Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tutorial: Zigzag pattern tape mani

Hi everyone, welcome to my fifth tutorial! This time I'm going to show you how I create the zigzag pattern using tape. It's not very hard but it does require some patience because it involves two times of taping and the layers of polish need to be completely dry in order to do that. To speed up the process I recommend using polishes that cover in one coat or a fast drying topcoat for on top of polishes with a longer drying time. So pick three colors and let's start!

Begin with the base color you like (if necessary with a basecoat underneath) and let it completely dry. You can apply a fresh color or use the current polish you're wearing (to practice). Since there will be two more coats of polish applied on top, it doesn't matter if there's a little bit of VNL or tipwear.

Now cut some triangles out of tape to make the zigzag pattern. You'll need two pieces with each layering color. The reason why I use individual triangles is because seperate pieces of tape addapt better to the round surface of nails unlike one piece of tape with the whole zigzag cut out of it in one time, which also tears a lot more easily. (The same goes for the lightning bolt design.)
Place two triangles next to each other on about a third of the nail, with the points towards the tip. 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 your first layering color with a thin coat...
...and carefully peel off the pieces of tape right away. Let the design dry for a while and use a fast drying topcoat to shorten the drying process if needed.
Of course you can leave the design this way if you're starting to lose your patience by now, fanatics continue with step 5! :P

When the polish is entirely dry, repeat step 2, 3 and 4 with your second layering color, but now place the triangles a bit more towards the tip, covering up part of the first layering color like shown in the picture.
At last apply your topcoat, clean up and you're done! Don't forget to moisterize your cuticles afterwards, because when you've had tape on your skin so many times, it can get a bit dry!
Use the design for a full mani for eye-catching nails or cut it down to a few accent nails if you want to keep it simple or feel lazy ;)

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 Big Apple Red, Color Club Where's The Soiree? and Essence Chuck.


    1. Wauw heel gaaf!
      Het ziet er zo makkelijk uit en dan probeer ik het zelf en dan mislukt het compleet!

    2. i really love it!!!


    3. So thats where i was going wrong. I was peeling them off when it was dry and they were pulling at the edges. Will try it when wet now. Thank you.

    4. you make it look so easy! and then i try. and i fail. hahaha

    5. I loved how much the lightning bolt felt like a superhero mani (and posted my version of it on my blog!) but I like these even more... it'd be great with red blue and gold and the W for wonderwoman!

    6. Thank you for the tutorial, I definitely want to try it out. :)

    7. The tutorial we've all been waiting for! Thanks =)

    8. i would try it but i know i'll embarrass myself. hahaha they're so lovely!

    9. I just tried this and I totally failed. I did 2 things wrong.
      1. I let it dry
      2. I used Scotch Tape. Bad bad idea.

      Trying again tomorrow though!

    10. I just found your blog and it's amazing, love what you do :)

    11. I tried it and the result was amazing!!!I can't wait to try the other desings!!!

    12. Hi! Great tutorial and tips, I adore this look! Here's my first attempt at a tape mani: http://pinterest.com/pin/53630718/

      Thanks so much for sharing your skills! :)

    13. Just found your blog by happy accident--I am IN LOVE!! Your nails look like a million bucks--what a great way to have a fab mani and really only spend your time to do it!

      I can't wait to try some of your designs--esp the lightning bolt--our local hockey team is the Tampa Bay Lightning :)

      And your 4th of July mani--WOW!!!

      I definitely subscribed by email so I don't miss a thing. Thank you so much for sharing your tips with everyone :)

    14. Thank you, girls!! Glad you like it and remember, practice makes perfect ;-)

      @Sarah: It's so CUTE! I love the bright and happy colors :D

      @Headacheslayer "The Crafty Angel": Thanks so much for the kind words, I truly appreciate it! ^^

    15. Thank you! I've been trying and failing to copy this look for ages! now i can do it YAY

    16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    17. Hey Jane! I moved my blog so I am reposting my comment under my new blog name :)

      I adore your manis, they are always so pretty! You also inspired my love for the matte top coat :)

      I decided to give this tape mani a try as my first ever tape mani, here's the result: http://christinaalexia.blogspot.com/2011/11/my-first-tape-mani.html

      Keep posting your wonderful manis and thank you for the helpful tutorials, I'll be trying out some more as I get the chance to :)

    18. I totally love your blog. I've been following it since January! You have the most awesome ideas and I appreciate your very simple to execute tutorials!! Keep up the inspiration!


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