nail art,nail art gallery, nail art designs

October 9, 2011
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I know a lot of people are searching for info on how to get this effect on your nails, so here’s a quick breakdown on getting the zigzag/lightning bolt tips!

The supplies: tape.  Oh, and polish.  It helps to pre-cut your pieces of tape so you’re not futzing with it while trying to do your nails; for this tutorial I was only doing my 4 fingers so I cut 4 strips of tape, plus 4 more triangle shapes to go with them.  I use masking tape, partly because it’s really clear to see where it’s at on the nail and also because I feel like it peels up better than scotch tape, but you can use either (just make sure with the clear tapes that you either tap it lightly on your skin first to remove some of the stickiness before applying, or have a reliable base coat over your main color so nothing gets accidentally pulled up).  Also, when you’re pre-cutting your pieces and placing them somewhere (like I’ve done on the edge of the table), be sure that you’re *lightly* sticking it to the surface, and not on any of the corners or edges of the tape since you need that to be good for clean lines.

nail art taping

Once you’ve got your base coat on (I used Ulta Jaded, a really pretty color that was fairly opaque in 2 coats but unfortunately had some issues with bubbling) you’re going to place the larger pieces of tape across your nail at a slight angle; for these I started one side just below the tip of the nail and had it meet a little below the half-bed mark on the other side.

nail art lightning tutorial

Next you’re going to add the triangles: as you’re picking them up, consider which corner of the tape you like most/think has the best corner.  As you’re placing it on the nail, try to get the  bottom edge running parallel to the first piece of tape you put down — if you can do that, the zigzag part will take care of itself.

Ulta Jaded

Now you’re ready to put your secondary color over that (I used nubar Toga Purple, completely opaque in one regular layer and dries fairly quick).  Pick one of your one-coat wonders for this; I know it’s tempting to pick a color that takes two coats and convince yourself you can still pull it off, but trust, it’s going to look way better if you go with a one-coater.  The goal is to use something that isn’t going to be really goopy and bleed, and that’s just not going to work with layers of stuff.

nail art tutorial

As soon as you’ve put on the polish you’re going to start taking off the tape pieces in reverse.  Start with the triangle, grabbing the pieces of tape from the side of your nail and then pulling toward the center so that the tip of the triangle is the last part to go.  Repeat with the bigger pieces of tape, same direction…

nail art tape

And voila, you’ve got bolt/zigzag tipped nails!

lightning bolt nails

Of course I can’t leave well enough alone so I went back in with one of the long skinny brushes and added a couple of swipes of Kleancolor White at the top of each bolt, because why not.

nubar Toga Purple

Categories: how to, taping
Tags: , , , , ,

7 Responses

  1. Love this look…haven’t done a scotch tape mani in a while…I should try it!

  2. rock-or-not says:

    I love this kind of manis!
    And this one is great!!

  3. Kejal says:

    Nice tutorial…will try soon

  4. Alexis says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!!! I tried doing it and it came out horribly. But the way you showed looks a lot easier!


  5. Hannah says:

    I did this a little differently, but when I have the time and patience (and practice!), I will do it again sometime with the tape. I used a precision brush for defining the zig-zag. It was a little sloppy, but I’m proud of it. I shared a picture of it on your facebook (not sure if it’s the official page), but it didn’t post. I hope you still get to see it!

  6. Claire says:

    I really messed mine up…I left the tape on till the zigzag coat dried…BIG MISTAKE! the tape left residue and bubbled and turned out awful. I’ll have to try it again

  7. Megan says:

    This is not as easy as it looks but i am going to keep trying!!!

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