Former nail biter turned polish-obsessed blogger Amanda Shiko of Mae's Beauty Reports challenged herself to create a nail art design inspired by a song. Her tune of choice? "Animal" by Neon Trees. Naturally, the look is one part neon and one part animal—leopard to be specific.
Here's how to copy her fierce fingers.
- Step 1: Apply a base coat. Amanda loves the Nail-Aid Peeling Nail Intense Repair Gel because it helps prevent peeling and cracking, a side effect of her constant polishing and removing.
- Step 2: Paint two thin coats of white nail polish like L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail in Top of the Line. "With neons you need a base (such as a silver or white) to really make the neon pop," says Amanda. Let the white dry for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Step 3: Paint your neon shade over the white. Amanda used pink on her left hand (try China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Pink Voltage) and blue on her right (try OPI Nail Lacquer in Fly). Paint three coats total, allowing each to dry for two to three minutes.
- Step 4: Choose a color for the center of the leopard spots. (Amanda used Zoya Nail Polish in Charisma for her pink nails and Essie Nail Color in Vermillionaire for her blue nails.) Before applying, wipe most of the nail polish off on the neck of the bottle. Then paint different sized dots and smudges on your nails.
- Step 5: Put a small amount of black nail polish onto a flat surface, like a note card. Next, "Flatten the tip of a toothpick, dip it into the black, and create 'U' and 'C' shapes around the dots," says Amanda.
- Step 5: Finish by applying a clear, quick-drying top coat. Amanda loves the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, which she says "dries almost instantly."
- Extra tip: Keep a photo of your inspiration handy so you can refer to it as you paint. It'll keep your art on track.
Would you wear Amanda's two-toned leopard nails?