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Scotch Tape Checkerboards: Mani Monday

As much as we love nail art, we’re better at admiring designs than coming up with them ourselves. That’s why we’ve enlisted Anna Norman, the smarty pants behind Glitter, She Wrote, to be a regular contributor. Every Monday, she’ll be sharing her latest lacquer inspiration—you won’t be satisfied with plain ol’ polish again.

It’s no secret that my favorite nail art tool is Scotch tape. Even without a steady hand or nail art experience, with a roll of tape you can achieve wow-inducing designs with precision and ease. Today I’m wearing one of my go-to tape designs – checkerboard nails. The look changes dramatically depending on your color choices. If you’re feeling a little punk-rock, try contrasting shades like black and white or red and blue. For the workplace, choose neutrals like pale pink and taupe (your nails will look professional from afar and stylin’ close-up!). You can also do a checkerboard accent nail for a small pop of design, which is how I’m wearing the look today.


1. Paint your nails with the lighter of your two polish shades. Apply a quick-dry top coat and allow your nails to dry completely (at least an hour of drying time). If you move on too quickly, you’ll smudge the base color when you apply the tape, so try to be patient! I’m using one of my current polish favorites, the pale pistachio green RGB Dew, plus Sally Hansen Hard as Nails on top.

2. Tear off two pieces of tape for each nail. Apply the tape to the upper left and bottom right corners of each nail, letting the corners of the tape meet in the center. Press down along the edges of the tape to ensure a tight seal.

3. Apply your second polish over the tape (I’m using RGB Sea, a dark, shimmery green). While the polish is still wet, slowly remove the pieces of tape to reveal your design underneath.

4. Clean up any stray polish with a small brush or Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover, and once your nails are dry, add a layer of top coat for shine and protection.

Are your nails already painted? Scotch tape designs are a great way to bring some life back into a days-old manicure—just start at Step 2!


This month, we teamed up with Color Club to create a social media-inspired polish collection—check it out and tweet us your fave shade! 

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