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Tutorial: Tape Christmas tree design

Hi everybody, welcome to my second Holiday design tutorial! In this tutorial I'll be showing you how to make the classic Christmas tree shape, with the help of tape for perfectly crisp lines. The design isn't too difficult to achieve, but you do need to cut and place many tape strips, so you may want to use it for accent nails only if you'd like to save yourself a lot of work ;-) Let's give it a try, shall we?

First apply your base color (with a basecoat underneath) and let it dry completely, if needed use a fastdrying topcoat to speed up the process.
With more detailed designs, I usually recommend using a plain base color to keep the focus on the design, but because that typical, zigzag shape of a Christmas tree is so simple and easy to recognize, we can go for something bolder this time. How about a (duo)chrome, a holographic polish or a sparkly glitter? Or perhaps just a simple but elegant shimmer?

Cut off two regular tape strips which you'll use in step 3, and four triangles for the rest in step 4. The way I cut the triangles is by first cutting off a little piece of the tape roll which I then cut in half diagonally, like shown in the picture.
Of course you can do the cutting before step 1, I personally like to cut the strips while I let my base color dry. But I have to be careful then, otherwise the tape might get stuck to my nails and ruin the polish. So admittedly, it is safer to start with cutting 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.
When the base color is entirely dry, place the two rectangular tape strips on your nail, forming a chevron shape.
Then one by one, place two triangle shaped tape strips on each side of the chevron, with the points towards the center of the Christmas tree to be.
When you feel like all the tape strips are in the right position, press them down firmly so that they stay put on the surface. Then apply your layering color with a thin but opaque coat...
...and carefully peel off all the pieces of tape right away. And there it is, your classic Christmas tree design! Seal your design with a layer of (glitter) topcoat or add a rhinestone tree topper as a finishing touch. Merry Christmas!

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, plus this design is great for covering up tipwear!
  • 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 P2 Fever and China Glaze Millenium.
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