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.
Publish date:
April 1, 2014
manicures, nail art, nail polishes, opi, leopard print, South Africa

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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?