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How to: Breton stripe nail art
The French – we’ve got a lot to thank them for. French braids, French toast, French kissing – and of course, French manicures. Granted, history isn’t entirely clear on whether all of these things actually originated in the Gallic nation – but there’s something about putting the word French in front of an object that gives it a certain je ne sais quois, don’t you think?
So when I got invited to a French-themed event this weekend to celebrate Bastille Day (France’s national day), it was only right that I got into the spirit of it and paid tribute to the world’s chicest nation in the best way a bh gal can. No, not by wearing a beret, but by devising a truly French-themed French manicure. And this one doesn’t involve pastel basecoats with precision-applied white tips.
Taking the tricolore flag of France and the traditional French Breton stripe pattern as inspiration, I set to work on my ‘ode to Bastille Day’ manicure. Here’s what I did…
1) Arm yourself with some sticky tape, scissors, nail polish in red, white and blue, and a top coat. Tip: use a French manicure white nail polish and some bold, bright matte colours (Rimmel London's 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Blue Eyed Girl and Ready, Aim, Paint were perfect for this look).
2) Paint four nails white and one nail blue, allowing yourself at least two coats (the white is likely to need three to make it even). Allow to dry for about 10-15 mins.
3) Cut a length of sticky tape, press it into your palm several times to remove some of the stickiness, and then cut the piece lengthways into 2-3mm-wide strips. Stick them to your white nails, allowing a space of about 1-2mm between each piece to make a striped pattern. Then apply two thin coats of blue to three of your nails and leave to dry for 1-2 minutes.
4) Carefully remove the strips of sticky tape (do this very slowly) to reveal your Breton stripe pattern.
5) You should be left with one white nail. To mix things up. I repeated the sticky tape stripe pattern, but this time using the red polish.
6) For an added asymmetric twist, mix up the patterns on the other hand, maybe having one full red nail and one full blue nail, with the remaining three striped. Finish off with a top coat like Revitanail Top Coat.
And that's it - a French manicure with added Frenchness. Now all I need is to dust off those Vanessa Paradis records, add a regulation swipe of red lipstick and I'll be all set for my Bastille Day shindig!
Are you a nail art fan? What's the craziest look you've ever tried?
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