Zebra print nails can add a fun, unique twist to nearly any style. To achieve this look, prep your nails for polish by trimming, filing, and buffing them as needed. Then, apply a quality base coat to protect your nails from damage and help your manicure last longer. Let the base coat dry, and apply two thin coats of the main color; while white is traditional, zebra print nails can be done with any color combination. To do the stripes, take a thin manicure brush and paint them on with a contrasting color to the first coat, and then top off your zebra print nails with a shiny topcoat and clean up the edges to finish the look.
Prior to painting your nails, it is important to cut and shape them first. This design can be done on long or short nails, and this look tends to be the easiest on a square shape with slightly rounded edges. Once you’ve cut and shaped your nails, buff out each one using a four sided buffing block. This will help to remove any ridges and smooth out the nail, making it easier for polish to adhere.
Applying a base coat is necessary when doing this manicure. Colored nail polish can stain your nails if applied to bare nails. The base coat will also help additional coats of color adhere to your nails, preventing chipping and peeling, and lengthening the lifespan of your manicure.
You can do zebra-inspired nails with any color combination. Decide what color you would like the majority of your manicure to be, and apply two thin coats to all of your nails after your base coat is dry. If using a light color, you may need three coats to make it opaque. It is not necessary to wait for the polish to dry between coats. Try to avoid painting over your cuticles, as this can make your manicure look messy or jagged, even if you remove the polish later.
Once the first coats of nail polish are dry, add the design to your nails by wetting the tip of a small, thin manicure brush and dipping it in a contrasting color to the first nail polish color. Begin carefully drawing the stripes onto each individual nail. The beauty of zebra print nails is that the stripes do not have to be perfect. Apply this coat sparingly, as you can always add more if necessary. If you do not have a manicure brush, a thin paintbrush or a lipstick brush will work the same.
To set your zebra print nails, apply a thin, shiny top coat after the stripe polish is dry. This will help to protect the color, keeping your manicure fresh for several days to a week depending on the product and your daily activity. If you have any polish on your skin, use a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover to clean up around the edges.