Today I have a tutorial of sorts, prompted by lovely D over at Lilliwhiterose - stripes! I love doing striped nails but I'm beyond hopeless at them if I don't have striping tape. I genuinely can not draw a straight line freehand - I never could, even in Art projects at school. I always need a ruler or guide. I'd heard about striping tape, but when I googled it, I thought that because it was in different colours, that you were supposed to leave it on your nail and put a topcoat over it. That didn't appeal to me at all, so I avoided it for years. Finally, I came across a few nail blogs where they had used it as a guide - and a love affair was born!
First things first - striping tape is available on eBay and it's really, really cheap. You can also get it from Born Pretty Store - there's a discount code over on the sidebar if you want to order from them. You can use medical tape or sellotape either, but I find striping tape the handiest.
First things first - choose a base colour and paint your nails. If you want black to feature, then make sure you paint your nails the colour you want your stripes to be. The colour you paint on top needs to be a one-coater - or able to cover up the base colour. For mine, I chose a green and pink from Essie (Naughty Nautical and Bottle Service respectively), and my go-to white of the moment, Rita Ora for Rimmel White Hot Love. You'll also need a scissors and a tweezers.
You need to make sure your nails are 100% dry before you use any kind of tape. Sellotape leaves a horrible residue and tends to pull, so striping tape really is a great option here. I painted my nails in the morning and waited until lunchtime to do the stripes.
Here's a step-by-step graphic that's pretty self-explanatory:
Pop your striping tape on your nail, then cut it - leaving a little tail at the end so you can pull it off with the tweezers (this gives a cleaner line). When you've positioned your tape, paint over it in your chosen colour. Pull off the tape with the tweezers while the polish is still wet. This is hugely important - if you leave it to dry, you won't get a clean line. You can add a topcoat if you wish, but some of them can streak. I've found Essence and Sally Hansen the worst offenders - Poshe topcoat is good, and I'd try Seche if you have it.
You can use striping tape to create a variety of different looks - if you want a thicker stripe, just put two lines of tape together.
I find it handy to loop my thumb through the tape and use it like this:
You can also make patterns or designs using tape - just make sure you pull the tape off in reverse. The piece of tape you put on last - pull that off first, and so on.
Striping tape is a really cheap way to get really impressive results. It's most definitely an essential item in the arsenal of any nail art fan!
If you have any ideas or requests for a Nail Basics post, please let me know in the comments and I'd be happy to oblige.