9 Negative Space Manicures That Are Surprisingly Sophisticated

Nail art isn't going anywhere, but you don't have to go with a full-on 3D sushi manicure to up your nail game. Sophisticated and sleek, negative-space nail art is just the update your basic manicure needs. 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 girl can appreciate.

Keep scrolling to get your dose of negative-space nail art inspiration.


Go Graphic

The graphic black-and-white color combo of this manicure keeps the multiple designs from looking too busy.


Modern Pastels

Black outlines add structure to the dove gray and pastel yellow accents.


Minty Fresh

Models at Charlotte Ronson had their nails painted with alternating bare and filled-in half moons. Nail artist Miss Pop used OPI Nail Lacquer ($10) in That's Hula-rious. Find out her tips for getting the look here.

Leslie Kirchhoff for Vogue

Queen of Hearts

Manicurist Madeline Poole used nail tape to outline these designs before using a small paintbrush to add black polish. The result is a versatile design that’s equal parts gothic and romantic.

Globe & Nail

Red Rising

Slim, bare stripes add a sophisticated and modern touch to a rich red manicure, without distracting from the vampy hue.


Deep Blue Sea

The nails at Opening Ceremony's F/W 14 show were created by Naomi Yasuda for Essie. To get clean lines, try using Scotch tape to section off diagonal portions of your nails before painting them a deep metallic blue (Yasuda used Essie Nail Polish ($9) in Aruba Blue).

Getty Images

Gilded Age

For Zimmermann's S/S 15 show, Zoya nail artist Rebecca Isa used a glittering gold polish to create crescent shapes on models' nails. It's a unique way to add a little bling, without veering into ultra-sparkly territory.


Less Is More

Take a cue from Anthony Vaccarello's fall show, and match your nails to your colorful eyeliner.


Pumpkin Spice

Manicurists at Creatures of Comfort's S/S 15 show used earth-toned Zoya Nail Polish ($9) in Penny and Flowie to create this negative-space design.

Which one of these manicures will you be trying? Let us know in the comments!

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