We spend so much time getting our bodies ready for the beach that we often neglect to find a fantastic nail art for summer fun. I've created a--stay with me--neon gradient and leopard print nail design. Adding a bit of neon will make you look tan, and it goes with a lot of different bathing suit styles.
First, gather your supplies. You'll need a cream white base (OPI's My Boyfriend Scales Walls), two complementary neon colors (try China Glaze's Peachy Keen and Highlight of My Summer), a black polish, a dotting tool, a cosmetic makeup sponge, tape, and some nail polish remover and cotton swabs to clean up! Here's how to do it:
1. First, put down a base coat. Once dry, paint your nails with a creamy white polish and let it dry.
2. Place two pieces of tape on each finger, leaving a gap between them like the one I've shown you here. (Those dotted black lines are guides to show you how wide the gap is.)
3. Paint a strip of each of your neon shades right next to one another on your cosmetic makeup sponge like I've done here. They can overlap a little.
4. Dab the sponge on each of your nails. This part is messy, but the tape you put down will protect most of your finger from cleanup later. To get a smooth gradient, dab the sponge lightly, moving it up and down along your nail a little. This will blend the line between the two colors nicely. You can dab as many times as you need to, letting each coat dry before doing another. (It doesn't take long for a gradient to dry at all!)
5. Carefully peel up the tape in a vertical direction (from your cuticle to your free edge). You should get a nice crisp line.
6. Place small pools of all three colors (neons and black) onto a piece of paper to use as a palette. Dip your dotting tool into each neon shade individually and place messy blobs of polish throughout the white areas of your nails.
7. Now dip your dotting tool in your black polish and place smaller dots around the neon circles you just created. Again, be messy and random with this. Leopard spots shouldn't be perfect.
8. Now dip your cotton swabs into your polish remover and clean up the skin around your cuticle where the tape wasn't covering. Finish with a top coat, and you're done!
Whether your bikini is a coral/mint combo, a leopard stunner, or a simple black suit, this look will complement it. Try it with different colors to get the right look for you. Want to try another gradient look, but ready to step a little farther outside the dotting tool? Try my tribal gradient look here for something different.
Here's a Pin-able version with all the steps and an image of the finished polish. Enjoy!
For more nail art from Katy, go to Nailed It.