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What Is A Negative Space Manicure? [All You Need To Know]

Have you been introduced to a negative space manicure? Not quite sure what it is, what it entails, and most importantly, whether or not you should get one. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Today, I’d like to walk you through this particular nail trend so that by the end of it, you’ll know exactly whether you’ll want one and where to get one should that be the case.

So, what is a negative space manicure? A negative space manicure is where the natural nail is incorporated into the design or nail art. It can be achieved with regular polish, acrylic, gel, or dip. Negative space manicures often provide contrast, additional vibrancy, and style. 

As such, a negative space manicure essentially enables you to get creative. Or at least your salon.

But what does this manicure consist of, exactly?

Let’s find out, shall we?

What Does A Negative Nail Manicure Consist Of?

A negative space manicure consists of applying nail product over only part of the natural nails. This allows for the natural nail to be featured in the design. 

In other words, part of your natural nail will remain exposed (or incorporated) and will, of course, remain in its natural nude color.  

For this reason, a negative nail manicure can be taken in countless ways.

You can have any color you like or include any nail art that you desire in a position of your choosing.

You can also opt for gel, acrylic, dip, or even regular nail polish.

And a lot of people (and salons) can get creative with negative nail manicures, hence their surge in popularity and why you see designs doing the rounds on social media.

How Long Do Negative Space Manicure Last?

A negative space manicure can last anywhere between 1-4 weeks. It ultimately depends on the design, how nails are cared for, and the product used. 

Just like the longevity of any other manicure, a lot depends on whether you opt for acrylic, gel, dip, or just regular polish.

Gel, for instance, tends to last the longest on a negative space manicure. The fact that the product is set and cured means it’s generally more resilient and durable. You can expect up to a month’s wear with a gel-based negative space manicure.

An acrylic negative space manicure will typically not last as long, between 1-2 weeks, if proper care is given.

For regular polish, you may only get a few days until the polish chips or shows signs of wear – but again, it ultimately depends on the quality of polish used and how you use your hands with this mani.

Just as is the case with any manicure, being mindful and looking after your nails will ensure maximum wear.

So, try not to expose them to any harsh products, wear gloves as and where you can, minimize any potential collisions with items, etc.

How Much Is A Negative Space Manicure?

The cost of a negative space manicure at a salon can range from $30-$75. It depends on the complexity of the design, the time it takes, the products used, and the location. 

It also depends on whether you require the removal of a previous mani or whether you opt for any extras.

Just consider that nail salon pricing can range quite dramatically, depending on their expertise, reputation, location, etc.

Where To Get A Negative Space Manicure

You should be able to get a negative space manicure at most nail salons. Though some may not be familiar with the technique, others may not have much experience. Others may not offer this service unless you ask. 

Perhaps the best thing you can do is identify a good nail salon and then call ahead.

Before you do, think of a design you want, including whether you want any nail art or if you want particular colors or product (gel/acrylic, etc.).

Finding a picture on Pinterest of the design would be helpful here.

You can then show that to your technician when you arrive at the salon.

For finding a salon, to begin with.

You could either try your local salon (and see if they offer it), or you could use Google (or other search engines) to find reputable salons in your area.

Just be sure to check out customer reviews ahead of time.

Can You DIY A Negative Space Manicure?

You can do a DIY negative space manicure, but your level of experience, patience, and attention to detail may impact the final design. 

The beauty of a negative space manicure is that you’re essentially working from a blank canvas.

And you can have any color or nail art of your choosing.

Thankfully, there are a lot of tutorials available on YouTube that you can follow – at least to grasp the concept or to get an idea of the products you will need.