"L" is for Leopard (straight-up and sparkly)

Happy Hump Day, ladies!  We’re halfway through the week, and Saturday is within striking distance.  Woot!  Woot!  I say we liven things up with a fun and easy “leopard” manicure; one that can be worn straight-up until the weekend, when a bit of sparkly polish transforms this mani into a party on your nails.

Ready?  Let’s go….

I used the following products (all purchased by me or given as a gift by my lovely friend):

  • butterLONDON Horse Power – a “nail fertilizer” (nourishing base coat treatment) that I’ve been wanting to try for ages, but at $19US a bottle, I just never got around to picking it up.  Thanks to my St. Patrick’s Day secret elf, Meredith Hughes, I’m now the proud owner this much raved about product.   Reapplied daily, for up to four weeks, I’m told that miracles will happen.  My nails promise to let you know! Thanks again, Meredith!  🙂
  • butterLONDON Cream Tea – goodness, this is a lovely soft white, and may now be my Favorite Ever “Winter” White.  It applies like  dream, but that was expected.  I buy butterLONDON, relying on a consistently excellent formula, and that’s what I reliably get, each and every time.  There’s so much crappy product quality control out there right now,  that its refreshing to feel confidence about what you’re getting. I picked this one up last week at an Ulta $9.99 butterLONDON sale.  For what it’s worth, I always purchase butterLONDON on sale, and save 30%  on bottles that ordinarily go for $15US.
  • butterLONDON Fash Pack – a neutral medium milk chocolate creme, dosed with a pinch of gold microshimmer (the brand doesn’t mention this on the product’s webpage, but it’s very evident)
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out – reliably smooth and glossy 1-coat true black creme.
  • butterLONDON Fairy Cake –  just as advertised:  “Full coverage, silvery, multi-colour iridescent glitter suspended in a light grey base.”
  • butterLONDON Hardwear – the brand’s contribution to the expanding world of fast-try top coats. 

Over a base of Horse Power, I applied three ultra-thin coats of butterLONDON Cream Tea, allowing each coat to dry, before applying the next.  Cream Tea is another must-have white (also check out the pretty pale greyish-ish white My Boyfriend Scales Walls, reviewed here, earlier this week),  perfect for nail art.  I can’t recommend it more strongly.  Like many whites, it required multiple coats – in this case, three – to achieve opacity.

Once dry, it was time to decide on a tutorial.  I’d never done a leopard-spotted manicure before, and as is becoming public knowledge, I have difficulty drawing stick figures.

In the end, and after watching several video tutes, I found my expert:  CutePolish, home of the some of the best video nail art tutorials on the web.  It didn’t surprise me to learn that her leopard nails video is super easy and fun.  If done as instructed, you’ll end up with great results. 

After a final layer of top coat, here’s how mine turned out…

In the end, and after watching several video tutes, I found my expert:  CutePolish, home of the some of the best video nail art tutorials on the web.  It didn't surprise me to learn that her leopard nails video is super easy and fun.  If done as instructed, you'll end up with great results.   After a final layer of top coat, here's how mine turned out...

Crisp, abstract and fun!

I find this a very wearable mani, perfect for office and play.  Best of all, it takes only a minute to transform this already serviceable mani into its party version!

But first…

Meet butterLONDON Fairy Cake, that crazy-gorgeous, full-coverage, silvery multi-color micro knock-your-socks-off glitter polish.

My aim here was to gently highlight the center of each leopard’s dot, with a brush of sparkle.

Less than a minute later…

I was sealing the deal with a layer of Hardwear quick-dry top coat, and had myself some dressy leopards…

My aim here was to gently highlight the center of each leopard's dot, with a brush of sparkle.

Pretty, don’t you think?

So, have you tried leopard print nails yet?  And what do you think of the blinged up version?   I say that under the glitter, it kind of loses a bit of its leopard-y vibe, but I certainly do like me some sparkle.

Thanks so much for dropping by.   And remember:  there’s lots more where these nails came from.

Don’t forget to check out my lovely co-challengers’ “L” contributions below, in this 12th week of Kimber’s ABC Challenge

  42 comments for “"L" is for Leopard (straight-up and sparkly)

  1. March 27, 2013 at 4:21 am

    I love your leopard nails. They’re real-looking.

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      🙂 Thank you, Thalie!!!

  2. March 27, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Okay I should have used that tutorial. Your leopard mani looks awesome! Love how it turned out, especially with all the bling!

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Bling makes the world go round! LOL.

      Thanks so much, Ketlyn!

  3. March 27, 2013 at 5:39 am

    I like cutepolish – she makes everything look so damn easy, doesn’t she? I just found me a bottle or Orly bling that I had never seen before. I am on a sparkly, flakie, glittery kick all of the sudden. Maybe because spring is coming (at least the calendar says so). Love the leopards – I have a feeling I will be typing that a lot this week! 🙂 But you were the first.

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Yes, she DOES! Her videos are terrific, even for lamers like myself.

      Gotta love that Orly bling. Post. Post. Post! I’m always on a sparkly, flakie, glittery kinda kick, so I hear ya, darlin’!

      Thanks for the lovely comment!!!! 🙂

  4. March 27, 2013 at 5:45 am

    I love the idea of adding some sparkle to your spots…great way to dress up the leopard print! Like Liz, I’m sure leopard will be a popular manicure for this challenge and it’s going to be interesting to see what everyone does with it. Your color combo and execution are both fabulous!

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      I think that this week’s efforts by everyone were spectacular.

      Thank you, Natalie!!!! 🙂

  5. March 27, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Love leopard nails and yours are stunning! I’m kinda jealous! I should have done the double whammy and did leopard louboutin nails!! LOL Oh well these are hot and the glitter makes em even better!

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm


      Your Loutoutin nails are show-stoppers. I’m STILL…24 hours later, blown away by your nail art.

      Thanks for your sweet comment, honey!

  6. March 27, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Yes I do think it’s pretty! Fairy Cake is gorgeous and the name is so sweet ^^ You’ve got yourself quite a Butter London arsenal!

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      LOLOL. Yes, the name alone is enough to make me smile.

      Thank you! 🙂

  7. March 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Love this! I’m definitely going to have to try some Butter London!

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Dionne, butterLONDON is my absolute fave polish. I’ve lots of faves…but its my ABSOLUTE fave. The formulas. The colors. Exceptional. Go. Get. Some.


  8. March 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    So pretty!!!! Those BL colors are to die for. Great job!

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you, Raquel!!!! 🙂

  9. March 27, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I’ve never tried leopard prints before! And I don’t know why, they’re so cute! I’m a lazy girl. 😀

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Yeah, I wondered the same thing…why have I gone so long without doing leopards? They’re so much FUN.

      Thanks so much, darlin’!

      PS. I would never peg you for a “lazy girl.” Nevah!!!! 🙂

  10. March 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Great leopard mani! Love the touch of glitter.

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Thank you, Amy!!!!! 🙂

  11. March 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    I totally dig leopard print nails, yours are fabulous!!

    • March 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      I’m diggin’ ’em too. Can’t wait to try them out with neons and whatnot.

      Thanks for the kind comment, Chantelle! 🙂

  12. March 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I love this!! Gorgeous and I love the added glitter!

    • March 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Glitter truly makes the world go round, right? LOL.

      Thank you!!!! 🙂

  13. March 28, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Awesome job for your first go, I bet you’ll be breaking out the leopard all the time now, hey? I love all the colors you used, I need them!! Lol!

    • March 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks, Nicole!!! Yeah, I’m now hooked. When I think of leopards, I always think of YOU, and NEONS. 🙂 In my mind, THAT’S how they’re done!


  14. March 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    This kicks much butt!!!! I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years and still have yet to do leopard mani! No idea why! Yours makes me really want to try it with some neutrals and sparkle. Gorgeous!

  15. March 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks so much, sweetie!

  16. March 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    That’s gorgeous Lisa! And woahhhh at all those BL’s!!!!

    • March 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks, Simona! Yeah, I kinda cringe at the amount of BL I have. At last count, it was something like 8, but I’ve not counted in a while. 😉

  17. March 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I love the colors you chose!! And I’m so jealous of all those Butter London’s! I don’t own a single one yet :/ That’s a great looking mani and I’m loving the sparkling version too!

    Your posts are always fun to read as well as your comments ♥♥♥ You rock!

    • March 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Awww, you just made my week, Ria!!! Thanks so much for your sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet comment.

      And what’s this about you know owning any BL? Aghast. OMG.

      We’ll have to get you squared away, girl!


  18. March 29, 2013 at 2:00 am

    I did a leopard mani too and yours looks so much better than mine!! I decided to do a silver and blue combo, but I love how yours came out :))


    • March 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Hi, Kelly! Yes, and I liked that silver and blue combo of yours. ALOT! In my book, you can’t go wrong with silver,, black and bright/pastel blue. ‘Twas super!

      This was a great week for manis in our little group of lovely ladies, don’t cha think?.

      Thanks, sweetie! 🙂

  19. March 29, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Amazing Lisa! I love Butter London’s Fairy Cake, it’s so pretty!!!

    • March 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm


      I KNOW….:) Isn’t it crazy? LOLOLOL.

      Goodness, glitter makes me so unreasonably happy. Makes me wonder if there’s a potent narcotic in these lacquers. LOLOL.

      TY, darlin’!

  20. March 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I love those bigger flacons by Butter London´s .. look like the perfume flacons :)))

    just JE NE SAIS QUOI

    • March 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      TY, Jesika! Truth be told, I’m a sucker for their bottles, too! They hold precisely the same amount as the competition, but the suggestion is so much grander! 🙂

  21. March 31, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Hi! I discovered your blog after seeing your comment on A Polished Prance – love your leopard nails! I find Butter London is so consistent with their quality, too 🙂 Now following your blog!

    • March 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks for visiting and leaving your kind comment! 🙂

      Just visited your site, and think it’s unique and terrific! Followed you back.

  22. April 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Love how it turned out. I adore your Butter Londons, especialle Cream Tea *swoon*. I also love the one you sent me, going to post a mani using that one very soon!

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