Monday, June 13, 2011

GET THE LOOK (For Less!) / DIY / NAIL ART -- REAL Snake Skin Nails!!!


No snakes were harmed in the making of these nails! The skin I used was already shed. :D
Have y'all seen this video circulating around the web? It's talking about the new snakeskin manicure trend that is setting trendsetting beauties back $300. Yes. You heard me. THREE. HUNDRED. DOLLARS. Here, take a look:

As soon as I watched the video, my first thought was 'Oh my God, I could never spend $300 on my nails. Never. Never.' Naturally, my second thought was 'But oh my God, I HAVE to have them.' Thus, I began scheming to see how I could turn both of those thoughts into reality... Which is when I turned to Facebook and promptly asked all 348 of my closest friends who had a snake that was about to shed.

Thankfully, one of the girls I grew up dancing with had just sold their pet snake.. and it had shed the day before. I asked her for the skin and ran home to test out my DIY snakeskin mani. 


  • SHED snake skin
    • I beg of you, PLEASE do not harm any snakes to get their skin on your nails. Please.
    • If you don't have access to a pet snake, do what I did and ask your FB friends OR call local pet stores to see if they have any snakes that are shedding. :)
  • China Glaze -- Always a Bridesmaid
    • Technically, you can use any color you want.. but I've been seriously loving this color lately. It gives me the perfect 'mannequin hands' look and I wanted something very light and neutral to really make the snake skin stand out.
  • Ulta Salon Formula -- Clear Top Coat
    • I don't recommend this top coat... for this manicure. I'd definitely go with something like Seche Vite or Sally Hansen's Hard As Wraps instead.
  • Scissors
    • Definitely use cuticle/manicure scissors if you have them. I couldn't find mine and using regular scissors was awful.
  • Tweezers
  • Nail Clippers
  • Nail file

Honestly, I basically followed the same steps in the video.. Kind of. My base color was applied at my nail salon, so I came home and grabbed my top coat, scissors and tweezers and went to work. I did each nail individually from start to finish.

  1. I cut out a rough shape of snake skin and fit it to my nail size as best I could.
  2. I applied a layer of top coat to my nail and used the tweezers to apply the snake skin and push it down. 
    • I chose to have my snake skin go right side out so that the textured part of the skin was showing on the surface.
  3. I used the nail file (short, downward strokes!) to file off any excess skin that hung over the free edge of my nail.
  4. I took the nail clippers and used them to clip off any excess skin around my cuticles.
    • Be careful with the scales! They don't split very well, so you may end up losing some that you don't particularly want to if they happen to fall outside of your nail bed.
  5. I applied another layer of top coat on top of the snake skin, paying extra attention to the sides of the snake skin, and did an extra swipe along the free edge of my nail.
  6. I waited until that coat was dry and repeated Step 5 to the same nail.
  7. I repeated Steps 1-6 to every nail.
- - - - - * - - - - -

And that's it! My snake skin mani was complete! And I saved myself... THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS! 

Like I said, I really wish I'd used a different top coat because I've already lost a couple of scales and I was hoping to get a week out of this mani. With the right top coat, I think you actually could make that happen. Next time I'm going to try Seche Vite and see how that fairs.

But yea. I am SO in love with my nails. I will definitely be doing this again. And again... Haha!

So what do you think? Love them? Grossed out by them? Let me know!

♥ M


  1. Gorgeous!! Wish i had the patience to do it!

  2. Thanks, Melissa! You know, compared to most of the nail art I do, it *really* wasn't that bad! I think it took about an hour? It probably would have been much less if I'd pre-cut everything and did all my nails consecutively instead of individually.

    Oh well! ♥