In honor of recent changes in the US, here are rainbow stripe nails to show your pride! They are a bit time consuming but the design could be used on just an accent nail to cut down on the work.
Brighter colors pop well on a white background
Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need:
• red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and white nail polish
• a topcoat
• painter's tape and striping tape, if you have it
Striping tape is very skinny tape that is great for nail art. If you don't have this, you can cut the painter's tape into small strips that will work too. Just make sure they are all the same width so you don't get uneven stripes. If you like, you can use a small brush to do the painting.
Brighter colors pop well on the white background, so any neon colors you have will look especially great.
Step 2: White Basecoat
Paint nails an opaque white. I like to use two coats, and let them dry for a long time before the next step.
Step 3: Cut Tape Strips
You will need 2 strips of striping tape (or very thinly cut painter's tape) and two pieces of painter's tape for each nail. In case you are really bad at math, that means 20 pieces of striping tape and 20 pieces of painter's tape for a full set of nails. They should all be about an inch long. I like to cut the painter's tape in half so it's less cumbersome and doesn't waste as much.
It's helpful to stick them on the edge of the table you're working on so they are easy to grab when you need them.
Step 4: Tape Off Your Nails
Make a diagonal line with a piece of striping tape across one nail, slightly to one side of the middle. Place another piece of striping tape parallel to the first, about the width of the tape away from it. The white space in between the two will become the middle stripe.
Place pieces of painter's tape parallel to the diagonal lines you've created, making sure to keep the white space showing the same width.
Press down the tape with your fingers, using your nail to really seal the parts where your nail meets your finger. If there are gaps the nail polish will bleed through. I have found that folding the painter's tape over the tip of the nail firmly helps with this.
I like to do one hand at a time, since it gets really difficult maneuvering with a lot of tape hanging off fingers, and doing one nail at a time would take too long.
Step 5: Paint Rainbows
For the actual rainbow painting, it works best to do one nail at a time by painting the nail and then peeling off the tape before going on the the next nail. If you wait for the nail polish to dry it will stick to the tape and can peel off parts of your design, so it is best to do immediately one by one while it is still wet.
Working perpendicular to the diagonal lines you've created, paint stripes of each color in rainbow order. Since this rainbow uses 6 colors, I started with yellow and painted the edge of it at the middle of where the rainbow will be. This leaves space for three colors on each side of the middle, which looks nice and balanced. Do all the colors on one nail only, and then move on to the next step. You will go back and repeat this for each nail. Use the very tip of the brush and wipe most of the polish off before painting.
Step 6: Peel Off the Tape
On the nail you just painted, remove the tape, peeling in the direction of the lines. I like to remove the painter's tape first and then use tweezers to pull off the striping tape so I don't by accident smudge my design.
Step 7: Repeat for Each Nail
Repeat the painting and peeling off tape steps for each nail. Again, I find it easier to do all the nails on one hand one by one, let it dry a few minutes, and then move on to the next hand.
Step 8: Top Coat
Making sure the rainbows are very dry, quickly paint a top coat to seal in your design. This will make it last longer and appear more like one layer. If you paint the top coat slowly it may streak the color into the white, so paint as quickly as possible.
Step 9: Wear Your Pride!
Clean up any nail polish on your skin, either with a q-tip dipped in nail polish remover, or gently scraping it off after having your hands in water (like after a shower).
Make sure to gesture with your hands a lot so people can see your hard work!