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How to: DIY Zebra-Print Nail Art

Mon, 15 October 2012 11:36AM

You might remember a few weeks ago, I posted a step-by-step tutorial on leopard-print nail art. While it has quickly become a favourite in my nail-art files, I feel it’s time to add another animal-inspired pattern to the repertoire.

I’ve always had a soft spot for zebra print. Lately more than ever. While it’s much more niche – and a little more out-there – than its cousin leopard, an increasing array of celebrities have worked the zebra-striped trend, including Nicole Richie, spotted in a mint-green-and-black Proenza Schouler sweater, and even Katherine Heigl, here in a one-shouldered dress at a photo-call in Berlin …

If a zebra-print mini is a little too racy for your taste, adding a scarf or heel is definitely one way to give the trend a go. Or, like me today, you could try it on your nails!

You could either go the classic – and literal – black-and-white take. Or, if this seems too stark, you could opt for a re-work of the traditional tones by using a bright shade (like red or blue) as the base, then painting black or white stripes as the contrast.

Here’s a step-by-step for you to recreate it at home:

Step 1:

Paint a thin coat of base coat.

Step 2:

I’m going with the traditional black and white, so for the base, I slicked on Orly’s Nail Lacquer in Dayglow, $18.95, 1300 769 355, a pure, streak-free white. I’d recommend not going too dark with your base shade, as the stripes may not show up strongly enough. Depending on your nail polish color and formulation, paint 1-2 thin coats. Wait for your nails to thoroughly dry – at least 10-15 minutes.

Step 3:

Pick up a paintbrush, preferably one with an extremely thin tip. They’re often called liners, and I got mine from an arts and craft store for around $2. Dip your paintbrush into your chosen stripe colour – I’m using Orly’s Liquid Vinyl, $18.95 – and wipe any excess on the rim of the bottle. Beginning on the left-hand side of nail, paint a thin stripe across to the right-hand side, without touching the edge or cuticle.

Step 4:

Then, repeat the process beginning from the right-hand side of the nail over to the left, leaving a small gap in between each stripe. Tip: don’t worry about keeping the lines perfect, you want them to look natural.

Step 5:

Keep painting the pattern up to your tips, and then continue it on your other nails. Or you could just keep it to one finger as a feature nail.


Step 6:

Wait for the nails to thoroughly dry and then add a light layer of top coat. Here’s the finished product:

Tell me, Primpers …

Are you a fan of zebra print? Which colour combination would you use?

I think I still love the classic black and white best.

Hayley x

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  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Mon, 15 October 2012 11:51am

    Your nails look fab hayley. Thanks so much for showing us how to do this. The zebra strips look so awesome and yeah i still love classic black and white too.

  • Posted by: melg Master Fan // Mon, 15 October 2012 12:49pm

    For some reason white polish looks rubbish on my skin tone. I might do this with a chocolate brown and gold stripes

  • Posted by: Coconal Master Fan // Mon, 15 October 2012 01:26pm

    This is too cute, Hayley, and looks great on you! I agree with Melg, gold/brown or gold/black might also be stunning, while a bright colour like hot pink might be a fun substitute.

    I have done a similar look using my old Maybelline Master Precise Eyeliner as it was drying up. :D

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Mon, 15 October 2012 05:26pm

    great inspiration :)
    day glow really is amazing.
    I wonder if there are any paint brushes that could substitute for makeup brushes… they would be a hell of alot cheaper

  • Posted by: misschris Master Fan // Mon, 15 October 2012 10:05pm

    I like this nail art, it looks great and looks relatively easy too.
    A great job!!

  • Posted by: Gloss_Geek Master Fan // Tue, 16 October 2012 05:51pm

    Super Crafty :) They looks awesome and seem so easy to do!

  • Posted by: loopylexy Master Fan // Fri, 2 November 2012 01:06pm

    Cute as! I bought a brush from the arts tore the otehr day to use on my nails- haven’t tried it out yet though!

  • Posted by: jo77 Master Fan // Wed, 5 June 2013 09:59am

    That’s pretty cool. Might have to come up with a leopard print for winter!

  • Posted by: thecatwhosawstars Master Fan // Wed, 5 June 2013 01:41pm

    Black and white works best.

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Thu, 18 July 2013 02:49pm

    lovely, i might try it!

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Mon, 12 August 2013 09:06pm

    I do like the nails and it would be a design that would be relatively easy to do as well. I do like this Zebra print.

  • Posted by: brinsley Master Fan // Mon, 23 June 2014 09:03pm

    I quite like the look but it would be pretty time consuming to do I think … maybe for a special occasion I’d give it a go!

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