Weekend Mani: Neon-on-Nude Leopard Nail Art

I know I usually do a Mid-Week Manicure, but since this look was so fun, I figured it would make for a great weekend mani! I haven’t rocked any nail art since my early days of high school, but I’ve been so inspired by all the great DIY manis across the web that I decided to give it a whirl myself! I didn’t want anything to complicated, as the chances of my screwing it up were very high, ha! So I created a leopard mani using neon spots over a nude base. Here’s what I used and how I did it!

From left to right in the photo above I used nail polishes from Art Club Striper in Black, MAC in Brown Bag, China Glaze in Purple Panic, China Glaze in Turned Up Turquoise and China Glaze in Sun Worshiper. I also used a nail art dot tool (pictured in front) to create perfect dots. Here’s how to create the look:

  1. After applying base coat, I applied to coats of my base color, MAC Brown Bag. This shade has been discontinued but you can  use a similar caramel-nude shade like OPI in San Tan-tonio. Let polish dry completely!
  2. Use dot tool to create dots on nails. I used the larger end of the tool. To keep polishes handy, I poured a little out at a time on a piece of foil. Don’t cover your nail in too many dots. You want a leopard look, not connect the dots, lol! Plus you’ll need somes blank spaces for the next step. If you don’t have these exact shades, just make sure to use three complimentary shades. Take note that these China Glaze neons dry fast, so don’t pour each shade out at once and don’t pour too much to avoid them drying up on you before you can create your dots.
  3. Once the dots have dried take Art Club in black to create leopard pattern around dots. I made 2-3 small dashes and dots with the black polish around the neon dots. I also made a trio of dashes on some of the blank areas for a more authentic leopard design.
  4. Art Club polishes have a great built in striper brush. A striper brush is a super thin nail art brush that is perfect for creating small designs. Alternately, you can use any black polish you have on hand and apply it with a separate striper brush. I purchased a striper brush and dot tool at a local beauty supply store for $1 each. If you can’t locate one in your area you can get one here.
  5. Once the dashes have dried completely, apply a clear top coat. I rushed that step and a few of the black dashes streaked, but I think it ended up looking OK. The shinier the top coat, the better!

That’s it! It was really pretty easy and it didn’t take long to do. Before trying the whole manicure, do a couple of practice nails before hand. I did and it helped me get my dot/dash technique down. I can’t wait to wear this look out this weekend! Share any of your favorite DIY nail art designs in the comments! What mani are you rocking this weekend?

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