TUTORIAL: Super-Easy Animal Print Nail Art

4 years ago

I love nail art. It's a great, creative way to dress up any outfit, and despite what you might think, it's actually really easy!

You don't always need special tools or equipment or the artistic skills of Michelangelo squatting on scaffolding under the roof of the Sistine Chapel. This animal print nail art design can be done with regular nail polish, no special brushes, and only minimal patience.

You will need:
  • 3 nail polishes in the colours of your choice. If you have a nail art pen or a fine brush, great -- but it's not essential!
  • Base coat and top coat
  • Nail polish remover, cotton, and a nail file

The first step is to prepare your nails. File your nails to your preferred shape, filing off any breaks or flakes. Making sure your nails are clean of grease and grime will help your manicure last longer, so go over your nails with some nail polish remover. I find nail polish remover is one area you can easily be cheap on -- I've noticed little difference between brands, nor between acetone and non-acetone formulas. (However, if you have false nails make sure the nail polish remover is suitable for them, as acetone can melt some plastics!) I like to use a strengthening and/or growth enhancing base coat but the choice is up to you; different formulas tend to work for different people. Finally, apply a good base coat -- it will help protect your nails from staining, and your artistic creation will last longer.

When you have your base coat all dry, it's on to the arty stuff. Choose a base colour you like; I went for a pearlescent white here, and kept to a somewhat natural colour scheme, but animal print looks great in a whole range of colours, from pastels to neons.

Once your base colour is dry, take one of your other colours and splodge on some large dots. This is easily done with the polish bottle brush -- just make sure the brush isn't overloaded with polish. The good thing about animal print is the pattern is supposed to be uneven.

Once your spots are dry, take your final colour (I used a black nail art pen, but any polish will do) and draw a broken outline around the splodges. Add in some small extra marks if you want. If you are working with the regular polish bottle brush, make sure it is dry-ish, and use just the corner of the brush to make it easier to control. You can also use an old paint brush. (And you don't need a special nail art brush -- any small paint brush will do; just remember to clean it with polish remover afterwards!)

When you are finished, you should have something resembling this:

Wait for it to dry and finish off with a top coat, I like Seche Vite or HK girl by Glisten and Glow. Both give an excellent, even finish that is long lasting and quick drying.

If you have bits of polish on your fingers around your nails (I always do this, no matter how 'neat' I am), clean it off with a Q-Tip soaked in polish remover, or use an old paintbrush. If you have dry cuticles, a bit of cuticle oil or lip balm will help soothe them and restore some moisture. Now you are ready to go and show off your nails. Rawr!

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