One of the hottest trends in fashion is animal print, so why not jazz up your fingers with zebra-style stripes? You don't need to hit the salon to get this look. WIth a few simple supplies you can stripe-up your nails at home any time you'd like.
While you can use the brands of your choice, I find that zebra-like stripes look best when applied to a pale colored polish like light gold, pale pink or peach. These are the supplies I use:
- Dr.'s Remedy Remover
- Julep Essential Cuticle Oil
- Nailtini's Double Shot base and top coat duo
- Julep Sienna Nail Vernis
- OmegaLabs Striper Brushes in black and silver glitter
If you currently have nail polish on your fingers, make sure you remove it completely. I find that Dr.'s Remedy Remover is especially nice for sporty women because the non-acetone formula is enriched with tea tree oil, vitamins and proteins that help kill fungus and strengthen the nail. After removing polish, apply a cuticle oil around the nail bed to help prevent the cracking and separation that can lead to hang nails. While I like Julep's Essential Cuticle Oil because of the roller-ball application process, use whatever oil you like the most or simply massage your nails with hand cream to help moisturize the cuticles and nails.
- Apply a base coat to your fingernails to create an even surface for the nail color. While I love the Nailtini Double Shot, there's no point in buying a new base or top coat if you already have them on hand. After application, allow the base coat to dry for several minutes.
- Use the nail color of your choice and apply two coats of polish on top of the base coat, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. Again, allow the second coat to dry before proceding to the next step.
Start with the black OmegaLabs Striper Brush. While I wish I could suggest using any type of polish, OmegaLabs is the only brand I'm aware of that makes a brush that greatly simplifies the nail art process. Seriously, if you can afford to buy a couple of these brushes, they'll give you lots of opportunities to "play" with the look of your nails.
- Starting at the bottom right side of your nail, draw a thin line across your nail horizontally, moving from right to left. The line does not need to be straight or even-looking. In fact, zebra stripes tend to be a little wonky, so imperfect stripes are actually preferable. Also keep in mind that the stripe does not need to go all the way across your nail.
- After you've drawn your first stripe, move slightly higher up on your nail and draw a second stripe, this time moving from the left side of your nail to the right. You'll discover that the stripe will tend to look thicker where you've started it, before fading off into a thinner line. This will end up giving the stripes a more natural, staggered appearance.
- Continue criss-crossing your nail with stripes in this manner, remembering that perfection is not a requirement.
- After completing the black stripes on all of your nails, allow the polish several minutes to dry. Because of the application process, the polish will be thicker in some areas, so it may take longer to dry than a traditional coat of polish.
- Using the silver striper brush, perform the same application method, lightly tracing the black stripes with the glitter. The purpose here is not to make the silver stripes overly obvious, but to add dimension and sparkle to your manicure. You don't need to trace every black stripe, and you don't need to trace them perfectly. If this were a recipe, I would say that you add the silver glitter "to taste," to help finish off your look.
After completing the striping process, you'll again want to wait several minutes to let the nail polish dry. If you apply a top coat too soon, the black and silver could smear, leaving you with messy looking nails. Once you feel confident that your nails are ready for the top coat, apply a quick layer to each nail. While fast-drying formulas are best, use whatever you have on hand. The top coat will help seal the nails and prevent chipping.