Tips for using striping tape on your nails

After being inspired by my good friend and fellow blogger Caitlin, recently I have been making good use of striping tape in my manicures. I love the way it makes your nails look more interesting, and you can use it in really creative ways. Using it is something I initially struggled with, but now with practice and some research I have some advice that I can give to you!

blue and silver striping tape manicure
This is Revlon Limited Edition Sequin underneath OPI Yoga-Ta Get This Blue. Unintentionally looks like the Scottish flag.

First things first – I found that you can only really layer darker colours over light – it wouldn’t be successful to paint your nails dark blue and try to do white over the top. So, paint your base colour, and wait for it to dry. To speed this along, I always use a quick drying top coat such as Sally Hansen Insta-Dri. If your nails aren’t dry, the striping tape can ruin them, and that’s just upsetting.

I find it easier to lay it on the nail and then cut it, as opposed to trying to maneuver tiny pieces of tape. Cut long strips of tape – considering how cheap it is, don’t skimp! You want to sure there is plenty of tape for you to hold on to for removal. Fiddling about to peel off tiny bits of tape is time consuming, so just make it easier for yourself.

Ruby Wing colour changing polish in the shade Gypsy, over a Sally Hansen white on some nails
Ruby Wing colour changing polish in the shade Gypsy, over a Sally Hansen white on some nails

Stick the tape firmly to your nail, because you don’t want polish seeping underneath it. If you’re laying tape over tape, try to remember the order you put it down in, this will become important at removal. I wait very briefly for the polish to begin to dry and remove the tape. Remove the tape starting from the last layer you put on – I learned this lesson once I messed it up by pulling from the bottom first. Once the nail is slightly tacky, I use a top coat. I’m always wary of smearing the polish by applying it when it’s totally wet.

An alternative use can be using the tape itself on your nails as part of your manicure. I tried this with my Harry Potter manicure but it peeled off the following day. My advice would be to use a thicker topcoat over it, something like NYC Extra Shiny Top Coat, rather than a quick dry one that is thin.

Hogwarts houses manicure
The blue and green nails have striping tape on them, and it was used to create the look on the red nail

Striping tape can be purchased from Kmart in New Zealand for $4, with the questionable name of stripping tape, or online from Born Pretty Store for as little as 99c (plus shipping)

Nail striping tape

I hope that my tips were useful for you – striping tape is a great thing to include in your manicures once you’ve got the hang of it.

lena x

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  • Analesha L

    Awesome post ! I’ve been wondering where to get the tape from and how easy it would be to use. Thanks lena x

    • lena

      I’m glad it was helpful! It took some getting used to the first time but now I find it pretty easy. You’ll have to try it and blog or instagram it!

    • lenatalksbeauty

      I’m glad you find it useful! If you get it you’ll have to blog or instagram your results!

  • Suzy

    Pretty nails and thanks for sharing this tip.

    • lenatalksbeauty

      Thanks Suzy 🙂

  • Leigh-ann Griffiths

    Cute! My little girl would love this! Definitely going to try it on our next mama/daughter day 🙂

    • lenatalksbeauty

      Aww cute – I’d love to see a pic if you do.

  • Cool! I need to start painting my nails more regularly before getting into this but one day i might graduate to this!!! 🙂

    • lenatalksbeauty

      It’s a good entry-level to nail art, since it’s not tooo complicated and looks quite fancy

  • carly | Amber Eyes Blog

    Ooh I love the metallics. Might have to check it out when I have more time to spend on my nails!

    • lenatalksbeauty

      You’ll have to instagram or blog about it!

  • I’ve never used striping tape, I think I’ll have to give it a try. I love how simple and effective it is, especially in that mint green mani!

    • lenatalksbeauty

      Thanks Meagan! I love the mint green too, it’s so cute.

  • Christel Hansen

    I really need to try striping tape – sick of trying to do it freehand, this looks much easier! Love the mint green mani btw <3

    • lenatalksbeauty

      It’s so much easier than trying to do it with a tiny brush or something. The mint green is my fave, and I have a watch with a mint green jelly strap that was just PERFECT with it.