Animal Prints Prowl The Red Carpet: Wild Nail Art Inspired By Stars

Animal prints have long been a popular fashion choice, but recently stars have brought the wild style to nail art. Celebrities like Cardi B, Kylie Jenner and Billie Eilish have stepped out on the red carpet sporting fierce and untamed manicures. From leopard spots to tiger stripes, wildlife motifs are prowling into the spotlight.

In the past, nail art trends were driven by seasonal runway shows and print advertising. However, in today’s social media world, viral images of popular culture icons can instantly ignite a craze. When celebrities like Rihanna and Dua Lipa show off their animal-inspired claws, legions of fans race to imitate the look. As a result, exotic prints are flooding into nail salons everywhere.

This article will examine how the nail art jungle is being ruled by the fashion choices of the stars. An exploration of the most popular wildlife prints, along with expert tips on how to wear these untamed looks, will follow.

Leopard Print

Jennifer Lopez is one of the most iconic stars to sport leopard print nails, from her early 2000s looks to recent manicures ( Other celebrities like Meghan Trainor and Demi Lovato have also embraced the fierce, feline style ( Leopard print nails make a bold statement with their exotic, animal-inspired print. The look channels a wild, untamed spirit through its irregular brown and black spots. Leopard print nails can give off a fun, flirty vibe or exude a powerful, diva-like attitude. To try out this trend, opt for press-on nail stickers or visit a salon for a leopard print manicure. Add some drama to your look by getting long, sharp stiletto nails painted with the striking print. Play around with different color combinations like pink and black or red and brown. Leopard print is a timeless nail style that will instantly give your hands a fierce, fashion-forward look.

Zebra Print

Zebra print nails have become a popular and eye-catching nail art style among many celebrities. Stars like Vanessa Hudgens have rocked graphic zebra striped nails on the red carpet. The bold black and white stripes create a stylish and unique manicure that stands out.

The appeal of zebra nails is their graphic, high contrast look that grabs attention. The striking striped pattern looks great on long pointy nails or short squared shapes. Many celebs like Charli XCX and Ella Eyre have shown off fun zebra print nails in a French manicure style too.

To get the zebra look, nail art techniques like striping tape, nail vinyls, or hand-painted stripes work well. For a removable option, zebra print press-on nails or nail stickers can create the same graphic effect. Pair zebra nails with a neutral outfit to let the print really pop.

Snake Print

Snakeskin nail art has slithered its way onto the red carpet in recent years, with stars like Taylor Swift rocking the scaly reptilian look on their talons. In 2012, Swift sported short black nails with a glossy snakeskin print for a more edgy look ( The snake print gave her short nails a textured and eye-catching design. More recently, Emily Ratajkowski flaunted long white snake print nails, as documented on Popsugar. Her almond-shaped nails were coated in a black dotted snakeskin pattern for a stylish and fierce manicure.

To get the slinky snakeskin look at home, opt for press-on nails or nail wraps with printed designs. You can also paint your nails a solid color first, then use a makeup sponge to dab on black and white polish in a scaly pattern. Let your creativity run wild and try different colors like metallic gold, deep green, or bold red for a snakeskin print. Thicker black outlines can mimic the scales of a python.

Snake print nails can be short or long, painted on natural or acrylic nails. Go for an overall snakeskin print or just accent one or two nails. Mix and match with leopard print or cheetah spots for a fun animal print combo.

Tiger Print

With its bold, fierce pattern, tiger print nail art has prowled down many a red carpet. Celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion make a statement with tiger stripe designs. At the 2022 Grammy Awards, she rocked an intricate manicure featuring a design of a tiger’s mouth to match her leopard-print dress as noted by Popsugar.

To get the tiger stripe nail look, nail artists use striping tape or freehand paint to create the dark vertical lines contrasted against an orange base. The striping effect can cover each entire nail for maximum impact or be more subtle with just a tiger accent nail. Black tiger stripe nails with bright orange also pack a punch. Finish the fierce feline look with fierce stiletto tips or exaggerate the “claws” with long extensions.

Cheetah Print

tiger print nail art uses vertical striping tape and high contrast colors like black stripes on an orange base.

Cheetah print nails are a popular and fierce option reminiscent of the free-spirited wild cat. Rihanna stunned at the British Fashion Awards in 2013 with long, pointed stiletto nails coated in a cool-toned cheetah print design [1]. The graphic print stood out against her black gown, creating an edgy yet glamorous look.

To recreate Rihanna’s look, opt for an icy grey or blue cheetah pattern on long almond or coffin-shaped nails. Make sure the print size is small enough to look realistic. Add rhinestone or crystal nail art for an extra pop. For a warmer take, try rich orange and brown cheetah spots. Matte top coat creates a modern, velvety finish.

Giraffe Print

Giraffe print nails have become a huge trend among celebrities recently. Stars like Katy Perry have been seen sporting giraffe print manicures on the red carpet and social media.

Giraffe nail designs are characterized by their brown or black spots over a neutral base. The prints can vary from very realistic looking to more abstract and stylized. Giraffe prints are a fun and playful alternative to basic nails.

Some popular giraffe nail art ideas include:
– Giraffe print accent nails with neutral nails on the other fingers.

– Black and white giraffe spots over a nude or blush pink base.
– Using giraffe print press-on nails or nail wraps to quickly achieve the look.

– Extra long acrylic or press-on nails with giraffe spots.
– Minimal giraffe print on one or two nails for a subtle pop of animal print.

Giraffe nail designs allow you to channel your wild side in a chic, fashionable way. As more stars embrace this trend, giraffe nails are certain to prowl the red carpets for seasons to come.

Dalmatian Print

A fun twist on animal prints is recreating the spotty Dalmatian dog look on your nails. The high contrast black and white speckled pattern is eye catching and playful. To get the Dalmatian nail look, paint your nails white first and then use a nail art brush dipped in black polish to precisely dot on the spots. The smaller and more uniform you can get the spots, the better it will look. For major impact, paint your accent nail solid black like a Dalmatian’s nose. Celebrities like Khloé Kardashian have rocked Dalmatian print nails for Halloween costumes.

Khloé Kardashian dressed up as puppy-killing Cruella de Vil for Halloween in 2019, complete with Dalmatian-print nail art (source). Her long square nails were painted bright white and covered in diminutive black spots for a bold graphic look. Recreating the precise spotty pattern at home takes patience, but the high visual impact is worth it.


This season has ushered in a fervor of animal print nail trends inspired by some of our favorite Hollywood celebrities and runway models. Leopard print, zebra print, tiger print, cheetah print – stars are embracing every type of animal print in their nail art in a stunning display. However, they’ve also put their own modern twist on these classic prints, combining them with vibrant colors, patterns and nail art techniques. From Rihanna’s vibrant snake print and metallic cheetah print claws to Lizzo’s geometric leopard print and delicate snake print nails, the possibilities for incorporating animal motifs into your nail game are endless.

These celebrity-inspired looks offer so much inspiration for how you can have fun with animal prints and unleash your inner wild side in your own nail art. Whether you opt for a full statement mani with head-to-toe print, or add a touch of flair with just an accent nail or two, animal prints allow you to showcase your style and personality. Go bold and daring like Lady Gaga, or soft and minimalist like Zendaya – the only limit is your imagination. So get creative, try new techniques, and draw from the nail art trends making waves on famous hands to craft your own fierce and fabulous manicure. You never know what exotic nail art might be prowling the streets next!

Expert Tips

Here are some pro tips from professional nail artists for achieving perfect animal print nail art:

Use a dotting tool to create clean, precise dots for leopard and cheetah prints. Gently press the tool straight down onto the nail to get round, even dots.

Paint your base color first for an opaque background before adding the animal print design on top.

Start with bigger, bolder prints if you’re a beginner. Fine details like small dots or thin stripes can be tricky.

Don’t overload each nail with too many colors or prints. Pick 1-2 prints per nail for the best effect.

Finish with a fast-drying clear top coat to lock in your design.

Recommended products: Mia Secret UV LED Spider Gel for easy marbled animal prints. INM Out The Door Top Coat for shiny protection.

Watch video tutorials to learn techniques from the experts. Pause as needed to follow each step.

With some practice and the right tools, you can create salon-worthy animal print nails at home!

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