Sunday, July 29, 2012

Leopard Print - Jilltastic Challenge

Looking around my house, especially in my closet and on my nail polish racks one could surmise that I love pink. And one would be correct. I'm not a one of those crazy Barbie fanatics that has pink coming out the wazoo, but given a choice between pink and green for example, 9 times out of 10 I'll go pink. (I also prefer the pink "Mike's" from Mike and Ike's Topical Typhoon candy, which I just happen to me noshing on for breakfast at the moment.)

Anyway...I hummed and hoed (hoed...LOL) about Jilltastic Nail Designs most recent weekly challenge of leopard print. I love the look of it, but it just looked too complicated. After a TOTAL fail on a dried flower mani that I attempted yesterday, I started fresh and decided to give the leopard print a go. You never know until you try right?

I started with a base coat of Essie's Guchi Muchi Puchi which applied like an Essie polish does; globby, streaky, uneven. This is probably 3 coats if not more.

I should mention that I LOVE gradients. I love looking at them, I love doing them, I love their versatility, so of course I used a gradient as a base for my spots. I use the "make up sponge" technique to sponge the gradient on. Here's how I prepare my sponges, and complete the gradient.

Step 1: Find a regular ol' make up wedge and a pair of scissors.
Step 2: Cut the sponge in half 'hamburger' style (throw back to elementary school!)
Step 3: Cut those halfs, in half, 'hot dog' style
Step 4: Paint your base color on the edge of the flat squarish side of your sponge (In the photo above see the light pink in step 4 on the right.. Then layer your 2nd gradient color (Essie - Chastity) right above it (in the photo above its on the left of the light pink). It's important to use BOTH colors when using this method to insure that the colors blend together on the nail and you don't get any definite paint lines. If you only use the sponge for your 2nd gradient color, you'll end up with a 2 toned nail, not one that gradually fades to another color.

Before sponging, make sure your base coat is completely dry. For added protection I usually toss a thin coat of Seche Vite over it before proceeding. Position the sponge over your nail so that the base color is facing your cuticles, and your 2nd gradient color is facing the tips of your nails (this sounds confusing but its common sense). Gently dab the sponge onto the tips of your nails and work your way down toward your cuticle. DON'T DRAG.

Step 5: I forgot to take a photo of this step. Paint a very sheer shimmer or micro glitter top coat (I used Confetti's 'Tiara' -- another favorite is China Glaze 'Fairy Dust') on all of your nails. For whatever reason this completely smoothes out the gradient and makes it look flawless!

SPOTS: I used a large dotting tool and added random dots of Essie - Need A Vacation. Then I took the smallest dotting tool I had in my arsenal and, using a stippling motion, traced black polish around the pink dots to form the leopard spots. I also added some random black smudges, and some extra pink dots over the black to create some different colored spots for interest.

Overall, its okay. From a normal distance its pretty cute, but up close you can definitely see that I'm a n00b at this design. Would I do it again? Yes, I probably would. How cute would these be for a bachelorette party?!

So there it is! My first attempt at leopard print. Not too shabby! Much easier than I anticipated. I hope the photos are alright, I took them with my new phone. Let me know in the comments below if you hate them! ;)

Don't forget I still have Coach Factory Online sale invites to give away. These are legit sales run by the professionals at Coach Factory and Outlet stores. 100% Authentic Coach bags, wallets, shoes, jewelery, everything! Shoot me a private message with your e-mail address on Facebook, or you can e-mail me at thefoxclaws[at]gmail[dot]com. I picked up a pair of super cute flip flops for $24!

My birthday giveaway is over in 2 days! Don't miss your chance to win Cinderella by Sinful Colors! You can enter my Birthday Giveaway here!

Colors used:
Essie - Guchi Muchi Puchi
Essie - Need A Vacation
Essie - Chastity
Random black nail art polish

- Leopard Print is sassy, you should have it on your nails
- Essie applies like poo
- Gradients are fab
- Fox Claws is not very good at explaining things...
- Should stick to swatches instead of tutorials.
- Fox Claws likes pink but is not a Barbie
- Fox Claws should stop referring to herself in 3rd person.
- Damn, did it again.

<3 Fox


  1. i think you did a great job, both with the nail art and the tutorial. especially since it was your first time doing leopard print :)

    1. Thank you :)) It was a lot of fun actually! I definitely like the look, have gotten tons of compliments on them so far! Thanks sooo much for checking out the blog!

  2. Haha awesome tutorial. Not nail related but the outline you put around your pictures is super cute!

    1. Thank you!! :) Thanks for the Liebster Award tag too!!