Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Checkered with a Twist (Tutorial)

The other day I wanted to use tape for a checkered mani with a little twist--instead of splitting the nail into four perfect squares I wanted to use slanted lines so that it looks like the pieces 'lock' together.  My first attempt was a disaster because I didn't wait long enough for each step to dry, so I thought I'd slow down for round two and take pictures along the way.  Click "Continue reading..." below for the tutorial.

Step 1)  Paint your nail two colors.  I started by painting my whole nail silver using Orly Shine.  Once that dried, I covered half the nail with tape and painted over the other half with light purple.  If you have a steady hand you can paint half the nail without using tape, but I'm usually pretty clumsy.  Wait for Step 1 to completely dry or use a fast drying top coat like Seche Vite.

Step 2) Get a piece of tape (Scotch or painter's) that's roughly the size of your nail or bigger.  Stick and unstick it to your palm a few times so that some of the adhesive wears off, then cut out a triangular piece.  Triangular isn't really the right word . . . more like trapezoid?  But you can see what I mean in the picture.

Step 3) Take the big piece of tape and rotate it so that the cut out triangle is pointing towards you.  Line it up along the split between your first two colors, and press it down so that only about a fourth of your nail is exposed.  Make sure there's no air or space beneath the tape for polish to seep under, and then paint over the uncovered portion of your nail with a third color.

Immediately afterwards, remove the tape quickly (but carefully) before the polish dries or becomes tacky.  The result should look like the picture on the left.  Either wait for the polish to dry or take care to avoid smudging the wet polish in the next step.

Step 4) Take the little piece of triangular / trapezoidal tape that you cut out earlier and rotate it so that it points towards you and lines up with the middle of the nail. Cover about a fourth of your nail, smooth the tape down, and then add the fourth color. Once you lift up this piece of tape....

VoilĂ ! Done.  This mani took a bit more work than I'm used to but I like the way it turned out.  The polishes pictured are Orly Shine (silver foil), Confetti Belle of the Ball (lavender), Sephora by OPI Just a Little Dangerous (shimmery dark purple) and Sinful Colors Black on Black.


  1. Good gravy! I can barely give myself a REGULAR manicure! That looks amazing. :-D

  2. OMG, no, I LOVE this! I might give this a try sometime. Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. You know I never thought to use painters tape for these type of designs. I was doing it all with my steady hands. Learn something new every day. Thanx. Great blog by the way.

  4. I love this tutorial!! I am going to try it now!! You make it look so easy!!! ^.^


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...