7 Tips for Getting the Perfect Striped Manicure ...


I'm in love with the striped manicure. When done right, it looks beautiful and gives your nails a rainbow look. You can use any colors you want, but the most common striped manicure uses similar tones, such as different shades of pink, blue or green. If you're like me, it might take several tries to get it right, but once you do, the results are stunning.

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Gather Your Tools

Since you'll be working with several different tools and polishes, you need to gather all your supplies together first. You don't want to ruin your striped manicure by digging around for something. Obviously, gather your desired polishes, a base coat and topcoat. You'll also need a striper brush or a nail pen. If you're new to striped manicures, buying a pack of stripe stencils might be a good idea.


Prepare Your Nails

Since this is a manicure, you'll want to prep your nails before painting them. Start by shaping the edges. Smooth any ridges to ensure polish applies evenly. Finally, clean your nails thoroughly. You don't want any leftover polish, cuticle oil, lotion or dirt getting in the way.


Create Your Base

Always start with a clear base coat. This will help your manicure last longer. For best results, use a nail strengthening or ridge smoothing base coat. I always use the strengthening one since I polish my nails often. The base coat also helps avoid any stains on your nails if you're using dark colors.


Apply One Solid Color

One very important trick to the perfect striped manicure is applying one solid color to the entire nail. The best color is white since it's easy to cover with your additional polishes. The solid color prevents you from having to apply multiple coats of each stripe just to achieve a brighter color. For best results, apply two coats of the base color to your nails.


Applying the First Stripes

After the base color has dried completely, use a striper brush or nail pen to apply two thin stripes to the center of your nail. The stripes are usually only a few millimeters apart. Basically, you should have a center space that's slightly wider than either stripe. Your base color will serve as your center stripe.


Applying Additional Stripes

If you're using the same striper brush for each color, clean the brush with nail polish remover between each stripe. Apply your additional stripes on either side of your first stripes. The stripes should touch each other, covering up your base coat. Depending on the width of your brush or pen, you will usually have three of four sets of stripes.


Stunning Touches

Once the stripes have dried, apply a clear topcoat to seal your handiwork. A translucent shimmer topcoat also works well to add some extra shine to your stripes. To really make your stripes stand out, consider using glittery colors or a mix of bold and soft colors. You can also change the angle of the stripes to diagonal or horizontal instead of vertical. Get creative. After all, if it doesn't look good, you can always wipe it off and start over.

I've gathered together quite the collection of nail pens with different sized tips to help me master the striped trend. After a few tries, they're actually quite easy to do and only take around 10-15 minutes max. They're the perfect alternative to a single color and let you explore your artistic side. What are some of your favorite nail trends?

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