Saturday, 6 April 2013

Striping Tape Manicure Tutorial

You can do some amazing stuff with striping tape but it can be tricky to work with! I've been doing a lot of striping manicures recently so I thought I'd pass on a few tricks I've picked up in the process. You do need a healthy dose of patience and a steady hand but with a bit of practice, I think anyone can do it and the possibilities are literally endless.

Striping tape is crazy cheap and you can buy it from any number of places online. I find the cheapest place to purchase is eBay, just search for 'striping tape' and you'll get thousands of results. Obviously it's cheaper if you don't mind waiting a few weeks for delivery from China but even if you buy domestic, it's still cheap!


You'll need at least two nail polishes (mine are Tiger Lily from Primark and China Glaze Pink-ie Promise), a top coat, some tweezers, striping tape and a pair of scissors.

Start by painting your base colour and making sure it's completely dry before moving on the next step. I normally use a quick drying top coat (like Seche Vite) to speed up the process.

Snip small sections off the roll of striping tape to use on your nails. I do this by hanging a long length of it from my desk lamp, then gripping the end with my tweezers and snipping off about 1-2cm at a time.

I always use tweezers to handle the striping tape which make it soooo much easier! I honestly don't think I'd ever approach a striping manicure unless I was armed with a pair of tweezers.
I have these pointy ones which are great for nail art but regular tweezers will work too. You can buy the pointy ones on Amazon in the US and UK.

Place the tape in your pattern of choice on your nails and make sure it's smoothed down right to the edges or nail polish will seep underneath. Most importantly, make sure the tape carries on past your nail so you have space to grip and remove it later. 
Try to remember which order you applied them in! You'll see why later.

Paint your second colour over the top of the tape.

Here comes the tricky bit....
Immediately, while the top colour is still wet, remove the strips in REVERSE order to the way that you put them on so that you can pull each one off without it snagging on anything and potentially ruining all your hard work so far.


Finally, apply a top coat or two and once that's dry, you can use a small paintbrush dipped in acetone to clean up any mess that's left on your cuticles.

Like I said, the possibilities are endless! Just go crazy and see what happens.

49 comments :

  1. you have an amazing talent, thanks for the tips

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  2. You have so much patience, haha. I suppose I should get my hands on some striping tape and give it a try. You come up with so many good ideas with it! x

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  3. Those are some awesome designs! I love stripping tape, it can be a bit difficult but it's worth it :)

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  4. Beautiful beautiful and awesome awesome.

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  5. Wow, so pretty. I will def try this.

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  6. Thanks for the tutorial. I've only tried painters tape so far :)

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  7. LOVEEEEEEE This I purchased some striping tape like 3 months ago and it is just sitting in my drawer thank you for showing how to use them and the inspiration !!

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  8. Really love this. But I doubt I would have the patience to carry it off. Will try some day when I am on a holiday, have lots of time and am in a great mood :D

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  9. great tutorial, i really need to buy some striping tape!

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  10. I recently tried a more complex design based on one of your manicure <3.

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  11. Thanks for the tips!! I have tried tape before and found it maddening. I think this will help. And thanks for showing how easy it can be on shorter nails. Double bonus!

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  12. Seriously, I'm só totally in love with your website at the moment! I really like that you keep your nails short. I always get the shivers when I see those long, weaponlike nails. I've never seen so much inspiration online for doing my short nails! Thanks a lot!

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  13. You're great and you're able to make everything looks easier!
    Thanks for the tutorial!!!
    I've tried it before but I'm not that perfect :(
    Have a nice weekend

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  14. you have the best tutorials. love it!

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  15. i love striping tape! the lines are always so perfect!

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  16. Thanks for the tute! I love the things you can come up with using striping tape but I still need to work on how to use them. Might need to get myself a pair of tweezers, I guess that's why my tape manis don't always look right lol.

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  17. Thank you for this! It isn't showing me anything I didn't know - just good to see I'm doing it right! I need more practice, and a steadier hand though!

    Your striping manicures are like the best I've ever seen!

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  18. Wow the shapes you create are beautiful :)

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  19. this is amazing!!! i can't wait to see how many views this gets <3

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  20. Amazing design! It's not been a long time since I've been using striping tape, but you have created a beauty! So Art deco!

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  21. thanks! I've tried a few striping tape designs but they didn't work too well, I'll definitely give it another go now.

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  22. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I've "attempted" tape mani's before but haven't had much luck. I'll give it another shot using tweezers I think :) Tiger Lily looks like a gorgeous polish!

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  23. !!!! thanks!! this tutorial is just what i need!! and i love the colour combination!!:D keep it up!

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  24. They look great! I wish I could find somewhere to buy it, because my parents don't let me buy anything by internet ):

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  25. Oh my gosh I love this so much! thank you for posting about it, it looks so good! How long would you say is a good time to wait before pulling off the tape? xxxx

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    1. I remove it as soon as I've finished painting the top colour, while it's still wet x

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  26. Thanks for the tips on how to cut the tape! I knew there had to be a better way. Cuz if i drop my tape on the floor one more time i will scream!

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  27. amazing tutorial! :)
    also love the almost endless possibilities these manis can achieve! :D

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  28. Fantastic! Don't think I'd have the patience.

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  29. Your striping manis are always so perfect! And so inventive with the patterns. It's one thing I just cannot seem to get the hang off, whenever I pull the tape off it just comes out jagged. I will have another go after reading this tutorial though!

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  30. Great tutorial. I bought striping tape recently and would love to try it right now ;-).

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  31. It's amazing!
    Thanks for the tutorial! ;-)

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  32. Thanks for the tips! I'll have to try the tweezers. Do you press it down with the tweezers or with your fingers?

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  33. I love your striping manis! Great job!

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  34. I absolutely ADORE this tutorial! You're so creative and inspirational! My nails are little nubs now after splitting and breaking, and i didn't think I could do anything really pretty with them. But you've shown me that having short nails doesn't mean fun is lost--it's actually gained!!! Thanks so much for brightening my day!!

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  35. I love this tutorial and thanks to you I've been trying a few striping tape mani's lately. I think I'm getting the hang of it and its so pretty! Just one question for you... How do you peel off the short bits of tape in a design that don't hang off the edge of your nail? Like on your thumb in the red mani above? Thanks for the tips!!!!

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    1. That's a very good question! I make sure the short bits are on top of another piece of tape so when I pull that piece off it lifts up the end of the short piece so I can grab and peel it off. It's very fiddly but doable x

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  37. Hi! I've tried striping tape several times (though never as complicated as your inspiring designs above) doing all the tips you've shown here (except my tweezers are straight and not curved). However, after I've pulled up the tape and have nice lines, it does NOT matter what top coat I use (though it is usually a fresh bottle of Seche Vite), the color from the top coat ALWAYS smears the design where the tape was pulled up. Help! What am I doing wrong? Should I wait for the design to dry and then use a top coat not meant to work with wet naii polish?

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  38. wow - this is such a great and detailed tutorial. gonna try it today :)

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