Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Tape Manicure (Requested)

I've officially decided that I will have "Tutorial Tuesday" as a regular feature on this blog, so you can learn something new to try with your nails each week :)

This week's Tutorial Tuesday will feature the tape manicure.
Last week my lovely friend & fellow blogger Michele of shortgirllongisland.com requested a tutorial for an easy way to do thick stripes.  In my opinion, the easiest way to achieve thick stripes is by doing a "tape manicure" which means using tape to block off the colors and then painting over it.  
For more intricate designs, some people use blue painter's tape and Exacto knife, but I'm keeping it simple so just regular scotch tape and scissors will do.

How To Choose Colors For This Design:
You have a lot of artistic freedom with a tape mani, since nothing really has to coordinate.  
You can do 2 similar colors, you can do 3 different colors, you can leave your natural nail showing and just paint certain sections, you can do the same color but matte and glossy.  There's lots of options!

Suggested Materials:
ANY brand is fine, listed below are the ones used for this particular mani
- Base coat - Seche Clear
- Top coat - Seche Vite
- Top color - Opi "Glitzerland"
- Base color - Essie "Bikini So Teeny"
- Scotch tape or blue painter's tape
- Small scissors or Exacto knife
- A clean, small paintbrush or cotton swabs, for cleaning the cuticles afterwards (optional)
- Nail polish remover (optional)

Before you begin painting your design:
These steps are optional, but definitely recommended!
• Put down some paper towels on your work area, in case of any spills. 
• Be sure to remove any old nail polish.
• Gently file nails into desired shape and remove any deep ridges with a buffer
• Push back cuticles with a cuticle pusher or orange wood stick and trim if desired.
• To make things easier to find (and because I'm super neurotic) I always set up my polishes in the order that they will be used.
• Apply a base coat to protect from potential staining from color polish; wait for it to dry completely.

Step 1:
Take a piece of tape and stick it to the palm of your hand.  Remove it, and re-stick it 3 or 4 times.  
This is to reduce the stickiness of the tape and makes it much easier to peel off of your nails later on.  
You can also now cut the tape to accommodate your nail length & width.

Step 2:
Cut out your shapes!
Simple shapes work best, so I went with thick stripes & a zig zag just for fun.
Try to cut these as evenly and straight as possible, so your stripes will be uniform in thickness.
You can cut a bunch of pieces just in case they rip, get messed up, etc.
Once they are cut, I like to stick them half way onto the edge of the table, with the end of the tape hanging off.  
This way they won't get lost or stick to each other and will be easier to find. 
Just don't stick it completely on the table or get it stuck to your clothing otherwise it'll be ruined.

Step 3:
Apply 2 coats of the base color and allow to dry.
If you are using a light and dark color for this mani, try to use the lighter color as the base.  Most light colors tend to be less opaque and will not cover a dark color very well!
Don't worry too much about being super neat, you can remove excess polish from your cuticles later.
**It is VERY important to allow all polish to dry before applying the tape over it, otherwise the polish will get stuck to the tape and come off**

Step 4:
Gently  apply your tape strips.  
Try to make sure the space between the tape is about equal to the width of the tape itself, this way your stripes will be nice and even.
The nail naturally curves, so the tape will curve with it.
*Try to avoid any bubbles near the edges of the tape, because the top color could get into the bubble and you'll have to start all over!*

Step 5:
Paint 1 or 2 coats of top color over the entire nail, making sure you have even coverage.
The best way to ensure even coverage is to paint in the same direction as the tape strips (vertical, diagonal, etc)
I chose just 1 top color, but you can use as many as you want.
Each section can be painted a different color if you'd like!

Step 6:
Gently  peel the tape off once the top color is mostly dry.
Be very careful not to rip it off too quickly, or the polish could come right off.
Also, be careful if the polish is still very wet on the top of the tape, it could get onto your base color.
As you can see, I did a different pattern on each nail; horizontal, vertical, diagonal, zig zag and random.
You can definitely re-use the tape strips, if they are still sticky enough and the polish has dried. 
More intricate designs, such as the zig-zag, might rip when it's being peeled off and can not be re-used.

Step 7:
This final step is completely optional, but it will really help to achieve a neat & clean looking mani.

You can use either a small paintbrush or cotton swab, dip it in nail polish remover, and use it to remove any excess polish on your cuticles and skin.
Be careful not to use too much remover, otherwise you will risk ruining your design.
If you opt for the brush, be sure to use brushstrokes in the same direction; don't "swish" the brush around because it tends to spread excess polish around rather than remove it.

After finishing off with a coat of Seche Vite topcoat, here's the final product!
If you'd like to request a nail design for Tutorial Tuesdays please leave a comment and let me know :)


  1. Hi, I am bulding my new house and am looking to pick up a good color or paint that can suit exactly to my interior and exterior purpose. Any valid close suggesions having similar taste would be appericated. Any idea?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi, I am struggling of what nail polish style for my new BFF or Not Series. Any ideas?

  4. Can you come to my shop? I cant find any photos, but ill update it!

  5. www.kawaiicandygirl.storenvy.com/


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