The notion revolves around using blank space to create graphic, contemporary makeup looks, and it first started garnering attention at the beginning of 2017, thanks to a slew of Instagram artwork pictures focused mainly on eyeshadow and manicures. However, as the Spring/Summer 2018 fashion week shows this September have proven, negative space makeup remains a major trend for the new season.
Manicures are still one of the easiest ways to tap into the trend, as illustrated by Marc Jacobs, whose New York show featured tangerine orange nails with a slither of space left blank at the cuticles. Monse also jumped on the bandwagon, painting chic, minimalist racing stripes onto nude-colored nails.
Negative space eyeliner has been gathering pace as a look for some time now, but it remained a key trend on the runways. In Paris, Rochas drew surreal eye shapes around the models’ eyes, while in Milan, Marni’s straight blocks of color running over the eyelids left a bare space at the inner corner of the eye. In London, Ashley Williams used playful dashes of liner for a dramatic look, and in New York the trend was tackled by Self-Portrait, which opted for flashes of color that swept out from the inner corner of the eye to the browbone, before fading into nothing. Monse also created a delicate double-lined winged ‘floating eyeliner’ look.
Perhaps the most surprising twist on the trend came courtesy of makeup artist Pat McGrath, whose work backstage at the Maison Margiela show in Paris this week resulted in negative space lipstick in arresting shades of raspberry pinks and fuchsias. Despite the negative space eyebrow looks currently circulating on Instagram, this might just be the boldest way to get negative this fall.