Gradient Zebra Print Tutorial (Pic Heavy) April 12, 2012

Here is the requested tutorial from THIS post.

As I stated this is a really simple look to do so I hope you give it a shot. I am planning on doing it on my toes I just have to decide what colors to use!

I used smaller pictures than usual since there are so many of them but you can click on them to enlarge them if you’d like.

Here the supplies you will need:

  • 3 colors of your choice – for this one I am using white, yellow and coral pink. In the original post I used green, blue and teal. You want it to have a fading look so choose colors accordingly. 3 shades of the same color looks really nice or pinks and reds or yellows and oranges, etc.
  • A make-up sponge
  • A black striping polish or a black polish with and a thin nail art brush. You could also use a nail art pen but I find the brushes easier to use.

The first step is to paint your nails with the lightest color of the three that you chose. For me the lightest color is white, I used Zoya Purity. Make sure to concentrate the color near the cuticle, if the rest of the nail isn’t evenly covered it’s fine because that will be covered with the other colors.

Next rip off a small piece of the make-up sponge and drop a small amount of your second polish choice (mine is Color Club Almost Famous) onto a piece of foil or wax paper or plastic (I usually use business cards (I have a ton from a previous job and they work wonderfully).

Gently dab the sponge into the polish and lightly sponge the color 3/4 of the way down your nail. Don’t worry about getting the polish on your cuticles. This method is a little bit messy but it cleans up easily.

Once that polish dries a bit take your third polish (mine is China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy) and drop a small amount onto the foil and rip off another piece of sponge.

Lightly sponge the third polish 1/3 – 1/2 of the way down your nail. Go over it as many times as needed to get the opacity you desire.

Use a thin brush dipped in acetone to clean up around the edges. Using a brush is the easiest and you get the best results. It can get right in between your cuticle and nail without disturbing the polish. My brush was purchased at an art supply store for a couple dollars but an eyeliner brush would work well also. It should be a flat brush with slightly stiff bristles. This works much better than those pointy cotton swabs or the polish remover pens. I also make sure I clean up as I go. It’s much easier to get polish off while it is still wet.

All cleaned up.

Then I apply a top coat. This smooths everything out so that the striping polish can easily glide over top.

Applying the top coat also really changes the look of the sponging so if you don’t like how it looks just apply the top coat and see if it changes your mind.

Next you will use the striping polish to create the zebra pattern. Make sure you wipe the majority of the polish off the brush, you just need a bit on there. I start the stripe on my skin so that I don’t end up with a blob of polish in my cuticle. You want to gently pull the stripe in toward the center of your nail lifting pressure as you do so the line will taper as you come in. It’s also good to give it a little bit of a wiggle so you don’t end up with stick straight lines.

I prefer to go back and forth from side to side so the lines are spaced properly but you can also do all one side and then go to the other side and put stripes in between. Which ever way you find works best for you.

Use the thin brush dipped in acetone again to clean up around the edges.

Apply top coat and your good to go!

Hopefully that was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions!

I am always more than happy to do tutorials, so just let me know anytime you want me to give an explanation on one of my designs.

Please vote for my design by clicking on the pic below:


13 Responses to “Gradient Zebra Print Tutorial (Pic Heavy)”

  1. Love love love it you are so creative I am tempted to give up gel nails just to try your tutorials !!!

    • sugarmitten Says:

      Aww thank you so much! Do you have gel nails or gel polish? I used to get gel polish to help get my nails healthy and i would do nail art over top.

      • No gel nails. i get them done professionally . I used to be obsessed with nail polish but I couldn’t be bothered with waiting for my nails to dy or do any designs or redo them when they chipped :p

  2. am1ec Says:

    ❤ this n love that it is picture heavy!!

  3. This looks amazing! I need to buy some nail tools like brushes and those blotting tools. Theres so many things I want to try haha

  4. Kelli Nicole Says:

    I love this design!!

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