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Tutorial: Abstract Christmas tree design

Hello everyone! Recently I posted my second Holiday tutorial, which shows you how to make a traditional Christmas tree shape. But for this tutorial I have an abstract take on the Christmas tree, for the more modern nail art fans who are looking for something different. All you need is two polishes, tape and something to act like your tree topper. I used a rhinestone, but you could also use one larger (star shaped) glitter, a sticker, a stamping design and so on. Be creative ;-)

First apply your base color (with a basecoat underneath) and let it dry completely. If needed use a fastdrying topcoat to quicken the drying.
I used a fine glitter as my base color to make it more festive, but you can also use a regular cream, a subtle shimmer polish or one with a foil finish etc. Just make sure it's not too dominating, because you want to keep the Christmas tree the center of attention.

Cut off two regular tape strips which you'll use in step 3, and a few small ones to make the garland in step 4. The best way for me to cut (fine) tape strips, is by cutting off a little piece of the tape roll first which I then stick on the scissorblade, like shown in the picture. I let it stick out on one side (right in de picture), depending on how big I want the strip to be. This allows me to make very thin but also straight strips with relatively little effort.
A tip: to keep multiple small strips the same size, use the thickness of the scissorblade as standard.
When the base color is entirely dry, place the two regular tape strips on your nail, forming a chevron shape.
Then place the small strips randomly accross the chevron to form the garland. Important is to remember the order in which you've placed them, for a quick removal and neat result afterwards. With opaque tape this shouldn't be a problem, clear tape on the other hand... To make it easier with the latter, you can place the tape strips per direction. So first apply the ones going in one direction (upper left for instance), then the strips going in a second direction (upper right). All you have to remember now are the ones lying on top.
When all strips are in the right position, press them down firmly and apply your layering color.
Then right away, carefully peel of all the pieces of tape. Try to remove them individually if you can, because this will create crisper lines. When you're done, give your design a little time to dry.
At last, finish your design with a sparkly tree topper and seal your work with a layer of topcoat. Tada!

Finally some useful tips:
  • For my tape manis, all I use is regular stationery tape. (For this particular tutorial I used painters tape for better visibility.) But you might prefer something else, so just experiment with different sorts of tape to figure out what works best for you.
  • For your base color you can use any polish you like, however one-coaters will allow you to place the tape much sooner because those are usually fast drying. Of course you can also quicken the drying of polishes that require several coats to cover, by applying a fast drying topcoat. (I use Seche Vite). 
  • Your layering color(s) can be either a one- or two-coater. Because you've already applied a base color, most polishes that usually take two coats to cover now will do with one.
  • Though I mention cutting the tape strips as step 2, I admit it is safer to cut before applying the base color. However, if you've learned how to cut the tape without having it touch your polished nails, it can save you a lot of time.
  • You might want to leave the cut strips somewhere else than the edge of your desk/table, to prevent them from getting stuck to the surface while you're busy. You do not want to have to peel them off with your freshly painted claws!
  • Apply your top color in one thin (but opaque) coat, this will create crisper lines.
  • When you're removing the tape strips, try to remove them individually, if you can, because most of the time your design will come out neater this way
  • Using tweezers to remove the tape strips can prevent your freshly painted nails from getting smudged.
  • It's not always necessary to start all over if you've messed up your design, often a little touch-up with a nailart brush can solve the problem.
  • If you want to use a matt topcoat, use a regular one underneath. My experience with matt topcoats is that they smudge the design very easily, even when it's completely dry. Applying a normal topcoat first will prevent that.
  • Moisterize your cuticles afterwards, because the tape can really dry out your skin!
  • You can practice this tutorial on your old mani that you applied a day (or more) before. That way it's certain that the base color is dry.
  • Have fun and practice makes perfect ;)

I would absolutely love to see your attempt on my design, so feel free to leave a link to your creation in the comment section!

Polishes I used in this post are China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses and 2030.
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