Friday, February 6, 2015

Liquid Nail Art Tape: Four Options

I'm continually amazed by the ingenuity of nail bloggers. If there's a problem to be solved in the nail art world, bloggers are on top of it! One of my very favorite nail blogger hacks (for lack of a better phrase) is the idea of "liquid painter's tape" for nails: or, to put it less simply, a substance you can paint onto your cuticles/fingers that dries into a polish-masking barrier on your skin. Anyone who's dabbled in nail art knows what a mess it can be (helloooo, water marbles and splatter manicures), so tools that help cut down on cleanup time are invaluable. I'm already a slow enough nail artist—I'll take any help I can get to be more efficient!

I don't know who first came up with the idea of liquid nail tape or what product started it all, so unfortunately, I can't give proper credit where it's due. However, I've seen and tried a variety of options for my own manicures, so I thought I'd do a roundup of them for you guys here, comparing things like price, ease of use, and effectiveness. Each option definitely has its own pros and cons, so I hope this helps you find a solution that works best for you.

I'll be discussing four liquid nail tape options in this post: white glue (also called Elmer's Glue, school glue, or PVA glue, depending on where you live), OPI Glitter Off, Liquid Palisade, and liquid latex. These are the four options I've seen used most often in the nail art world, but I'd love to hear about others out there—maybe this post can have a part two someday!

From left to right: white glue, OPI Glitter Off, Liquid Palisade, and liquid latex.


White Glue

This is the first liquid nail tape option I tried, back when the idea was still very new. I happened to have an empty polish bottle and some Elmer's Glue on hand, so it was technically free for me, but you can get a 7.625-ounce bottle of glue for USD $2–$4, depending on where you shop. When I first tried this several months ago, I was amazed by it—my gradient manicures didn't take ages to tape off and/or clean up anymore, hooray!—but glue as nail tape does have its flaws. It's thick and goopy, so it's not the easiest thing in the world to paint precisely around your nails, and the drying time isn't great: even a thin to moderate coat takes 5–7 minutes (or more) to dry completely. This kind of glue is also water soluble, so you can't use it for water marbling, and it can be tricky to peel off in one piece if your application isn't thick enough or if you have a ragged cuticle here and there. But other than those complaints (which really are pretty small, in the grand scheme of things), glue works well and I was happy with it for a long time.



OPI Glitter Off 

OPI's Glitter Off peel-able base coat is marketed for use under glitter polish to make the glitter peel off easily when you're ready to remove it. I tried Glitter Off for that purpose and didn't have a lot of luck (glitter defies all odds and cements itself ruthlessly to my nails no matter what), but it does work well as a liquid tape option. It's basically just watered down white glue, so it has many of the same pros and cons as glue, but with a couple differences: the thinner consistency and OPI brush make it much easier to apply, but on the flip side, it's much more expensive —about $9 for one bottle. So if you have an empty OPI bottle and are willing to try watering down some white glue, you might get the same results for a lot less money? I'm not sure. But I still like this option a lot and felt like the time saved, both during application and polish cleanup, was worth the money for me.



Liquid Palisade

Liquid Palisade is a super popular product right now, and I completely understand why—it's fantastic! There are some great reviews out there that detail the myriad uses for it, so I won't get into those here, but as liquid nail tape, it's just about perfect. It goes on easily, dries fast, peels off cleanly, can be used in water, and comes with a fine-tipped little brush that makes it easy to cover all the tricky little spaces around your nails.

My one major issue with Liquid Palisade is the price: $22 for a small bottle about the size of a mascara tube is pretty steep! I do think it's probably worth that, given the time you can save, but for someone who needs to use liquid tape options regularly, the cost can add up. Other minor issues with Liquid Palisade include the availability (through their site, on Amazon, and at a few other third-party sites, so you can probably find it just fine, but I had to wait for a restock when I ordered mine), and fact that it's unusable for those with latex allergies. It also takes a while (and uses a lot of product) to cover a whole fingertip for techniques like a water marble.



Liquid Latex

Finally, we have liquid latex. When I got my Liquid Palisade, I could tell right away that it was at least partly made of liquid latex—that scent is really specific and easy to identify. It didn't even occur to me to look for actual liquid latex until Halloween time rolled around again, because I'm just that dense, but then I saw some ladies on Instagram buying & using it and I realized that yes, as always, Amazon had me covered. At $11 for the pot of latex (that will last for ages), plus a few dollars for empty polish bottles and a set of small funnels, I was able to put together several bottles of the perfect liquid nail tape—plenty for me, and some to share, too.

Liquid latex has all the benefits of Liquid Palisade, plus it's cheaper and you can paint it on with whatever size nail art brush you want for different levels of coverage. The downsides are few: as the photo above shows, polish sometimes doesn't stick to the latex as well as it does to other substances, so you can get little bits that hang on around the edges after you remove it. These are easy to flick off or remove with acetone, however. And pure liquid latex does smell quite a bit stronger than Liquid Palisade! But overall, if you don't have a latex allergy, I think this is truly the perfect solution.


I didn't intend for this to turn into a liquid latex sales pitch, but I guess that level of enthusiasm is where I'm right now as far as nail tape solutions go. I just adore it so much! I'll definitely keep my Liquid Palisade around for fine detail applications around my nails, and for using as a mask on actual manicures to create designs, etc., but I'll be sticking with the regular latex for everything else. I don't see myself using the glue or OPI Glitter Off much anymore, but it's nice to have those on hand in case I find myself doing nail art on someone who can't use latex.

I'd love to hear what you all think: what liquid tape option(s) do you prefer? If there's one you'd like to see reviewed, or if you make one you'd like to see reviewed, please hit me up! I love new nail art innovations and I'd be excited to try more and see how they compare.

Thanks for reading!

23 comments :

  1. Thanks for the comparison! I have been hoping someone would do this!! I liked the pros and cons at the end of each item.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I figured I'd better include the pros/cons to summarize all my wall-o-text paragraphs, lol. :D

      Delete
  2. Thank you for this post! All the options for this mani issue are getting a little overwhelming. I have come across another product called masking fluid but it may not be that different from liquid latex. I saw it on a Messy (appropriate to the topic :) ) Mansion video: http://youtu.be/yd1tUOwsRKw. I found masking fluid on Amazon and saw it was also called liquid frisket (which is a fun word to type and say out loud). I researched liquid frisket (still fun) and found it's made from "high quality latex." So, again not that different from liquid latex. In case the name of the product got lost among my parentheses, it's masking fluid a.k.a. liquid frisket. BTW, in researching for this comment, I came across this video which was valuable in showing how to remove dried liquid latex from a brush: http://youtu.be/hwweJtbiwwo. Thanks, again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the links! Those are both great videos. (I seriously need to try that foil stamping technique, too!) The masking fluid does look a lot like liquid latex... except it might take longer to dry, based on what I saw in the video? I also looked around at some data sheets for masking fluid and noticed mentions of ammonia and avoiding skin contact, so that gives me pause as well. Probably just an abundance of caution on the manufacturer's part, but I do like that the liquid latex I'm using was designed for skin and is ammonia-free.

      Also good to know that dried latex can be plucked off of brushes like that—I was hoping that was the case, but I hadn't tested it yet! :)

      Delete
    2. Hi...another option I just came across: Color4nails Crystalline Nail Veil, http://color4nails.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1415#.VOefvvnF-Sq

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! I did trim them down a little because of a break, but my index finger is actually pretty deceptive—I have almost no natural white on that nail, so it looks super short from the front when it's not painted. :)

      Delete
  4. I'd love to see your opinion and review on the hair bonding glue from Sally's, used for this purpose. It's about $2 and it's latex...curious how it would compare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I considered trying the hair glue as well, but I noticed that the manufacturer's write-up says to avoid applying directly to your scalp. I wasn't sure if that was because that's just not the best way to use it or if it's actually a skin irritant, so that warned me off it a bit. But if I can round up a couple more options for a "part 2" post, I will probably try it anyway. :)

      Delete
  5. Thank you for this post. I am just getting into this world. 😊 I plan to try the glue method this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck! Glue is a great option, especially when you're testing the waters and aren't sure if you want to invest much $$ into it.

      Delete
  6. Hi I have just purchased some liquid nail tape
    How thick do you have to apply it and can you use it under a UV or LED light

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't ever used a UV light for nails, so I can't say whether liquid tape would work okay under one. I feel like LED lights would probably be fine, though?

      As for the thickness, a thin layer of the latex-based tapes work well -- you just need enough to cover your skin without any gaps. For the glue-based options, I've found a thicker coat works better so that it doesn't flake when you go to peel it off.

      Delete
  7. Just as a quick heads up Liquid Palaside and most other nail clean up tape options all contain latex unless stated as latex free so in fact most of them are incompatible for those who have latex allergies pretty much except glue! Oh and the Sally Beauty Supply hair bonder also contains latex its written right into the ingredients at the top.

    ReplyDelete
  8. One more option for your list. I used a peel off face mask. It is latex free, smells nice, cheap and best of all I already had it in my bathroom. I will warn people that you have to let it dry out after dipping your finger in water (i was doing water marble). But it is way cheaper than palisades and easier to find (for me) that liquid latex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh cool, that's a really good idea! The option for something that smells nice is especially intriguing, since everything else I've tried is incredibly stinky.

      Delete
  9. I wish I could try Simply Peel but I'm one of the unlucky ones with the latex allergy. UGH! It sucks! And here I thought the only issues I would ever have is...no condoms...make sure every Dr I see has non latex gloves....and kids birthday parties or any party with balloons. Oh no....that wasn't enough....now this stuff had to surface. Whyyyyyy!?! It's not freaking fair!!!!!!!! I want to use Simply Peel with the pretty glitter like everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .......I know I could use glue but it's just not the same. =(

      Delete
  10. Thanks for this, I'd never even heard of liquid latex!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Cheaper alternative to the twelve dollar bottles of latex masking fluid.... Go on amazon and do a search for liquid latex. You could use the makeup artist latex (think zombies and open wounds) or even latex body paint. I found a small bottle of makeup artist liquid latex for under five dollars. Just get yourself a disposable pipette or tiny funnel to get it into a clean polish bottle and VOILA - several bottles of masking fluid for 1/3 of the price of the "specialty" manicure products. I'm going to order it today - I'll let you know how it goes!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just have a question...is it better to wait for your design to dry before peeling off whichever product you've applied to your fingers, or is it best to pull it off as soon as you are done painting? The reason I ask is because when I first tried the glue method, my nails were still wet when I started to pull off the dried glue and it accidentally brushed against my nail, messing up the polish design. I have since then waited for everything to dry before peeling off the glue, but do I run the risk of the dried polish peeling off with the dried glue if they somehow get connected in the painting process? Any input is appreciated. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely pull off your masking product (whichever option you choose) while your polish is still wet! It takes a little practice to master your technique for doing it without letting it touch your nail -- I always use tweezers and go slowly so that I can keep an eye on everything -- but you'll get much better results this way overall. Because yes, you're exactly right: if you let the polish dry before peeling off your glue or other product, there's a pretty big risk that some of the polish on your nails is going to get peeled off as well. If you can see really clearly that the polish on your nail & on your finger aren't connected at all, and/or if you maybe carefully trace around the edge of your nail bed with a toothpick to make sure all connections between the two areas of polish are broken, you might be able to get away with letting everything dry... but it's the riskier method, in my opinion.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...