This TikTok snakeskin nail hack is getting a lot of love – but there’s a catch

Written by Ava Welsing-Kitcher

We dropped everything when we saw this nail art hack for a python print effect on TikTok and had to try it ourselves. Perfect for autumn and Halloween, but is it that easy to replicate?

Some nail trends seem too intricate to master, and best saved for the nail art pros. But when it comes to replicating patterns and textures, the answer to nailing them can often lie in using everyday objects like bobby pins for polka dots, or using steam to create a matte velvet effect.

One design that couldn’t be more perfect for this time of year is snake print nails, or python nails. A combination of autumnal browns and deep reds – along with the fact that Halloween is right around the corner – means that the python print is a two-birds-one-stone trend that you won’t have to soak off once November arrives. TikTok has been loving it ever since nail artist extraordinaire Betina Goldstein posted a speedy video showing the simple household item she uses to create the imprinted effect: a humble laundry bag.

Starting with a layer of not-quite-dry base colour (Betina did white, but anything will work – we’re loving the red and black variation she shows later on in the clip), it’s as simple as layering a small cut-off piece of a netted laundry bag on top to create a scale-like imprint. Then, with a different colour and a small nail brush, dab into a few of the holes in a crossed or zig zag pattern, before peeling it off before it dries fully. Finish with a coat of matte nail polish, and you’re all set.

It looks simple enough, so we had to try it ourselves to see if it’s truly do-able at home. We tried with a variety of items around the house in lieu of a laundry bag: cut-off corners of a dishcloth, the worn-out heel of a sock, and even a piece of protective cardboard inside a Jiffy envelope. Nothing yielded a design that looked even remotely snake-like, just blotches. Using natural fibres like cotton or paper meant the polish just soaked through, so the plastic netted barrier of a laundry bag or supermarket bag of lemons is definitely needed.

We’re not completely put off, as Betina makes it look so easy – we just need the right tools. Every year, the nail artist provides endless Halloween nail inspo, from her barely-there blood drips to negative space ghosts, and even cute little green cat eyes nestled near the cuticle amongst a black background. We’ve got our tiny detail brushes at the ready – check out our round-up of Halloween nail designs for 2021 that are quick and easy to try out yourself.

Main image: Getty

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