Cut Out Nails

Cut Out Nails

Last June was the first time I did Cut Out Nails (or negative space nails). I was looking through some old nail pictures when I found them, and decided I needed to do an updated version! They are so much fun to do, and if they look a bit intimidating don’t worry…I have a tutorial! You can view it here.

Cut Out Nails

To prepare your nails for this cut out design, you really want to make sure your nails underneath look healthy! Be sure to buff out any yellow, or even use a nude polish to give the illusion of your natural nail. For this mani, I used Julep’s new Oxygen Nail Treatment base coat that has a pinky nude tint, which helped my nails look really healthy!

Although these nails are a bit different than the tutorial I made last year, I did it a very similar way. I painted Essie Play Date and Where’s My Chauffeur on the portions of my nail, and used my nail art brush to create a straight line. To outline the cut outs, I used Essie Licorice and my nail art brush and carefully painted the lines.

As for my middle finger, I created the outline of the triangles with the black polish, and then filled in some triangles with the purple or turquoise colors. To make the black outline look really sharp, I went over it again after filling in the triangles.

Give your design a few minutes to dry, and then finish it with your favorite top coat!

Here’s a closeup:
Cut Out Nails

What do you think of cut out/negative space nails?



About the Author

Chelsea King
Author with 454 posts
More about Chelsea King

Related Articles


  • Laura February 21, 2013 01.17 pm

    Love the design on your middle finger! I hope I have some time to recreate this in the near future.
    Greetings from Germany!

    • admin February 21, 2013 05.46 pm

      Thank you 🙂 If you recreate it I’d love to see!

  • Lisa February 21, 2013 04.06 pm

    ..owsum nail art…I definitely love you nails and your cuticles are so lovely can you please tell me what should I do cuz I sometimes get splitted cuticles though I moisturise them…and last but not the least can you please tell me if can do anything to make my hand fairer cuz they are alot darker then the rest of my body..I know that I really am being inquisitive..please don’t mind my inquisitiveness cuz you are so sweet I definately can’t resist asking questions from you and also cuz I am only 13 and a total polish addict;)

    • admin February 21, 2013 05.49 pm

      Thanks! What I do is trim off any excess cuticles (ones that are dry…don’t trim off a lot!) and use cuticle oil and lotion. I like Julep’s Cuticle oil and Burt’s Bees cuticle cream, both are really moisturizing. I then push back my cuticles with a cuticle pusher. I have seen some hand brightening lotions before that could help with that problem! I have Sally Hansen smooth & perfect hand cream which “instantly hydrates and brightens dull skin”. Hope I could help 🙂

      • Lisa February 22, 2013 08.44 am

        Thank you so much for replying it was really kind of you…I just saw your profile picture and you are so pretty..wish I could be like you:)

  • Lisa February 21, 2013 04.08 pm

    Please reply!

  • Claw of Cthulhu February 22, 2013 09.05 pm

    Holy! These are AMAZING. They captured my attention immediately! Found this design through Tumblr. Definitely adding it to my inspirations for future nail art ideas. You’re so good! Such good colour choices to go alongside the negative space too. <3

    • admin February 23, 2013 06.20 pm

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  • Spice Up Your Nails « Botkier Blog
    9 June, 2013 - 9:02 am

  • Manisha August 15, 2013 07.36 pm

    This one is superb. Awesome creativity.

  • 10 Negative Space Nail Designs Anyone Can Pull Off
    2 October, 2014 - 1:01 pm

  • Gallery: Negative Space Nail Art
    18 February, 2015 - 12:46 am

Leave a Comment

About Me

Chelsea King is a licensed nail artist based out of Los Angeles, California.

Follow Me