One of my friends went to London for the month, so naturally she put in a request for London themed nail art. I joked that I could simply paint my nails all gray and say that it was London fog, but I didn’t think that was what she had in mind.
I could have opted to paint some of the landmarks- Big Ben and London Bridge came to mind, but I feel like my ability with acrylic paint couldn’t do justice to the structures. In the end, I decided to make the fuzzy texture of the hats of the royal guard flanking the British flag. If I had long nails, I would have included a face with the hats, but with my current length, I felt like the heads wouldn’t have the right proportion if I went that route.
I really wanted the flag to look nice, so I decided to use striping tape to keep the lines super straight. I hate using striping tape because it involves lots of drying time, patience to apply many pieces of tape correctly, and the possibility of messing up your nails when removing the tape, but my friend deserved the best.
Because your nails have to be complete dry before applying any kind of tape, I painted my thumb, middle and ring fingers with White Hot to start the drying process as soon as possible.
While the white polish was drying, I decided to do the fuzzy hats.
I waited a few hours for the white polish to fully dry before attempting to apply the striping tape. Be sure to test a small area of your nail with the tape to see if you will ruin your base color before proceeding.
When working with striping tape, it is best to use thin coats of polish so that the color you are painting doesn’t bleed into other areas when you remove the tape. Also, try to remove the tape as soon as possible so that the polish doesn’t start stretching and/or blending with the base color as you pull each piece off. Because of this, I don’t have pictures of every single step, but suffice it to say that I colored in the blue areas first and the red stripe down the middle of the flag as shown below.
Of course, I totally forgot to color in the horizontal red stripe, so I had to reapply the tape to fill in that area, and I left it on to paint the red diagonal stripes as well.
Incidentally, painting the flag by hand is a ton faster. Start with a blue base color, use white acrylic paint and a striping brush to paint large stripes, and then add red polish over the white paint. You will save yourself hours of drying time and not be super frustrated with placing all those pieces of striping tape.
But wait, what did I do with my thumb, you ask? I painted another flag of course… because it’s so clear that I loooooove using striping tape. The steps are pretty much the same as for the bigger flag, but I took more pictures this time.
My friend loved the nails, thankfully, and now another friend has put in a request to do a South African theme in honor of her homeland. I better start doing some research on the area!
Incidentally, I didn’t apply top coat to the glitter for the photos, and most of the glitter will flake off if you don’t. The texture doesn’t look as nice once you apply top coat, but it’s a real pain feeling like you’re shedding glitter on everything, so I had to change those nails. But that’s for the next blog post…