ManiKludge : Stripes Without Striping Tape


Who loves negative-space stripes on nails? [Raises hand.] Who actually owns striping tape? [Not me.] Who wants to spend half an hour cutting up masking tape into tiny and straight/even strips? [Also not me.] BUT WHO HAS DENTAL FLOSS? ERRYBODY. We’re gonna do a thing with that. Yay!


Well, floss. And you want the old-skool flat plasticky ribbon kind, not the fancy fuzzy string kind. You’ll also need your usual base coats and top coats, and one (or more!) color polishes. [Insert Floss Gloss pun here.] [I don’t actually own any Floss Gloss.] It’s best if you’ve got something that’s pretty opaque in one coat, and you can use something glittery as long as it’s only TINY glitter, because big glitters may lift up with your floss strips and leave gaps in the polish surface. And that’s it! Tho as usual, a pointy orange stick is handy for quick cleanup around the cuticle area.

Smith & Cult “Feed the Rich,” Insta-Dri, a thick clear glassy top coat, Butter London “Stag Do,” and two super-foily Peripera shades which of course do not have color names marked on them.

HOW ^2  DO IT :

Start with clean dry nails. If your nails are SUPER discolored and yellowy and  you don’t want that to show, you can use a tinted base to neutralize them or even them out (like one of Zoya’s Naked Manicure shades) or even a solid color — match your skintone or your nail beds! Or just pick something that contrasts nicely with your other chosen shade(s)! But before you go on to the striping part, they need to be STONE. DRY.

Pull out a piece of floss about 10″ long or so, and cut or break it off. Anchor it to the underside of your finger with your thumb, wrap it snugly around your nail a few times, and pull the end around underneath to ALSO anchor with your thumb or another finger and keep it tight and out of the way. You can overlap / criss-cross the floss stripes, but it’s best if you keep them a little bit away from both your cuticles and the very tips of your nails, otherwise it’ll be a lot harder to get a neat line and good coverage with the polish there.

Continue to hold the floss snug, and paint that nail! Try to get the color as opaque as you can, because this isn’t really easy to do two coats on becauuuuse …

AS SOON as you’re done painting the nail, carefully unwind the floss. You’ll get the neatest lines and fewest smudges if you unwrap it by pulling the last-used end of the floss up and away from the nail, so that you’re working from the last/uppermost wrap to the first/lowermost.

Move on to the next nail. You don’t have to do the exact same wrap pattern, obvs. I went with “whatever I could get to anchor securely and lay flat.” This might be even easier if you were working on a flat solid surface (rather than a THROW PILLOW while sitting on your SOFA like a MORON) because then you could just mash your floss-wrapped finger against the table or whatever to keep the floss secure. But I am a doofus, so I did not do that.

Yay another nail down. UNWRAP CAREFULLY, but also immediately — if  you let the polish start to dry on the nail, the floss will pull bits of polish with it as it comes up, leaving you with not stripes but a jagged mess.

Yeah I screwed this up and had to start over, because of fucking course I did.

I’m digging the “Skittles Nails” multicolored look for this, but you could also do them in all one color, or even dab on different shades to each area separated by the stripes.

SORRY I CAN’T TELL YOU THE NAME OF THIS COLOR BC I LOVE IT SO MUCH. When you’ve finished all the nails on one hand, top coat them with whatever you usually use. I did a coat of a super thick clear to give them that nice bulky glassy look, and followed with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri.


And you’re done! WOOO, “OMG LOOK AT YOUR NAILS, WHICH SALON DID YOU GO TO?” everyone will say, and then you can preen and be all like “oh it’s totally a DIY no big.”


* If you miss a bunch of areas close to your nail edges, you can get a small liner brush and fill in a bit before doing your top coat(s). If you’re lucky and have a fairly flat nail bed (unlike me — my nails are like almond slivers stuck into the ends of hot dogs and my cuticles/edges are DEEP AS HELL) then you’ll be less likely to have this issue.

* Be sure to have something handy to toss your used polish-smeared floss into/onto when you’re done with each nail, rather than trying to carefully drop them onto a paper napkin like I did, and get little bits of polish all over your coffee cup.

* Also be sure to SCREW THE CAPS BACK ON when you’re done with each shade, rather than just grabbing them all afterwards like I did, knocking one [open] bottle to the floor, whereupon it rolled under the damned sofa leaving a trail of green foil lacquer on your wood floors, FFS.