Friday, 16 March 2012

Minute Make-up - Washi tape manicure How-to

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!

Lakota x


  1. They look awesome. I have some washi tape so I'm so giving this a go tomorrow. xx

  2. This is so well explained even I might have a go at this! The beigey-brown and coral looks amazing, the YSL blacks are stunning, brilliant for a night out I'd imagine. Little impractical not to be able to use handcream or wash up though! :-)

    Jem xXx

  3. Wow - I can do this. Really fun look.

  4. Finally a reason to buy that cutsie Japanese tape :) I am totally digging your nails they look amazing!!!!! I'll be taking that star ring too lil lady :) I'm totally trying this ~ thanks for the tips! Have a great weekend love!

  5. oooh love those matt/shiney black nails, you've done well! x

  6. Im afraid im not a painted hand nails person its to high maintence for me i like the natural look with maybe a bit of clear glitter for an evening out. But my toe nails i love them to be bright ;-) Have a great weekend to, dee x

  7. Oooooooooooo I loooove the black matte and shiny nails! I am definitely giving that one a go! I love the look of dark purple nails with dark golden tips! I cannot pull of tippex tips, it always looks so unnatural! xxx

  8. I love matt black. I've got some grey but as you say, very high maintenance. I'll be giving the black look a go though.xxxx

  9. Love this tip! Ive finally got some nails so will be trying this out, love the black :o) Scarlett x

  10. I think you should change the name of your blog to Faith Hope and Comedy- you are one of the most enjoyable blog reads due to your spirited wit. And a woman after my own heart when it comes to nail art. Love your DIY, and tape of choice. If I wasn't so lazy or hard on my nails I would try it myself. Meanwhile, I wait for your highly scientific blogger quiz. Happy weekend to you darling.

  11. After looking at your nail posts I feel so inspired...then I look at my ragged, unkempt nails and despair!
    I really need to pay more attention and care. Trouble is, I hate rubber gloves and spend many hours with my hands in water/ plastering eczema cream on the boys.
    I will try though, love this effect.
    Have a great weekend,

    Lucy x

  12. I adore matt black nails and anything gold. I ran out of black.
    beautiful work amor!

  13. I love matt nails and the black is particularly fab. I love your manicures! x

  14. Tippex tips are so horrible!! Why would anyone get obviously fake, square nails? Well I could ask my vanilla office mates but then I'd have to talk to them! Thanks for the tape tip for tips, I want to try that sooner than later!

  15. Everything you come up with is scientific. I'll have to look into this tape and make my boyfriend use it on me.

  16. I know what you mean about french manicures, they are definitely a faff. I used to do them years ago but they took ages. I love the multicolured nail tips though and I never even knew matt nail varnish existed, definitely going to give this a go. Can't wait to see your quiz!

  17. Okay - I confess, when I was growing up (in Essex natch) I once did my tippex tips with actual tippex *hides*

    I need me some matt black nail varnish badly x

    1. At school I seem to remember sporting a look which involved Tippex all over and then colouring in with a highlighter pen - obviously the inspiration for the neon looks recently - so don't worry!

  18. Wow these are so amazing. I am not a nail polish girl but I love this.
    Love v

  19. Hi my dear! Really love the two colour effect here, a great tutorial as well! Great to hear from you, hope you're keeping well and that you enjoy the rest of your weekend too xx

  20. I could not agree MORE re those awful white fake nails - I hate them. I love yours - and the black? HELL YES!! Sarah xxx

  21. I'm so loving the matte black nails! they look gorgeous and i love the idea of using the washi tape on the nails for different colors effect! but i dont think i want to do the matte one as i have do the dishes and other housechores that might ruin the nail polish hehehe

    awww i'm so going to join the giveaway! xx susan

  22. Hi
    Really nice blog dear. and Great Collation Fashion.


  23. What a fab mani - wish I could get my nails all the same length for a couple of hours to give it a go myself! And I think I'm going to go on a Japanese tape hunt before I try (I've also seen post-it notes recommended recently for nail art, again less tacky = less damage.)


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