Tutorial: Abstract '80s


Hi everybody, welcome to my tutorial for the abstract '80s design! One thing I like about this design is the translucent triangle, for which I can use my sheer polishes. I normally avoid those because they take so many layers to get opaque, but from now on they have a purpose! (Next to glitter sandwiches. ;)) But the sheer triangle comes only at the end, so apart from a sheer polish you'll also need a basecolor and a polish for the angled shape in step 4. Let me show you how it works then!

Start by cutting a few straight pieces of tape. I do it by taking of a little piece (±1inch/2,5cm) off the roll first which I cut in smaller strips lengthwise. You don't have to cut it in smaller pieces, but I always do because smaller pieces adapt better to the curving of the nail, plus I don't like to waste things unnecessarily.

Please note that I only use the colored tape you see for the pictures of this tutorial. Normally I use regular stationery tape. The translucency can be a great advantage in some cases, but it makes the tape difficult to capture in photos.
Then apply the base color you like (if necessary with a basecoat underneath) and let it dry completely. To speed up the drying process you can apply a fast drying topcoat. I personally like Seche Vite, which lets my polish dry in about 10 minutes.
Now we're going to make an angled shape in the corner of the nail. Just take two tape strips and one by one place them on the nail like shown in the picture, covering up the parts that shouldn't get painted. (The exposed area is how your shape is going to look.)
Carefully apply your layering polish with a thin and even coat and remove the tape right away. By removing the strips right away, you'll prevent the polish from sticking to the tape which can cause rough edges. Remove the strips individually, if you can. Most of the time your lines will come out crisper this way.
If your first shape has dried properly, we can start on the second one; a triangle. Place three tape strips individually on the nail, forming a triangle. Make sure to overlap part of the first shape for that playful see-through effect.
Now apply the sheer polish on top, also with a thin and even coat and remove the tape strips right after. Finish with topcoat and your design is done!
Check out the tutorial page for some useful tips. Also I would love to see your attempt on my design, so feel free to leave a link to your creation in the comment section!

Polishes I used in this post are OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui, Orly Ancient Jade and Color Club Warhol.

34 comments

  1. This is awesome! Takes me back to the good old days!

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  2. This is such a lovely manicure! Thanks for the great tutorial.

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  3. Very nice....thank you for the tutorial! :)

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  4. I LOVE this. Thanks for the great ideas!

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  5. I usually find that people recommend leaving the tape until the polish has completely dried to achieve crisper lines, and I thought I must be doing something wrong because it totally opposite for me... I'm glad I'm not the only one :D .

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  6. great tutorial! i really love this look! a perfect use for those pesky thin polishes!

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  7. wow.awesome tutorial...thanks for sharing..xoxo

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  8. http://concreteandnailpolish.blogspot.com/2012/09/american-apparel-sheer-nail-art.html

    One of my all time favorite manicures!

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  9. you're great, it's a fantastic tutorial :) i will try sooner. bye *Mary90*

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  10. Great tutorial! I completely thought it was way more difficult then that!

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  11. magnifique, et merci pour le tuto

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  12. So pretty! I seriously love your site ;) you have such great ideas :)

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  13. I liked it, I will take note!

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  14. Que lindo!! Amei! Vou fazer! Amo suas unhas! Seus tutoriais! Você arrasa!!
    Beeijos

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  15. This is so cool. I decided to do my version of it on my black&white day in 31day challenge! Here it is: http://cookis-world.blogspot.com/2012/10/day-7-black-and-white-nails.html

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  16. Just one thing: This is the best blog EVER, all the world!!!! WTF!!! All here is perfect! Congrat!!! Im your fan!

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  17. what happened to your 31 day nail challenge... It's end up to rainbow nails...

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  18. I love this design, thanx for the tutorial =)

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  19. Looks fabulous. I don't have long nails like yours, but i did try it out by making small shapes with the tape. It came out great!!!

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  20. its awesome i love this idea!! I never thought of this before!!
    I tried it, i made sure the coat was totally dry and put the strips of tape. But when i removed them, the polish came off. How do i make sure that doesnt happen?

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    Replies
    1. I think some polishes might react to the tape, which causes them to get tacky again. Try using a fastdrying topcoat on top before placing the tape. I've never experienced any problems when doing that. Hope this helps!

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  21. Ello Jane ;)
    umm.. I was just wondering.. When will you post more tutorials? I LOVE UR TUTORIALS as they're so easy to do, but they look extremely elegant.
    Also, I had the same question as the person above. What could I do instead?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Melon, thanks for your comment! Excuse me for the late reply, but in the meantime I've managed to post two more tutorials, hope you enjoyed them! As for the question about tape manis, see my answer above. :-)

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  22. When you say stationary tape are you referring to clear scotch tape?

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  23. Hope you like my rendition - almost half a year later! haha :)
    This goes to prove what a great nail blogger and designer you are ** Thank you so much for the inspiration! <3

    http://cubbiful.blogspot.pt/2013/04/colour-me-bright.html

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mina, thank you so much for your comment (and message on Facebook ;-)). Your version is a treat for the eyes, I left you a comment on your post. :-)

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