As much as I love seeing nail art on Pinterest, I fully admit that I am not good at all when it comes to nail art on myself. I can’t get the lines straight, nothing looks like I intended it to look, and it’s just an epic fail. So, when I saw this great idea for easy nail art over on The Beauty Department, I was all over it!
To pull this off you’ll need nail polish, I’m using 4 colors from Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure Line, tape and top coat. I used satin finish tape because I thought the polish was stick better to the tape than a shiny option. I also used the tools I use to get ready for every manicure, my beloved Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover (are you tired of me talking about this yet?), the Push-N-Trim cuticle tool, a Nail Shaper and No More Ridges buffing block.
I start with the Instant Cuticle Remover. This cuticle remover is super fast but still gentle. You can see in the first pic that I put a small bead along my cuticle, then rub it around. I like to use my thumbnail along the edge of my cuticle, but an orange stick would also work. I push back the cuticle on the nail bed and run my nail along the edge of the nail, this cuts back a lot on hang nails.
While the cuticle remover takes care of most issues, sometimes I have a little extra skin hanging around. I love the Push-N-Trim cuticle tool to gently remove the extra skin or any hang nails. Next I shape my nails using the Nail Shaper. I do a basic squoval shape, not too different from the shape of my nail bed.
Using the No More Ridges buffing block, I just follow the numbered sides to buff my nail bed. The goal isn’t perfect smooth nails with the initial steps, you just want to make ridges less obvious and then buff your nails to a pretty shine. This shouldn’t thin your nail much at all, just even things out a bit. When buffing before a manicure I stop at the second to last step, going on to the last buffing step gives you super shiny nails, but they’re too smooth to hold on to polish.
Next, I polish the tape! Since I’m so great at messing things up, I opted to polish a pretty decent strip of tape so I would have extra. After trial and error, I discovered that putting the tape between 2 stationary objects (in this case, 2 square lip glosses that can’t roll away) works best. 1 coat of polish is all you need if you want a bit of a “watercolor” and translucent effect. Go for 2 coats if you want more solid color.
I polished 3 strips in all, I used Jaded, Back to the Fuchsia and Kook a Mango. While they were drying I painted a base coat on my nails, I wanted something light so the bright colors would pop. I used Arm Candy, 3 layers.
Once your tape strips are dry you can cut them! I’m planning to experiment with different hole punches, but for now I’ve just been using scissors to cut out some basic shapes. You can make abstract designs, a few lines or something simple. I made flowers for spring, I’m celebrating the warm weather we’re finally getting here in Michigan!
When using tape, you’ll be better off with very simple designs. Here I’ve used a 1/8″ hole punch to create perfect circles, I used a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Green to add stems and create flowers on the right. If you’re cutting out shapes rather than using a hole punch, I suggest using small scissors when cutting the tape, you’ll have more control. I also used a pair of tweezers to place pieces exactly where I wanted them.
Once your shapes are on the nail, you’ll want to even everything out with some top coat. It will smooth down any bumps from the tape pieces on your nail. Removal is the same as any other manicure, though you’ll need to push the pieces of tape off of your nail bed mid-removal. No special removers are needed!