Twin Leopard Print with Nusa

Hello Lovely Ladies,

Hope you all had a nice and relaxing weekend.  Any of you into football?  Did you watch the Superbowl?  I don’t watch football but did tune in to the half-time show.  In other news, Wiarton Willie (the Canadian weather-predicting groundhood) did not see his shadow during an early morning prediction ceremony at Bluewater Park this past Saturday, which means he foresees an early spring- and I’m ok with that ;)

Today’s post is actually a TWIN-POST with Nusa from Moonchild.  Nusa is a young and VERY talented blogerette whom I have had the pleasure of chatting with thanks to our mutual passion for nail polish.  A while back we talked about free-handing animal print (rather than relying on stamping), and we realized that neither of us had tried this technique… soooo, we decided to take a stab at it together :D

Here is my freehand cheetah print skittlette:

I strongly encourage you to check out Nusa’s take on this technique HERE!

I don’t know why I was so petrified of trying the freehand cheetah print.  When you think of it, the ‘spots’ don’t have to be perfect so there really is no right/wrong way for this technique and yet I was so nervous.  It helped calm my jitters to have a friend, Nusa, try this technique with me- it really did take the edge off.

I have a number of stamping plates that can create the cheetah/leopard print look BUT I find that the placement of ‘spots’ on the plates is quite dense/tight/close together.  When you freehand the spots, YOU get to pick their size and location.

To create this look I simply used black nail polish and a dotting tool to create the outlines  I placed a few random spots and then filled in the ‘voids’ with some dots (also using the dotting tool).

Pinky: Cult Nails Nevermore with white dots using Cult Nails Tempest.

Ring finger: three coats of OPI Goldeneye

The rest of the nails are painted using Sally Hansen Green Tea.  (the cheetah spots are filled in with Goldeneye as well).

Overall, I KNOW I will try this technique again, and with Valentines day around the corner I have seen a few people create heart-shaped ‘spots’ that I really like.

Please take a moment to check out Nusa’s freehand cheetah-print manicure HERE.

* * * *

Have you tried the freehand animal print look? (relevant links are welcome)

What do YOU like better: the stamped animal print look or the freehand look?


  • Rachael Robinstein

    What a great look. I’ve only done freehand so perhaps I’m biased. I do love being able to choose size and spacing. On the other hand, I’m a sucker for any animal print! I have a plate with animal print and I’ll be trying it soon

    • Marta

      I agree- freehand definitely allows for more choice in shape and size of the spots.
      (I am currently wearing another animal print manicure using plates)…

  • Elsa

    I don’t even know where to start, I love everything about this manicure! Great job :)

    • Marta

      Awh, thank you for your sweet comment :D Thank you!

  • Rachael

    Nope I haven’t tried it but yours is gorgeous! I’ve wanted to try it for a long time but one, haven’t had the courage and two, couldn’t decide on the colours to use haha! I definitely prefer the randomness of the freehand look!

    • Marta

      I hope you do give it a whirl… it truly isn’t as difficult as it looks- and I often turn to my environment (clothing fabric, home decor) for color choice inspirations ;)

  • Lynette

    Yes tried freehanded animal prints, never stamped them though . LOL … Both your freehanded and stamped versions are pretty ! Mine was FAR from perfect, was for a nail art contest, and I came through to the finals and ended 3rd overall.

    • Marta

      You ROCKED the freehand animal print! Wow- so many different looks… I am taking baby steps into this world of freehand ;)

  • MariJo Nails

    This looks really pretty!!

    • Marta

      Thank you VERY much. I’m so glad you like it

  • Stacy Plowman-Pennock

    I’ve yet to do the leopard/cheetah design stamped or freehand. The other day I saw another blogger do the hearts within the leopard design and haven’t stooped thinking about it. Then today I follow your link to Nusa’s blog and she also did the hearts leopard! I think it’s a sign! :)

    • Marta

      I love the hearts mixed into the leopard print (especially with Valentines day around the corner). The technique seems so overwhelming- but it really isn’t. The less I stressed, the more’ natural’ the pattern felt ;)

  • Nuša Pavlič

    I didn’t stay up late to catch your post, but I do wake up for school at ‘your midnight’ so it was perfect timing :) I woke up to your sweet comment on my post (which I’m about to reply to) and your awesome mani. I really don’t think it’s necessary for me to praise your nails anymore, it’s kind of a granted thing now for me to LOVE everything you sport.

    I think this twin post was a much, much more successful as out first one. I really got to express myself (and my youth) and you’re as elegant as always (not that I’m in any way implying you’re “old”!). B&W&R just wasn’t our thing I guess :D

    I realized we have different ways of creating the cheetah print – after my base is dry, I just take the ‘main’ polish (in your case gold) and create random blobs on my nails. When that’s semi-dry, I continue with my other polish (in your case black) and with a dotting tool outline the ‘blob’ and also create some random black ones… But the result is the same I guess, lol :D

    • Nuša Pavlič

      …and THANK YOU for being THE most amazing twin :)

      • Marta

        Awh, thank YOU for wanting to do this with me again. Being your twin gave me the courage to try this technique- honestly.

        If you come up with any more ideas- I would like to reaffirm our twinnery and I’d be happy to do this again ;)

  • coraline humbert

    this sally hansen has a perfect color ! and ur mani is as usual, perfect!

    • Marta

      Thank you. I bought it last spring – originally to send to Bregje from … but then I decided to buy a bottle for myself also :D It truly is a soft but sweet colour… plus, I love green tea so ;)

  • Morgane Rauscher-Borne

    This look is so pretty ! :D I always love how you put some colors together ! :)

    I’ve made a cheetah design once : ;)

    • Marta

      Thank you for the sweet comment and sharing the link. Gotta love cheetah print :D (almost as much as glitter ;) )

  • Jamie Willett

    This is just lovely! I have Goldeneye, but I never thought to use it for animal print! I’m inspired!

    • Marta

      Awh, thank you! I often use shades that I find “hard to pull off” on their own in accent form or as an addition to a manicure for small details.

  • preciouspearl

    lovely skittlette Marta :) I never tried free hand animal print.. this looks great

    • Marta

      Thank you! It was very nervous to try it, but it actually isn’t all that bad- using a dotting tool helps to keep the outlines ‘uneven’ which gives it a more authentic look :)

  • Christine Steiner

    I am smitten!!! I was doing brainracking all week trying to come up with some ideas using Chanel Frenzy. Your mani just solved my agony as I will take it as inspiration!!! I will tag you when I post a picture on Instagram in case you would like to Take a sneak-peak ;-)

    • Marta

      Thank you. I’m really glad you like the idea… I always look at Chanel shades with “awe”… they seem so posh and desirable ;) lol (sorry I just had a moment ;) ).

  • Deborah

    This I might want to try and recreate some day (if you don’t mind), I loooove the color combo, the small dots on the pinky ♥ everything is perfect!

    • Marta

      I would be HONORED if you wanted to try this look. I always get excited when people say they might try something like this :D Thank YOU!

  • lotte noles

    Love it! My first animal print was this that I did freehand ( I had no plates then), I really liked it, although now I’ve started relying on the ease of plates now that I’ve got them ( I guess I cheat to save time :-)
    You did wonderful!!!

  • Kathy Smith

    Wow…you took a a color that really didn’t have much pizazz and turned it into something really cool! I need to thing outside the box like this. Great manicure :) Really love your blog, you do a great job!

    • Marta

      Awh, thank you! To be honest I adore this Sally Hansen shade. It is soft and dreamy- not too pasty ;)
      Thank you for tuning in to my blog :D