A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Tape Manicures

Falling for Autumn

The weather here in Ottawa has certainly cooled off and autumn seems to be in full swing.  I definitely felt it was time to paint my nails with some more earthy, season appropriate shades.

I opted for Foie Gras Nail Polish by China Glaze (from their Hunger Games collection) as well as Don’t Mess with O.P.I. (from their Texas collection).  Both shades are creams with no shimmer or glitter.

earth tone manicure

brown and green manicure

Of course, if you want to replicate this and don’t have access to these two limited edition shades, just find yourself any two earth tone shades that contrast enough to create a fun look for fall.

Begin by using a base coat on all nails, this will help prevent your nail polishes from leaving any sort of stain on your nails.  I used Seche Vite’s Clear Base Coat.

best base coat for nails

Once dry, I started out by painting half of my nails green and the other half brown, alternating for each finger.  (Totally unecessary, but it was fun leaving them for a day like this)

Foie Gras Nail Polish by China Glaze and Don't Mess with OPI Nail Polish by OPI

Then, the next day you want to take some clear tape (whatever you have around the house will work fine) and create whatever patterns you would like on your nails.  (If you don’t want to wait a day in between, use a fast drying top coat to help set the base polish, because if it isn’t 100% dry, the tape will pull it up and ruin your manicure!)

nail designs using tapescotch tape manicure

The tape helps you create perfectly straight lines for dual toned manicures.  No mess!

fall inspired manicure

What do your nails look like this fall?

autumn manicure



As you can see, Sunday was a perfect day in Ottawa to stay in, watch a movie and paint your nails!

Ottawa fall day

Bright Block Manicure

Neon Manicure

After my and Samira’s whirlwind visit, upon arriving home, I almost immediately got sick.  Feeling not so hot resulted in a lot of couch time.  I have a hard time just sitting and watching TV and not doing anything else at the same time.  So I decided to put some time in and create a manicure I really loved.  You might remember what happened, last time I was sick.  I created a very lengthy scotch tape manicure using my new Hunger Games colours…and although I loved the idea, I wasn’t crazy about the colours together when I finished…

So this time, I made sure I would love the finished result.  Best way to do that – GO BRIGHT!

First let’s look at the colours I used:

Bright Neon Polishes

From left to right: Purple Panic, Hi Def, Hook Up, In the Lime Light and Sexy in the City

I started out by painting my nails different colours.  You can see that I originally wasn’t planning on incorporating yellow into this manicure, but once I started making the blocks, I couldn’t resist.

Neon Green Nail PolishNeon Manicure

Use a fast drying top coat on your neon manicure and give it a couple of minutes to set.  (I have the best results using Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat)

From here, I simply started by creating one block on each finger until each finger had a contrasting block of colour.

Let’s take a look at creating blocks:

First, using clear scotch tape place a strip vertically on your nail.  Clear tape will work the best because you can make sure it is sealed nice and tight to help avoid any bleeding.

Scotch Tape Manicure

Then, using another piece of tape, place one horizontally on the same nail.

Block Nails Tutorial

Once your tape is on and you have a good seal, choose a contrasting colour and paint the exposed portion of the nail.

Neon Nail Tutorial

Once the exposed portion of the nail is filled in, you want to remove the tape before the polish is dry.  (This way when you lift up the tape, it won’t pull up the polish with it.)

Block Nail Tutorial

Your nail should like something like this when done your first block.  Be sure to use your fast drying top coat again and move onto your next nail.

After you have a few nails complete, your manicure should look something like this:

Bright Block Nails tutorial

I wanted to make sure my manicure had a “random” look, so I placed the blue block in different quadrants on each nail.

From this point, you simply repeat for each nail until you have four contrasting colour blocks on each finger nail.

Neon Block NailsBright Block Nails

I used Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat in between each colour to help speed up the process, but it still takes a long time.  Pop a movie in and you will be good to go! 😉

Neon Block NailsNeon Manicure

I have to say, that this is probably my most favourite manicure that I’ve ever done.  I can’t remember loving my nails this much, ever.  What is so cool about it too, is that you can really choose any colours you want.  You could even incorporate the ombre nail trend into your nails by using all shades from one colour if you wanted.  I’d love to hear what you guys think about this look and if you see yourself giving it a try!



Three’s a Crowd?

Scotch Tape Manicure

I’ve been sick for 4 days and the doctor tells me that my virus is contagious and that I’ve still got another 2 or 3 days to enjoy this.  Yay….

There are only so many movies a person can watch before they go insane cooped up in their apartment.  So although I don’t feel up for much, I figured I could at least do my nails and that it would hopefully break up the monotomy of endless movie watching.

A few days ago I mentioned that I picked up a few colours from the Capitol Colours (Hunger Games) Collection that just came out from China Glaze.  So I thought rather than just doing boring swatches of the 3 shades I got, that I could have a little fun with them.  Using scotch tape, I was able to incorporate all three colours into one manicure.  Thank you to “Chloe’s Nails” for the inspiration, I came across a post of hers and just had to try it. Check out her blog when you have a chance, she is super talented, has tried everything and has something there for everybody who loves nails!

China Glaze Hunger Games Polishes

Left to Right: Foie Gras, Fast Track, Hook and Line

Foie Gras – a dark brownish plum shade

Fast Track – a light tan with gold flecks

Hook and Line – a metallic concrete silver

Start out by painting your nails in a solid colour of your choice.  I started with Foie Gras.

Hunger Games Nail Polish Swatch - Foie Gras

It is very important that your nails are completely dry before moving onto the next step otherwise the tape will pull up your base colour.  Once dry you can just start taping off angles and colouring in sections with the other shades of nail polish.

Scotch Tape Manicure

One thing I noticed with the finished product is that this would work much better with 3 nail polishes that contrast more than these did (the gold and silver are too similar for my tastes).  Or, if you wanted to use shades like this, than keep the dark shade in the middle all the time rather than randomizing each nail.

I’ll definitely try this again with different shades another time.  (I am thinking neon colours for summer)  But be warned, it does take a long time given that you need your polish to be completely dry before applying the tape each time.  So try and choose polishes that have better coverage and require less coats, this way you won’t have to wait so long in between taping.  Fast drying top coats will also help speed this up for you.   This is definitely not a quick manicure, but if you are wanting to pass time while watching a movie, go ahead and have some fun with it!

Thanks for reading,


Scotch tape: for more than wrapping presents!

Two Toned Nail Design

Looking for an easy way to have some fun with your nails?  Or wanting to spice up your monolithic nails after a few days of wear?

Grab some scotch tape and a contrasting colour of nail polish!  In less than 10 minutes you can completely revamp your nails and make them look like a brand new manicure.

Make sure your solid base coat is completely dry before adding the tape to your nails, otherwise it will pull up your bottom colour and force you to start over.

I used “Up All Night” nail polish by China Glaze as my base.  It is a very deep midnight blue that in many lights appears to be black.  I actually let my nails set overnight, seeing as I started this adventure a little late in the evening.  Then, not having to worry about the tape pulling up any of my base, I started on my left hand.

Funky Nail Art  and Designs

Angling everything towards my thumb, I covered approximately half my nail with scotch tape.  I pressed it down to create a nice clean seal.  Then, using any contrasting colour, you simply paint the portion of your exposed nail.  Wait only about 30 seconds or so and then remove the tape.  You don’t want to let the top colour (in my case, I used “Celeb City” nail polish by Sally Hansen) dry completely because when you remove the tape, it will try and pull off your new design as well, you want the nail polish to still be wet.

Two Toned Nail Design

Using clear tape, you can create whatever sort of design you want on your nails, but I would say the easiest thing you can do is create a diagonal, or funky coloured tips if you wanted to do that.  I recommend using clear tape so you can see through it and make sure you’ve created a good seal on your nail to avoid leaking of the paint underneath.  Not to mention, scotch tape doesn’t leave a residue on your nail (unlike masking tape or painters tape).

Diagonal Nail Art, Two toned nail polish design

Two Toned Nail Design, Diagonal Nail Art

Then, you simply repeat the process and move from nail to nail until complete.  Once done, you can feel the slight ridge on the dividing line where your top nail polish sits higher than your base.  I decided to use a top coat to even out the texture of my nails.  Be sure to apply your top coat heavily so it gently glides across the nail.  If your brush is too dry it may pull at your base colour and force it to bleed slightly onto the top half of your nail.

I’m looking forward to hearing how you plan to use scotch tape in your future nail designs.

Thanks for reading!



Nail PolishDesigns  with Scotch Tape