Sold on Striping Tape

I'm sold on striping tape a.k.a. foil tape.  I have found them to be useful in so many ways.  You can make a boring manicure more elegant, you can use them to make unique patterns, or use them to cover a flawed freehand design.  To say the least I am in love with foil tape. Foil tapes are inexpensive, easy to use, and make you look like you've had your nails done by a professional.

Make a boring mani beautiful

Use striping foils to make a neat design
Practice your freehand and cover up flaws with foil tape
I've been only using these for about a week and have used them in four different manicures. Each in the way I described above, though I am no expert (I am after all a Polish Plebe) I have a few pointers about using them:
Cut tape slightly longer than your
nail.  Trim the tape a little shorter than
your nail once it is in the desired location.
  •  Just like using any tape on a manicure make sure that your base coat/color is completely dry.  Laying striping tape is not always easy and you may have to remove or move it before you get it to the place that you like.  For each manicure that I applied the tapes I applied a quick drying top coat and drying drops to speed up the drying process.
  • Make sure that your nails are completely clean to help the tape to stick. With one of my taped manicures I forgot to wash the residue from the drying drops so the tapes did not want to stick.
  • I have read on many sites that it easier  to use your fingers or tweezer to place your tapes.  Honestly, no one way is the best.  I tried both and found neither to be easier than the other.  Placing tapes are pretty easy to begin with.  Obviously, just use whichever technique works for you.
  • I found it best to cut the tapes a little longer than my finger and then cut it shorter once it was in place.  This made it easier to move the tape around. I tried using nail clippers to cut the tape but I found that I had better control with manicure scissors.  If you have a pair of curved manicure scissors they work really well to trip around the cuticle area.
  • If your design has you running the tape all the way to the edge of your nail cut it slightly shorter than the nail itself.  I found when I took it right to the edge of my nail I could feel the tape and I didn't like it.
  • After you place the tape make sure the edges are pressed down firmly.  I preferred to use my finger nail to press the edges of the tapes down along the cuticle but you may prefer to use a cuticle pusher.
    Push down your edges, you can use your finger
    or you can also use a cuticle pusher.
  • When you are happy with your design make sure that you put on a top coat.  With my designs I placed two layers of top coat because I didn't like to feel the ridge of the tape.  This helps keep the tape in place, however, if the tape doesn't stick well to begin with don't rely on the top coat to hold it down.  I made this mistake with one of my manicures and had to take it off after less than a day.

For this demonstration manicure, I wanted to practice my freehand french tip technique.  This is something I need a lot of practice with.  However, time is valuable and I hate to do something and not recieve a desireable result.  This is one reason why I love foil tape so much.  So I started my manicure as always, by applying a base coat and then I practiced my freehand technique using a pretty aquaish blue.  I freehand a french tip on all but my ring finger.  At the last minute I decided to use this as my accent finger, so I painted it completely.

Though I did alright, I'm a bit of a perfectionist and would not be able to live with this manicure for very long.  Not only that but foil tapes just make everything prettier.  So I added some tapes to cover the edges.
Just like that you have a perfect french tip.
To add a little funk to this french tip manicure I placed five stripes horizontally across my accent nail.  There you have it a magnificent mani.  This is one that I am very happy with and won't want to take off.

No matter how you use your foil tape you can't go wrong.  Hopefully, these tips will help you out and keep you from getting frustrated and allows you to love your latest mani.  I hope you are as sold on striping foil as I am.  See you next time. 

Your Fellow Polish Plebe,