After my nail varnish rack post, a couple of people enquired about the 'ribbon' I had on the shelf. It's actually washi tape (Japanese decorative masking tape) and whilst most people use it for crafting, I use it mainly for nail painting purposes.
I've never really gone for the traditional French manicure, generally considering it to be either pointlessly time consuming (like the 'no make-up make up look) or liable to make you look like a refugee from The Only Way is Essex. I do however like the updated versions, using either two colours, or a matte and a shiny finish - as shown in the picture below from Yves Saint Laurent's Terriblement Noir range. How cool is this gothic French manicure - matte black nails with shiny tips?
Dark Side = good
Tippex Tips = Bad
The difficulty I always had with French style manis was that it can be a bit of a bugger to paint the tips to a uniform size - partly because of my teeny child size paws and weeny nails, partly because I'm generally cack-handed - so I looked around for an easier method and came up with washi tape. I've since seen sellotape recommended, but I find it's liable to pull your varnish off unless you're very careful. Washi tape is low-tack, so easy to remove.
Anyway, at the risk of preaching to the converted, all you do is:
1. Paint 2 coats of your base colour and allow to dry FULLY.
2. Decide whether you want different coloured tips, or geometric stripes etc and arrange washi tape pieces on your nails accordingly.
3. Paint your second colour where you've blocked out. Thinner layers work better, or you may end up with a ridge between the two shades.
4. Allow to dry for a minute or so, but not fully before removing tape carefully.
5. If you want multi colours, allow each to dry fully before starting the next.
6. Top coat to seal.
Incidentally, I did get the YSL black polishes for Christmas and loved them, but it was impossible to photograph so you'll have to take my word as to how good it looked really. It's super high maintenance though; the matte polish takes ages to dry (as you can't use a quick dry top coat), and any contact with something oily ruins the finish - so no washing up, and definitely no body lotion or hand cream. Boy1 has eczema, so the second I put his skin cream on it was bye-bye to my designer nails. I bet Angelina Jolie doesn't have this problem.
I said it was a rubbish photo. Maybe I'd do better with a new camera.
What's that? A Thrifty Mrs has an awesome competition to win a Lomography Diana F+ camera?
I'm so there. You should be too.
Have a lovely weekend folks, I shall be back soon with a quiz I've been working on - "What Kind of Blogger are You?". It'll be HIGHLY scientific!