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How to Hand-Paint Leopard-Print Nail Art

DIY Leopard Nail Art: It's Easier Than You'd Think

Leopard print has taken the fashion accessories world by storm, but it's also reared its surprisingly neutral head in the nail art realm, as well. And last night at a Revlon-hosted nail art event, celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi (who has worked with stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Stone, and Scarlett Johansson) showed me a few tricks to get it right. Her version features a nude base with bright orange and black spots, making for a surprisingly wearable look.

First Choi applied a base coat and then two thin coats of Revlon ColorStay in Bare Bones ($8), a creamy almond. Next she applied orange spots using the brand's Nail Art Neon in High Voltage ($9, at drugstores), ensuring the brush only had a little bit of polish so it didn't create big blobs of paint. Jin says the key is to create irregular forms, so nothing needs to look perfect. To finish, she used the black end of the Nail Art Expressionist in Night & Degas ($9, at drugstores) to add dark accent spots with the tip of the brush. Again, you only want a tiny bit of polish on the brush to maintain control. The end result is a lot more complicated than it really looks, but because the whole design is about imperfection, it's easy to do yourself.

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