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Nail Art How-to: Paw Prints and Kittens


paw prints and kittens nail art tutorial

I know that the love for cute animals is evident here at CF (especially in our weekly Hautelinks column), so this week, I decided to channel that into an easy nail art tutorial with a cat-inspired theme. I hope you guys enjoy!

What You’ll Need:

Paw prints and kittens nail tutorial polishes

Step 1:

paw prints and kittens nail tutorial step 1

Paint on your base coat. I wanted to stick with pastel colors for a spring feel, so I did an accent nail on my ring finger with mint green and left the rest of my nails lilac.

Step 2:

paw prints and kittens nail tutorial step 2

After the base coat dries, paint a half circle on the outer quarter of your accent nail to represent a cat’s head. I didn’t have a black polish, so I used a dark grey shade instead. Whichever color you choose for this step, make sure it’s an opaque polish, so you don’t have apply more than one coat.

Step 3:

paw prints and kittens nail tutorial step 3

While the half circle is still wet, dot two small pools of polish, one on each side, where you want the ears to be. Then, using a thin dotting tool or a toothpick, drag the dot into a point to make triangles. Fill them out as needed. While waiting for your accent nail to dry, you can move on to your other nails to save some time.

Step 4:

paw prints and kittens nail tutorial step 4

For the paw prints, take your larger dotting tool and make two or three dots on your middle finger (or however many you can or want to fit). Make sure these are spread out evenly with enough space for the smaller dots. Since it’s the smallest, I stuck with just a single dot on my pinky finger.

Step 5:

paw prints and kittens nail tutorial step 5

Now it’s time to complete your paw prints. Using the smaller dotting tool, add three dots beside the larger dot to complete the paw. Make sure to apply the same amount of pressure when dotting (try a few practice dots on a piece of paper beforehand) to avoid any inconsistencies or mistakes.

Step 6:

Now, going back to the accent nail, it’s time to complete the cat. Start by making sure your base coat is completely dry. With your pale pink polish and small dotting tool (you can use a toothpick if you don’t have one), fill out a small triangle in each ear. Then, make a tiny matching pink nose near the tip of the nail.

paw prints and kittens nail tutorial step 6

There you have it! Super-cute, right? Of course, you can add paw prints on the rest of your nails as well and personalize the look as you please. I decided to compete this look with a matte top coat and am loving the effect, but you can leave it as-is or add a normal top coat to smooth everything out.

What do you think?

How did you like this cat-inspired tutorial? Will you be trying it out? Any questions, comments or suggestions are always welcome so leave them down below in the comments section!

Posted on on April 27, 2013 / Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , , , , , ,

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16 Responses to “Nail Art How-to: Paw Prints and Kittens”

  1. 1
    April 27th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    This is so cute!

  2. 2
    April 27th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    A little childish in my opinion….

  3. 3
    April 27th, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    I have a question: how long do you wait for your nails to dry before adding a topcoat? My design always smears when I add topcoat; do you have any tips to prevent this?
    Oh, and the cats are precious! I can’t wait to try it :)

  4. 4
    April 27th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    This is so cute! I have to try this sometime. I am a huge fan of nail art :)

  5. 5
    April 27th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    This is so cute! I like looking at nail art on other people but not usually for myself. I might have to do some paw prints on pinks nails though… Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. 6
    April 27th, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    You are so talented! I don’t have the patience to do this on my own nails, but kudos to you for making such awesome designs. I would totally pay you to do my nails haha

  7. 7
    April 27th, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    kitties!! Doing a kitty design on my nails RIGHT NOW

  8. 8
    April 27th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    @Claire – I don’t usually wait for very long, maybe ten minutes or less? It could also be the top coat you’re using (I use the OPI topcoat) that could be causing it, but also make sure you aren’t globbing the polish on as well because that could be causing the smudging.

    Thanks for reading, guys! I appreciate the comments :)

  9. 9
    April 27th, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Way too cute :)

  10. 10
    April 27th, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    I intensely dislike cats, and it might just be that influencing my opinion, but this looks impractical. I can’t see myself or anyone I know ever wearing it.

  11. 11
    April 28th, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks for the help, France! I’ll try that when I put kitties on my nails :) I’m looking forward to your future nail designs!

  12. 12
    April 28th, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I love this!!! My girlfriend knows I like trying new nail art so she sent me this, it took me a few tries for the accent nail but it turned out really nice!! :D thanks tons!

  13. 13
    April 29th, 2013 at 5:42 am

    It’s so beautiful.. I like it.. I am also a nail artist…

  14. 14
    April 29th, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I think it’s creative how you are able to show step by step the way you did this nail art. It’s also cool since a lot of us college girls are on such a budget. Have you ever tried this with gel polish?

  15. 15
    April 30th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    @Shaheria – thanks for your insight, I’m glad to know people are enjoying these step by step tutorials. I haven’t tried any nail art with gel polish before (in fact, I’ve never used it before) but I’d love to hear your experience about it if you ever try it out!

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