Friday, June 1, 2012

My First Tutorial

Yay! My first tutorial. So I'm sure you are thinking why not make a video rather than try to do a picture tutorial. That's a great question...without a great answer. It's a kind of a lame excuse/reason. My Nikon doesn't take very good video and the only other camera I have is my web-cam built into my lap top...yeah needless to say I didn't want to paint my nails on my keyboard. I'm strange that way. So picture tutorial it is. Maybe some day when my blog gets going I will reconsider and buy a digital camcorder for this purpose but for now I am only taking pictures and doing picture tutorials. 

I also feel I should warn you I was an idiot over last weekend and cleaned without rubber gloves and had nail malfunctions a plenty so my nails are pretty short at the moment. Since I go a-natural they are kinda stubby but they grow pretty fast so soon they will be back to my preferred length. So let this be a lesson to me about wearing my cleaning gloves. 

Okay enough of my blathering on and excuses for format. The manicure I am going to show is a taping manicure with rainbow underlay. It's time consuming but I think once it's done it's well worth the effort so lets get to it.

Here's what you are going to need...

You don't need these exact things. Base coat and top coat brand are your choice these just happen to be my   favorites at the moment and what I decided to use. You will need a black creme polish, any black polish will work but I love China Glaze so Liquid Leather was my choice. Plus it's possibly my favorite polish. (I just love the patent leather shine of it). Then three colors that are similar in consistency, but different in color. By that I mean have the same sheen to them but different colors. I chose these three because they have the same satin finish and a hint of pearl/metallic shimmer in them.  You will also need tweezers (to remove tape and any pesky pet hairs that try to foul things up), a pair of scizzors to cut the striping tape, and striping tape. I have seen some people use trimmed painters or scotch tape but I prefer the uniformity of width that you get with striping tape (There's my Virgo OCD again).

****A note on striping tape it can cost you a bit if you get it in the wrong place. I got mine on Ebay. I got 10 rolls for $1.31. It shipped from over seas, but was well worth the wait and it saved me a ton of money. But use what ever you are comfortable with.

Here are my naked fingernails...I feel like I should have a blur on them for their nudity. Start with clean, dry nails. Push back your cuticles and apply a base coat (don't forget the free edge).

 Paint a small stripe down one side of your finger nails. I started with yellow because...well because it was the closest bottle to me. I know really democratic, but hey it works for me.  

Paint a second stripe down the other side of the nail. Again I just grabbed the next bottle on my desk it was green. 

 Paint a stripe down the middle of the nail and wait for it to dry. And this part is really important. All three colors have to be really dry or it will foul up the tape removal later. I wait about an hour or so to make sure it's good and dry. But your dry time may be different depending on what brand you use and how many coats you apply. When you are sure the polish is fully dry, apply a top coat. This will help the tape not stick later. And wait till it's dry. This should only be a few minutes. 

 Apply striping tape (or other tape cut to the right width). Any pattern you like. I like the star bust design. So that's the one I am going to show you. Run your finger over the tape and make sure it's secure at the edges. If you have a loose edge the black polish will seep under it and ruin the whole thing. So push that tape securely down. But if your fingers look like the picture above you are on the right track. It also doesn't matter if they all look the same. They don't need to, it gives them a crafted quality, makes them wabi sabi. There's beauty in the imperfection. Embrace that chaos ladies, it makes them special and makes them yours. 

Here's the messy part. Paint entire nail surface with black polish. Use as many coats as you need to to make it opaque. I used two. Wait for black polish to dry to a semi tacky state. Don't wait to long or the striping tape will become part of your manicure. And that kind of defeats the point. Once the polish is tacky/semi-dry use the tweezers to remove the striping tape. Pull slowly from left to right (or right to left) trying to keep the tape at a right angle. The angle of the tape is important because it will give you a crisp line. It's also really important to pull slowly. If you pull to fast you risk  tear like lines instead of the crisp lines we are after and you could pull up the lower layers of polish if you pull to fast. Take your time, go slow and let the tweezers to the work (so you don't mess up your nails). It is also a good idea to have a paper towel or a napkin to stick them to as you pull them off. These guys will get everywhere if you don't have a surface ready to stick them to as you pull them off. 

Here's what I did with mine. 

And when you have removed all the striping tape it should look like the picture below. 
Now it's time for clean up. 


Clean up around the cuticles with nail polish remover. I use a combination of Q-tips and a nail art brush (dipped in polish remover) for this. Q-tips for big spots, nail brush for smaller detailed work. Once this step is done apply a top coat (and don't forget to get the free edge of the nail) so that this manicure lasts as long as possible.

To really appreciate this manicure you have to see it in the light so I walked myself out onto my balcony to do just that. I hope you enjoy this manicure and feel like you can try it for yourself. Until next time stay classy and well manicured. 

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