Braided Nail Art Tutorial

  1. What you need: base coat, matte top coat (optional), regular top coat, desired colors (4 minimum), tissues, scissors, nail striping tape (or scotch tape if you don't have it), nail file, brush, tweezers, nail polish remover
  2. File nails down to desired length. This keeps them healthy
  3. Apply a base coat! So important!! Protects your nail from the polish. I like OPI. Let it dry.
  4. I like to start painting my dominant hand with my non-dominant hand (I'm a righty so I paint that hand first). It's easier for cleanup because you tend to make fewer mistakes when painting your non-dominant hand (since you're using your dominant hand).
  5. Apply one coat of the "outline color" (the one that will separate all the "braids." I usually use black so it stands out. Let it dry.
  6. Once the outline color is dry, I like to apply a matte top coat. It helps the lines stand out more because they're a different texture than the other colors. Let it dry.
  7. Once you think the matte coat is COMPLETELY DRY, wait a little longer. You're about to put tape on the nail, and if it isn't fully dry, it'll take the base color up with it.
  8. I have striping tape, which I got on Amazon for next to nothing. I've affixed it to my scotch tape dispenser for easier use.
  9. In a criss cross pattern, starting diagonally at the cuticle and working toward the tip, arrange the tape. Make sure they overlap a little bit so you don't get any weird lines in between that you didn't intend (like on the tip of the ring finger here). This takes a lot of time and patience.
  10. Tape up all 10 nails before you start filling in with color. If you only do a few nails, or one hand, it will be infinitely harder than it already is to put the tape pattern on with wet nails.
  11. Staring at the tip of the nail, carefully paint one section at a time with alternating colors. I usually use 3 colors because with this pattern, 3 sections touch a time, meaning you won't ever get the same color next to each other (except by accident).
  12. After a few sections, but before you've done the nail in its entirety, remove the first tape stripes using tweezers. You want to do this in the reverse order you put the tape down, so you're pulling up clean lines. Start at the tip and work your way down to the piece closest to the cuticle.
  13. Again, wait longer than you think for the colors to dry before putting on a top coat because you don't want the colors to smear into the lines.
  14. In this waiting time, I like to clean up the nails and get off any polish on my fingers. I pour some remover into the cap and either use a thin brush or Q-tips to clean up.
  15. Finally, apply a top coat, and voila!
  16. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you'd like any other nail art tutorials!