Fashion Week Nails: Gilt Snow Leopard

Fashion Week nails. I’ve already been asked if they are strips, where I’ve gotten them done, and if they’re Wah nails. All false! I rule.

Yes, this took awhile. A full episode of Mad Men (my attention was admittedly divided) to be precise.

This “how to” is a bit more difficult to explain since it was mostly arbitrary and I skipped around from nail to nail as I waited for various bases and spots to dry. You might want to plan out how you’re going to do each nail before you start to allow them to dry in between, but that’s seems like work and nail art should be fun. Not like a design layout or something.

Contrasting is key. Fill in half the spots and leave the rest outlines. Vary the spots colors.

I started with the thumbs, which are symmetrical. Paint the entire nail in gold or blue, then 1/3 of one side with white. Use whichever color is not your base for the spots, but only on the 2/3 colored part. Draw on the black accents, continuing over to the white but leaving those as simple outlines.

That served as my base for the rest. I did at least two nails per hand fully spotted, a gold base with blue and white spots on each hand, a blue base with just white spots on my left, and a white base with blue and gold spots on my right.

For the remaining two nails on each hand, I toyed with basic nail art shapes. A thick, contrasting white tip on a gold base, and a thick blue tip on a white base, both with contrasting spots. A half-moon of white on a blue base. Tri-color stripes. The spots I confine to one of the colors on each nail.

Technique-wise, this manicure wasn’t any different from a normal leopard print design. What took awhile was strategizing the colors and waiting for the various layers to dry.

As always, finish with a good top coat. If you spend this much time, you want it to last.


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