I love to paint my nails, and have every color known to man (and then some, probably), but rarely do I purchase nail care items beyond the basic polish and acetone polish remover. I love to do french tips (rather, two colors) and to accomplish the two-toned hues on my nails without them looking uneven, blotchy, or just plain crappy, I follow this quick trick to make my nails look like I had somebody else do them for me.
To accomplish a french tip or to paint your nails two colors (the base of the nail being painted one color with the whites of your nail being painted another color), all you have to do is get out the good old-fashioned scotch tape. For french tips, simply paint your clear coat on the whole nail, allow to dry for about 10 minutes, then put tape on the whole nail except for the part that you want white for your tips. Typically this is just the natural white tips of your nail, with maybe a little extra to make it thicker if your nails are short. Being sure to cover the entire nail you do NOT want painted with tape and pressing the tape into the crease of the nail where it meets the skin to prevent bleeding of your painting, you can now freely paint the entire nail again, and the only part that will be getting painted is the exposed part of the nail!
The same can be done for painting your nails two colors. Simply paint all your nails the main color you want all the way to the tips, allow them to dry for about 10 minutes, put tape on the part of the nail you do not want to paint again, and simply paint over the whole nail again, and the only part getting the color is the part of the nail not covered in tape. You can do this to make diagonal lines in your polish, have stripes throughout your fingernails, and for simply creating nice, even lines.
Allow the paint to dry again for 10 minutes before removing the tape. Through errors in the past I have learned that if you pull the tape off too quickly before the paint dries you will smear the fresh paint on the tips and have to start over. Don’t use too-strong tape, either, or else it will completely rip off the fresh paint on the whole nail, or parts of it. Use a regular scotch or any regular tape you would use to wrap gifts with. I would absolutely not recommend Duct tape or a heavy-duty tape unless you want to rip your color off.
If you don’t let your nails dry long enough before applying or removing the tape you will likely mess up your paint job. Be patient, give it about 10 minutes, and you will be pleased with your results.
You can also cut tape into heart or star shapes and stick them to the nails and paint over them for cool designs after you peel them off. I do this to get polka dots on my nails. Works like a charm!