Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ND4: Golden Stripes of Sunshine aka Cheshire Stripes

Nail Design 4 is an alternating pattern of two different colors, with three stripes of each color. The final design reminded me of golden sunrays, so that's where the name comes in.

image from physics.unlv.edu

This basic pattern was used in the Cheshire Cat inspired nails (shown HERE), but this design can be used in a simplified format, if both colors used are cremes that are completely opaque, or if the purpose of this design is to have the color on top overlapping the original color, for a more unique look.

Step 1 is to completely cover the nail in the base color. The color used here is Orly Spark (an old formula polish), that translated as a light yellow creme.

If you are short on time and would like to move onto Step 2 right away, you can use your favorite fast dry top coat or quick dry nail drops to speed up the drying process.

Step 2 is where the blue tape comes in. Depending on the nail length, cut three even strips of blue tape and layer it at even intervals over the original color, making sure to press the tape down firmly so there is no gap where the second/top nail color can leak under and leave a mark.

After painting the top color, immediately pull off the strips of tape in the direction the tape was laid down, so no pull will occur from the top polish and the lines should be straight and even.

Here is the final result:

Now this same design can be used with Jelly polishes that you don't want overlapped, and that follows a slightly different format. These are the first 3 steps to the Cheshire Cat nail design.

Step 1 is to cut three even strips of painter's tape and layer them evenly along the nail, then painting on the first color over the base coat/natural nails.

After pulling off the tape used in Step 1 and letting the first color dry, cut a total of 5 slim strips of blue tape, where 4 of the strips should be slim enough to not completely cover the original color, but wide enough to be overlapped with another strip of tape to then completely cover the original color.

When laying down the strips of tape in Step 2, make sure each strip of tape just barely touches the edge of each side of the original color of polish, so there will be a barely visible overlap, otherwise there is the possibility of a gap occurring between the two colors.

And this is the final look for the alternating stripes of color when using Jelly, transparent, or sheer polishes.

There are extra details that can be added to this look, such as painting a glitter top coat over the dried stripes, but this look can be left alone to wow the crowd.

So, what do you think? Would you try one of these looks? Or both? What colors would you use?

Thanks for looking! Bye for now.


  1. How long do you let the polish dry before you apply the 2nd set of tape strips?

  2. Hi Jackie! I'm usually polishing while doing something sedentary (like looking at nail blogs!) so I wait a little while for the polish to dry. The best answer I could give you would be, that it depends on the polish. (1) The newer the polish, the faster it dries, (2) how much polish did you layer on, and (3) are you in a rush? For numbers 2 and 3, you don't want to layer too much polish on, which is why I prefer creme polishes since they become opaque with less polish going on the nail, but if you are in a rush, I really recommend using a top coat, especially a quick dry top coat. If you have the time to wait, I'd say I usually wait around 20 minutes for the first layer to be completely dry. The best way to check is to lightly (and I mean very lightly!) press your finger onto the polish (after it's had enough time to dry) to tell if it is dry enough to not have tape marks. If your finger leaves an impression in the nail polish, you should give it at least 5 more minutes.

    Hope that was helpful!

  3. That's perfect advice, Thank you!

  4. You're welcome! Hope it helped!

  5. amazing mani :)
    i have a giveaway on my blog come on see if you want !!

  6. That's really lovely. You make it seem so simple!

  7. I love both versions! The yellow one certainly reminds me of a Cheshire cat. :D Oh, I'm terrible with tape, but like jo.frougal said, you make it sound so simple!

  8. @Lily nail: Hello! Thank you for the lovely comment, and for letting me know about your giveaway!

    @jo.frougal: It really is simple once you get the hang of it! Try it, I guarantee you'll have fun with it!

    @Witoxicity: Thank you - I'm glad both versions are well liked! I guess tape is like any other product, and you just have to get used to working with it. But I've seen your nails (on your blog) and they always look perfectly polished, and if you can master working with nail polish, I'm sure you can work with tape. It really can be that easy!

  9. wow, just found your blog I love your nails!!!
    colors are gorgeous thanks for sharing :)xoxo

  10. Wow, I love your use of the blue tape. Makes the lines sharper than just free-handing it (which I suck at). Your nail art is just gorgeous!


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