Leopard-Print Nails: A Manicure That Celebrates One Of My Favorite Parts Of Living In South Africa

One of the best parts about getting to live here is going on safari and seeing wild animals in their natural habitat.
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Christina
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One of the best parts about getting to live here is going on safari and seeing wild animals in their natural habitat.

The part of my heritage that I identify the most with is my South African-ism. I was conceived here (bow chicka wah-wah), born here, and will probably live here for most of my life. 

One of the best parts about getting to live here (there are many--do I sound like a tourism advert?) is going on safari and seeing wild animals in their natural habitat. My favourite instances of animal-spotting are when I saw a leopard jump over a buffalo, lions feasting on a wildebeest (like in The Lion King and my real life), and seeing a mommy cheetah care for her little cubs. 

I realise that all of these involve wild cats, but is there a more majestic and magnificent beast? There is nothing cuter than a giant cat being all agile and wild and stuff.

Of all the animals I have seen and loved, the one that other people seem to love, too, is the graceful, cunning leopard. Their fur pattern has become a staple print in the wardrobes of many. 

So, to celebrate part of my heritage, I did a leopard print manicure. It was really quite easy, even though the print can look daunting upon first inspection.

All you need is a base colour, a darker or more vibrant colour, a black nail polish, and a baby paintbrush. I used a random rose gold nail polish, OPI You Don’t Know Jacques! and LA Girl Blackout and a tiny paintbrush.

I decided to use more traditional (as traditional as rose gold can be) leopard colours, but you can do this manicure with a variety of colours.

Using the base colour, I painted all my nails, which needed two thin coats to reach full opacity.

BASE COATS.jpg

Next, take your darker colour--I used the brownish grayish You Don’t Know Jacques! By OPI--and blob a couple of spots on with your paintbrush. They shouldn’t be uniform or neat; leopards don’t have sweet and perfect polka dots, they have strong and vicious rosettes.

BLOBS.jpg

Then, taking small bits of your black nail polish, surround your blobs with little curved outlines. Some of the blobs will have three, some will have one or two. Don’t outline any of the blobs completely. The less even these outlines are, the better.

OUTLINES.jpg

To finish off, make little dots and blobs in the emptier spaces. Again, the more uneven this is, the better.

DOTS.jpg

And you’re done! As with any nail art, wait for your nails to dry completely before sealing in with a top coat.

LEOPARD NAILS.jpg

Would you accessorize with leopard nails? Have you ever seen a leopard drag its prey up a tree? Did you know that leopards can drag three times their body weight up a tree?