Thursday, 4 April 2013

Pink Leopard Print

I have so much work to do before I'm back in uni (3 weeks Easter break!), but nail art is proving to be a fantastic form of procrastination. Who wouldn't pick painting pretty pictures and getting high off fumes over writing a seminar presentation, planning two 6k word essays and researching a dissertation?! 

My purchases from Direct Cosmetics are already making a vast difference to the strength and overall look of my nails. Even after only two applications, my Sally Hansen products appear to be working really well; my cuticles are already looking neater and my nails feel stronger, but I can't bare to leave them plain! After all, no manicure is ever complete without a nice shade of nail varnish and a cute design...

I've been looking back at some of my earliest nail art efforts and they make me cringe! It's amazing how much progress can be made in such a short space of time, and although it's often hard to track your own advances, I can definitely see big improvements. One of my biggest progressions is with leopard print nail art; originally my design was always large and a bit messy, and I only stuck to traditional leopard colours (gold, brown, black). Now that my nail varnish collection has expanded, and my hand has grown much steadier, I decided it was about time to return to leopard print nails, a nail art classic!

The equipment:

Models Own 'Pastel Pink'
Fearne 'Coral Island'
Models Own black nail art pen
Models Own white nail art pen
Models Own 3-in-1 clear coat
A fine nail art paintbrush
Silver gems

After filing my nails and applying Sally Hansen 'Age Correct Stregth Dry & Brittle Nail Care' as a base, I use my Models Own pink as my main colour. As you can see in the above picture, I originally wanted my accent nail to be white. I quickly changed my mind after rediscovering Fearne 'Coral Island', which was hiding in the back of my nail art box! I took off the white and applied the dark pink - it tends to take about 3 coats using Fearne nail varnish, as it's a very runny consistency.
Once I was happy with my bases, I began to add the splodges (I've adopted this as a technical term). For the white I used my nail art pen, as the nib end allows a steady flow and tiny little dots. For the pink, I dipped in my finest nail art brush and applied via that. I made sure all splodges varied in size and shape, but were all quite small.Another original intention was to limit the leopard print to one side of my nail, but eventually the design crept further and further across!
When the splodges were dry, I took my black nail art pen and began to add the black patterns. I think of these as outlining the splodges, however I let some overlap, stretch further around and also blend into one another. After all, no leopard has completely symmetrical spots! I also like to add a few little black dots in and amongst the print.
The above picture shows the original plan of leopard print limited to the side of my nails. It just didn't look complete, so I had to keep going! Maybe on a gradient base this would be more effective? Then at least there's still something going on in the blank bits!
For my accent nail, I just inverted the colours, using Models Own 'Pastel Pink' along with black and white for the leopard print. I then added a little silver gem (not shown in the main picture). The manicure probably doesn't need this, but I like to have a bit of sparkle! 

I really love this manicure, and I think I've made dramatic improvements since my initial attempts at leopard print. I've learned that the smaller and tighter the design, the better it looks. Also, going for unusual colours works well, so don't feel limited to typical 'animal' colours like gold and brown... Leopards can be pink!

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