Friday, February 3, 2012

How To: Taped mani

With tape you can create original, clean designs, but it's also easy to smudge it all and ruin your base polish. If you have problems with it, I hope this helps! :)

Polish used: Nubar Prevail and Seche Vite

I start with cutting some strips of tape, and stick them with their ends to the side of a table, so I don't have to mess with a scissor anymore after I applied polish.
Because tape can be so sticky that you end up tearing off your base polish, I put the tape on my hand first, then on my nail. That way you'll remove some of the stickiness, and there's less chance of ruining your base polish.

You can use any kind of tape, but the tape that I'm using is Scotch tape (the matte tape). The reason I use this tape is simple, you can see if it's attached right because it'll get see-through when it is, as you can see here. The sides, near the cuticles, are spots that easily get loose, so make sure those are pressed down properly before polishing.

After applying the next polish (in this case a top coat), I remove the tape before polishing the next nail. Not when the polish is still very wet, because if you take it off straight away, it can happen that your polish gets a bit runny. But if you wait too long, the edges can get a bit messy.
I remove the tape towards the polish, like I tried to show here. Just randomly removing it from one side to the other can smudge your result as well.

Because I used a quick drying top coat and was making photos before removing the tape of my middle finger, the edge isn't so crisp there. So if you end up with these kinda edges, it'll probably help if you remove the tape faster :)

This time I only used a top coat, but when you're using several colors like on the manicures below, it helps loads when you use 1-coaters that dry fast and/or quick dry top coat in between. I haven't tried how well tape sticks after using quick dry drops, but those might be handy too.

Click the images to see more of these manicures

Other tips:

-What can help as well to prevent tearing off your base polish, is using a fast drying top coat on your base polish, and tape only one nail at a time so the tape won't be on your nail for too long. Or when your base polish needs several coats you could apply it the night before. The next morning your base polish is completely dry, and won't get ruined by the tape, even if you tape up an entire hand at once.

-When you use several polishes, using a thin layer of top coat in between the layers can help to finish with a smooth result.

-If you damage one of your layers with your tape, try freehanding a little over the damaged spot. If you then apply top coat, it often doesn't show anymore.

-You can also use striping tape to create small lines in taped manicures, round stickers for half moons, or use a hobby scissor with a funky shape on your tape before applying it. If you want to get really creative, grab a hobby knife, put your tape on a smooth cutting board (a mirror works fine!) and cut out whatever you want. Gently pull it off the board and use it for your mani.

- Put the tape on a stamping plate and trim the edge with scissors to get a curved piece of tape. (Thanks for the tip, ChromaCraze!)

If you have any other tips, I'd love to hear them so I can add them here as well!
Thanks for stopping by and take care :)


  1. Awesome post. Thanks for taking the time to pass on these tips. The mani is gorgeous! :)

  2. Jossie, PinkbeautyFebruary 3, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    thank u for those tips!!! those manis are gorgeous!!!

  3. I love tape manis! This gorg on you and I love the colors :D

  4. Thanks for the tutorial! I love the effect you created with the matte/shiny finish! I tried taping manis several times but didn't end up with crisp lines... Maybe it needs some practice ;)

  5. I happen to want that Nubar you used for the tutorial right now!!!

  6. wow nice tutorial! thanks for sharing! i will try this for my next mani thanks!!

  7. Easy and helpful tutorial. Thanks!

  8. WAUW! What an amazing manicure. Love it!

  9. Oooo I like this look, thanks for sharing x

  10. Nubar Prevail is one of my favourite purples. And mattes for that matter, and to think I've never worn it like this. Thank you for the tutorial and putting the idea in my head! :D

  11. chromacraze.blogspot.comFebruary 3, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    I love using tape! I do it all the time, and sometimes I put it on a stamping plate and trim the edge with scissors to get a curved piece of tape

  12. Pretty! Great post! I am so going to try this. :-) x

  13. Very helpful! Thanks for sharing! :)

  14. This is incredibly helpful! Please continue to do these how to posts! They are exceptional.

  15. Love it! Totally trying this. Thanks for sharing <3

  16. Wow! I really love the combo of shiny and matte!

  17. This looks awesome.. Love the contrast of shiny and matte..

  18. Tape manicure are the death of me! No matter how hard I try they bleed under the tape :( I have tried over and over again and I just realize that they are not meant to be on me! So glad I get to enjoy this matte-glossy tape manicure on YOUR blog :D
    Thanks for sharing it!

  19. Thank you for sharing those helpful tip, now it looks so easy to do ;)
    I will definitely try this

  20. Really pretty!! Thanks for sharing these tips!

  21. Yup, I have the same issue, I've tried all sorts of different polishes - brands and finishes- and all different types of tape, as well as all different types of techniques! And it always bleeds. Blah.


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