Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tutorial: Double lightning bolt tape mani

Hi everyone, welcome to my fourth tutorial! Making the double lightning bolt is actually not that different from making the single one; what you need to do is actually just repeat the steps from the regular lightning bolt tutorial. But because the double version received so many enthusiastic reactions I decided it deserved its own tutorial :) One tip: for this particular design transparant tape is quite useful!
Let's get started!

First make the regular lightning bolt on your nails as described in the tutorial, except that you don't have to add topcoat yet.
While you're cutting all the tape strips for the first lightning bolt, cut one extra for each piece because you'll do the whole taping process twice. So in total you'll need two strips and two triangles for each nail.
Let your nails dry completely, if necessary with the help of a fastdrying topcoat.
After you've finished the first step and everything is dry, take a tape strip and apply it on the design, covering up a bit of the tip color as shown in the picture. This is the part where transparant tape is really going to help you.
Then apply a triangle on the design, also covering up part of the tip color.
Now make sure all the pieces of tape are completely stuck to the nail, if not use your finger or a tweezer to push them down and if needed reattach them. Then apply a pigmented top color with a thin coat and carefully peel off the pieces of tape right away. Let the design dry for a while.
At last apply your topcoat, clean up and you're done!
To add another color, just repeat the steps 2, 3 and 4 until you've reached the desired look (or till your nails are out of space :P).

Finally some useful tips:

  • For my tape manis, all I use is regular stationery tape. But you might prefer something else, so just experiment with different sorts of tape to figure out what works best for you.
  • For your base color you can use any polish you like, however one-coaters will allow you to place the tape much sooner because those are usually fast drying. Of course you can also quicken the drying of polishes that require several coats to cover, by applying a fast drying topcoat. (I use Seche Vite). 
  • Your layering color(s) can be either a one- or two-coater. Because you've already applied a base color, most polishes that usually take two coats to cover now will do with one.
  • Though I mention cutting the tape strips as step 2, I admit it is safer to cut before applying the base color. However, if you've learned how to cut the tape without having it touch your polished nails, it can save you a lot of time.
  • You might want to leave the cut strips somewhere else than the edge of your desk/table, to prevent them from getting stuck to the surface while you're busy. You do not want to have to peel them off with your freshly painted claws!
  • Apply your top color in one thin (but opaque) coat, this will create crisper lines.
  • When you're removing the tape strips, try to remove them individually, if you can, because most of the time your design will come out neater this way
  • Using tweezers to remove the tape strips can prevent your freshly painted nails from getting smudged.
  • It's not always necessary to start all over if you've messed up your design, often a little touch-up with a nailart brush can solve the problem.
  • If you want to use a matt topcoat, use a regular one underneath. My experience with matt topcoats is that they smudge the design very easily, even when it's completely dry. Applying a normal topcoat first will prevent that.
  • Moisterize your cuticles afterwards, because the tape can really dry out your skin!
  • You can practice this tutorial on your old mani that you applied a day (or more) before. If you succeed, you've got yourself a fresh mani, otherwise you were going to remove it anyway!
  • If you feel like this design is too time-consuming for a full mani, you can also use it for an accent nail (or two).
  • Have fun and practice makes perfect ;)

I would absolutely love to see your attempt on my design, so feel free to leave a link to your creation in the comment section!

Polishes I used in this post are OPI Funky Dunkey, China Glaze Millenium and Essence Trust In Fashion.


  1. great tutorial :) thanks doll <3

  2. awesome tutorial! I really like this design. :)

  3. Woow!! This is great!! Thank you for sharing;D I have to try this right now;p

  4. i just did this and it took a long time but i LOVE the results. thank you so so much for posting the tutorial!

    here's mine!:

  5. @kelliegonzo: Thanks! :)

    @carneriva: Thank you!!

    @Minnie: You go girl, haha and make sure to leave a link, I'd LOVE to see your attempt!

    @Laura: OMG it looks amazing! The colours are so bold, nice job! :D

  6. This tutorial is very useful! Thank you!

  7. LOVEEEE THIS! Thanks for the tutorial! Super cute! :)

  8. Oh this is fab! I've been wondering how you did it!

  9. Dankje voor de uitleg, ik ga dit zeker ook eens proberen!

  10. Thanks for the Tutorial Jane. I'm definitely trying this sometime. Only problem is that I have tried the regular lightening bolt and couldn't even get that right..Lol!!

  11. Thank you everyone for your comments! I always have a lot of fun making the tutorials and I'm glad they're useful :-)

    @Nail Stories: Keep practicing! :-) You can also practise this on your tip worn mani before you're going to remove it. That way you know the basecolour is definately dry and if you mess up you're removing it anyway. Good luck!

  12. awesome tutorials ... thank you for the inspiration. here's my try at it


  13. Hey there! Here is my version. I linked you in my post as well ;)

  14. i'll try this one asap. thanks ^_^

  15. Fabulous tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  16. omomgomg. you're such a sweetie! I literally was JUST going to mua message you to ask for a tutorial! LOL I tried to mimic this mani and failed miserably! I guess my problem was trying to cut the shape out of tape. doing it in stages is much smarter! ;) thank you!!!

  17. this one is my absolute favorite, now if only i cud get someone as talented to do this for me! lol
    ur newest follower, perhaps you'd like to support me too?

  18. Absolutely gorgeous!

    I'm stunned, I'll be coming back :)

    Dolled Up Daily



  19. Love this tutorial! Gave it a go for myself:



  20. great tutorial! must give it a try sometime soon :)

  21. I tried this technique out on 2 different manis and put a link to your tutorial for them!



    Very cute look, thanks!!

  22. Hi Jane! Take a look at my attempt!


  23. First of all, I absolutely adore your sight. You have such an eye for colors and designs. I'm loving all your tutorials.

    May I ask a question? Ok, well I know that was a question, but humor me : ) What silver polish did you use for these looks? I'm having a really hard time finding an one-coat opaque silver.

  24. @Erica: Thanks so much!! :-) The silver I use is Millenium from China Glaze, the best silver metallic ever! Unfortunately it's kinda hard to find now, so I'm still searching for a good substitute, because I'm almost halfway through my Millenium!

  25. These manicures put my shamefully neglected nails to shame - it's inspired me to get some shaping and painting done!

  26. Started this design and the first two colors came out AMAZING! I was so excited that I jumped the gun on the final color and didn't let the polish completely 110% dry and wrecked it all :-( oh well, having to start over just means more practice! i will have a picture up at some point when i finish... i did clouds (but crazy modified cuz i can't freehand for anything yet, lol) on one hand and i am repeating the colors to do this design on the other hand. storm themes! the tape makes it easier to do your non-dominant hand; takes so much of the complication out of it!

    so out of curiosity, how do you keep the base coat looking SO neat around the cuticle? when you're cleaning up, what are you using? i've tried q-tips and orangewood sticks dipped in remover and not, and i'm still struggling. the only thing that has really seemed to work is the tip of a dry metal file, but sometimes it pulls up the polish if it's still wet or tacky. help? thanks so much!

  27. I also made these. You can see then in:


    thanks about tutorial! ;)

  28. Love the step by step photos. How long on average does it take to complete both hands?


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