails look that much more stunning thanks to the starry moonscape polished on each.
This negative space tortoiseshell design is one for the books. With hints of gold foil and a bit of naked nail beneath, it's simply stunning.
How pretty is this sunrise-inspired manicure? It will require patience to recreate, but once you do, you'll be so glad you took your time to bring these statement, negative space nails to life.
Etched Cow Print
Here's another cow-print manicure that we can't take our eyes off of. Best of all, with a nail art brush and black-and-white polish, it's not too tricky to DIY.
These double-arched red nails make us want to put on our favorite cherry-colored lipstick and flaunt a full monochromatic beauty look.
Burnt Orange Beauties
These burnt-orange nails look that much more stunning thanks to the thin sliver of rose gold along each swoop. The milky white, translucent hue is also a good gateway for those who aren't married to the idea of having a fully clear section.
This white-lined manicure offers an ethereal retro vibe that feels whimsical and fresh.
For the Louis Lover
Louis Vuitton fans, rejoice! With the help of a talented manicurist, you too can rock a designer nail look.
Looking for even more ways to create a modern French manicure? This cherub-accented nail design is worth a shot.
Simple, swirling lines are a major must in the world of minimalist nail art. Here, you can see how stunning it is to pair the delicate design with bold color.
This red, negative space nail design creates the illusion of flames without being too literal.
We have no words for this delicate, pastel purple-accented mani—it's breathtaking.
Negative French Tips
These see-through extensions make way for a unique negative space French tip. And let's be clear, we're here for it.
These matte white nails offer a minimalist take on negative space nails. Stick to a single color palette and simply use a toothpick to clear color off in a swoop down the middle of each nail.
Black and White
This classic color palette looks even more stunning in a geometric negative space design. Considering the intricate nature of the look, be sure to take your time trying to recreate it—or book an appointment so a manicurist can do it for you.