Nail Art

Black Rainbow Stripes

May 13, 2012

Hello, all! Happy Mother’s Day! I’ve been working on perfecting “tape manicures” where you tape off sections of the nail to create crisp, clean lines. It’s a bit tricky to master and I’m still working on it. Anyhow, today I thought I’d do a base painting of a rainbow gradient, apply some tape strips, and then paint black over it all. Really cool masking technique and I have to credit all the amazing inspiration I’ve been seeing on Pinterest. :)

How to do this manicure:

  1. First of all, pick a movie to watch because this takes a while. :)
  2. Paint two coats of white polish (China Glaze White on White). Let dry completely. Not just “to the touch” dry, but more like “I’m going to go do the dishes” dry. Bone dry.
  3. Create gradient nails using rainbow colors and this sponging method. I used four colors and a vertical gradient. I used a bunch of colors from Zoya: Kristi, Pippa, Breezi, and Mira. Let dry completely.
  4. Cut 2 thin strips of tape for each nail and set aside so all are ready before moving on to the next step (I placed them on the top of nail polish bottles with the ends coming off so I could grab them easily). I used regular scotch tape, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
  5. Working on each nail one-by-one, apply the tape strips. Be sure to press firmly, especially at the sides next to your cuticles. Paint black polish over entire nail. Immediately remove tape strips (removing them immediately helps you get crisp lines). Move on to next nail.
  6. Let all nails dry for 3-5 minutes. Finish with topcoat (Seche Vite).
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  • Lori May 13, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Hey from TX!!! That is so cool! I haven’t been stamping for awhile and u got my creative juices flowing again! Love it! U R 2 CUTE!!

  • Estivalia May 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    gorgeous! I’m a newbie at tape manis too, but taking off some of the stickiness of the tape helps a bit. It’s very tricky, but at least not as messy as water marbles ;)

  • Stacie Bee May 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Gorgeous! Living in a house with a husband and two boys, I NEED to get some girly stuff going on in here. Thanks so much for your nail polish tutorials. Where do you get your polishes?

    • kristina May 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      All over the place! LOL! When I order online, I usually order from and

      • ruth May 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

        i do recall you saying that ulta was the “mothership” too :)

  • Cathy May 14, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Hi Kristina, beautiful nails! Do you think you could do a top coat pros and cons post – what you use, how they last etc. Thanks for your great sites , I have jumped into the great online world! C

  • denise hickenbottom May 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    WOW WOW WOW!!!! Sounds like allot of work but so cool, you have set the bar high my friend only a few will reach this look! *denise*

  • Elisabeth May 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks Kristina for this tutorial. I’ve tried it and it’s awesome. I didn’t do the gradient but a bright blue topped with grey. It worked great for me.

  • perla May 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I’m having so much fun with your new site I haven’t purchased any stamps or paper lately :)