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Tutorial: Studded V-gap

Hi everyone, it's time for a new tutorial! :-) This time I'll show you how to make the studded V-gaps I used in my third day of the 31 Day Challenge. What I like about this design, is that it goes well with both subtle and bold shades, adding an edgy element. It's not the quickest look to make though, so I recommend using it on an accent nail (or two) or for a special occasion. Let's get started!

Start with the cutting of your tape strips, you'll need two for each nail you'll decorate. The way I cut the strips is by taking off a small piece off the roll which I cut in thinner strips lengthwise.
(For this tutorial I'm using colored tape because it's more visible, though I usually use regular stationery tape. It's more flexible than painters tape for example, plus the translucency is an advantage with certain designs.)
Then apply your basecolor. This can be anything as long as it doesn't distract from the studded V-gap. So make sure your basecolor isn't too dark or has a too striking finish if you want the black of the design to really pop.
Let the basecolor dry and use a fastdrying topcoat if needed. (I like to use Seche Vite.)
Now place the tape strips one by one on the nail, forming a V-shaped hole at the cuticles. Let the top ends of the strips start on the nail just below the cuticles, rather than overlapping them. This way you'll prevent polish from seeping under.
When the strips are in the right position, press them down firmly so that they stay put.
Then apply a black creme polish over the V-gap you created and remove the tape strips as soon as possible (so when it's still wet), this will create crisper lines.
Clean up excess polish on the skin in case needed.

Finally add your 'studs' along the edge of the V-gap with a dotting tool and a silver polish. Begin with the dot in the middle, to make even spreading of the dots easier. Once the design is dry, finish with a topcoat and your edgy look is done!

Finally some useful tips:
  • For my tape manis, all I use is regular stationery tape. 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.
  • 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 layering 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 skin afterwards, because the tape can really dry it out!
  • 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 KOH Mediterranean Sea, Color Club Where's The Soiree? and Essence Romeo.
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