DIY Nail Art Tutorial: Marc by Marc Jacobs-Inspired Stripes

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DIY nail art tutorial: Marc by Marc Jacobs-Inspired stripes


{Runway photo: ELLE.com}

It's that time of the season when everyone is dying for spring... so why not slap some happy colors on your nails to tide you over until the sun comes out?

As I was browsing ELLE.com the other day looking for some spring-y nail art inspiration (which also resulted in this runway-inspired floral tutorial), I came across one of my favorite looks from a few seasons ago - this pretty striped dress (pictured above) from the Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear collection.

With its vibrant colors and nautical vibe, the dress's colorful striped pattern looked like the perfect thing to put on nails. It'd be especially perfect if you're counting down the days until Spring. And with that, here's a Marc by Marc-inspired striped nail tutorial to help you beat the winter blues!

What You Need:

A few quick notes before we get started: Most of the colors I used actually have tiny brushes that are made for nail art, and if you have them, you can use them to pull this look off freehand. But I still wanted to use scotch tape to demonstrate how it can be done with a regular brush - there is no need to buy special art polishes for this.

Also, before you paint your nails, you'll want to cut your scotch tape lengthwise into strips as thin as you can possible make. It can be a little tough, but try your best to make straight cuts! And last, it's probably best if your nails are a little longer. This will work just fine on short nails, but if you have a bit of length, it will give you more freedom to make lots of stripes and vary their sizes like the pattern on the dress. Now let's make some nail art!

What to Do:

Marc by Marc Jacobs-inspired striped nails: Step-by-step instructions

  1. Start with your favorite base coat, as always.
  2. Paint your nails with white polish. This will probably require at least 2 coats, because most whites aren't very opaque and you want a solid background. Make sure your nails are super dry before moving on, because in the next step you'll be putting tape on your nails and you don't want to rip up the polish!
  3. When the white base is dry to the touch, take your pre-cut strips of tape and place them on the nail. If you want to follow the pattern on the dress exactly, place the first strip of tape about a fourth of the way up your nail. Or, if you want the thickest stripe to be closer to your nail bed, you can place it a fourth of the way down your nail. The other strips can go closer together. Make sure you seal down the edges - if the tape isn't making contact with your entire nail, colors can bleed through and the stripes won't turn out clean.
  4. Next, fill in the areas that aren't covered by tape with color. As you can see in the picture of the dress, the original order is yellow-beige-blue-orange, but feel free to mix it up! I tried several techniques for this, and what I found works best is to take two strips of tape to make one stripe of color at a time, and then to move the bottom strip up above what was originally the top strip and make the next color stripe. (My roommate described this as a "tape relay race.") The reason I liked this technique best is that if you try to do all the stripes of color at once, the ones you did first will start to dry and get tacky before you pull up the strips of tape, so when you do pull them off, you're left with a jagged edge and semi-pulled-up polish. Long story short, try to pull up the tape immediately after making the color stripes so that this doesn't happen.
  5. You're done! Make sure to seal the stripes off with a top coat so they will last.

The Finished Product

Striped nail art inspired by the Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 runway show

One of the things that drew me to this pattern is that it feels like something you would see on a beach in the south of France on a hot summer day. My roommate said my nails reminded her of a cheery beach towel. Something about this look is just so carefree and happy! And with nothing but gray days to look forward to for at least another month, it's the perfect little pick-me-up.

What Do You Think?

How do you beat the late-winter blues? Can fun polish change your mood? Would you try multi-colored striped nails? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!