Nail Art Tutorial: Panda Nails

Panda Nails Nail Art Tutorial Bear Nail Art TutorialBy now pretty much everyone has seen the cute YouTube clip of a baby panda sneezing. Awww!

And most people should know that the panda is an endangered species. If not for conservation efforts, this beautiful creature might cease to exist.

To help raise wildlife awareness, I decided to create Panda Nails this time. Hope you like it.

Surprisingly, this nail art doesn’t involve a lot of tools. In fact, I used the regular nail-polish brush for all of it except for the eyes and paws – used a dotting tool for that.

It also only uses 3 colors – black, white, and green, so hopefully you’ll find it easier to replicate than, say, The Grapes of Wrath Nails that I did earlier.

Let me know what you think and if there are any other animals you’d like to see me try to paint. I’m not a good artist, but I’m always willing to try. Effort is worth a lot.

P.S. I just thought that you could try doing this in primary colors and they’d look like gummy bears!

Panda Nail Art Pictures

All swatches have:

For reviews and/or swatches of specific products, please click on the above links.

Panda Nails Nail Art Tutorial Bear Nail Art Tutorial


Panda Nails Tutorial & Swatch


Nail Art Tutorial Panda Bears


Panda Nails Nail Art Tutorial


Panda Nail Tutorial & Swatches


Panda Nail Art & Tutorial


Panda Bear Nails Nail Art Tutorial

Natural Light

Wildlife Nail Art Panda Bears Nail Art


Bear Nail Art & Tutorial Swatches


Panda Nail Tutorial Nail Art

Natural Light

Panda Bear Nail Art Tutorial


*~* Panda Nails Tutorial *~*

Panda Bear Nail Tutorial Nail Art

What I Used:

  1. Orly Bonder Rubberized Basecoat
  2. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
  3. OPI Alpine Snow
  4. Sephora by OPI Caught With My Khakis Down
  5. China Glaze Liquid Leather
  6. Dotting tool
  7. Piece of foil

Step 1: Choose your colors & get all your supplies ready

Unscrew the caps of the bottles. Have everything ready to go and easily accessible. When your nails are wet, you definitely don’t want to be struggling to open bottles.

Step 2: Paint your nails the base color

I opted for a khaki green (Sephora by OPI Caught With My Khakis Down). In the photos with flash, it looks like gray, but in real life it’s definitely a fatigue green with a hint of gray. (The swatches above in sunlight are more color-accurate.)

Obviously, you can choose whatever color you’d like as the background, but I wanted a nature theme, so green seemed to be just right for that.

Wait for this to dry a bit (about 10 minutes) before continuing onto the next step.

Panda Nails Tutorial Nail Art Swatches

Quickie Sephora by OPI Caught With My Khakis Down Review

Application was superb – flowed on the nail smoothly and evenly. Even with the first coat, it was very pigmented. This formula is wonderful!

To read my in-depth review and to see lots of swatches of this color by itself, please click here.

Step 3: Paint the head

Using the brush from your white-creme polish (I used OPI Alpine Snow), create a small circle near the top of each nail.

I found that the easiest way to do this is to dot and dab on the polish instead of traditionally painting it on. You’ll get a better circle this way. Plus the dot-and-dab method seems to concentrate the color and make it more opaque, which is what you want.

Don’t worry too much about it looking messy. I actually think the messiness makes it look ‘furry’, and I dig that.

How to Create Panda Nails Tutorial

Step 4: Paint the body

Using the same method above, add a larger circle underneath each of the small ones you just created. Make sure that they touch or its head will seem to be floating above its body and we don’t want that! 😛

You’ll have something that looks like a fuzzy baby snowman.

Wait for this to dry a bit (about 10 minutes) before continuing to the next step or the colors could bleed.

Bear Nail Art Tutorial & Pictures

Step 5: Add the ears

Using your black-creme polish (I used China Glaze Liquid Leather), add two dots on top of the small white circle.

I was going to use the handle of a nail-art brush as a makeshift large dotting tool, but forgot to do it! 😛 So I ended up just using the regular China Glaze brush to blob on the dots. Oh well…

How-to Nail Art Tutorial Panda Nails

Step 6: Start the eyes

Put some black nail polish onto your piece of foil and dip your dotting tool into it. Add a pair of eyes to each nail.

Since I had a really small dotting tool only, I had to actually add 2 dots to make each eye bigger.

Panda Nail Art Step by Step Tutorial

Step 7: Paint the mouth

You could make them smile or gawk. Just do whatever makes you happy. I used my dotting tool to add the mouth. I tried not to make it a dot like the eyes.

Panda Nail Art Tutorial

Step 8: Draw the arms

Using the brush from your black polish, use a delicate dotting and dabbing motion to add the arms. I positioned the arms inward to emphasize the cute chubbiness of the panda. Of course, you could make your pandas get funky and put their arms in the air and wave ’em all around like they just don’t care! 😛

Nail Tutorial Panda Bears

Step 9: Add legs

Using the same method as the previous step, add the legs. If you want, you can leave the legs like this. I, however, wanted to emphasize the paws, so I continued. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out too well, and I should’ve stopped here. Haha!

Panda Nails Nail Art

Step 10: Add whites to the eyes & add paws

Put some white polish onto your piece of foil. Then dip your dotting tool into it. Add the whites on top of the black eye circles you made earlier. Add a large dot and then some small ones at the bottom of the legs. (See, the paws didn’t turn out well! Haha! It’s the thought that counts, right? Right? 😛 I also added more white to the neck of one pandas.)

Panda Bear Nails

Step 11: Add more black to connect the paws to the legs

Since it looked like the toes were floating, I decided to go back in with my dotting tool (dipped in black) to fill in the area around the toes.

Panda Nails

Step 12: Add a top coat

Make sure you wait for the polish to dry a little (about 10-15 minutes) before you go slicking on the top coat. If you don’t, you could smear your design.

Step 13: Read about endangered species and consider donating to wildlife-conservation organizations

Would you try panda nail art? Isn’t it weird how even though pandas seem so calm and gentle, they can actually be really violent? Do you or have you donated to any wildlife-conservation causes?

In case you wanted to see the baby panda sneezing, here’s the YouTube clip.


12 thoughts on “Nail Art Tutorial: Panda Nails

    1. Mary Post author

      Thank you so much! 😀 I think it took just as long for me to put together and post the tutorial as it took for me to actually do the nail art! 😛

  1. Marta

    What can I say! I love it and I must re-tweet this. So sweet of you to include a blurb about the endangered animal and taking care of our planet.
    Loooove this SOPI shade… and the name is super cute too!
    As per the pandas… I just want to hug them all… one by one 🙂 so your nails are now endangered for excessive hugging 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      You’re so sweet! Thank you so much for leaving a comment and for retweeting this! 🙂 Haha, I love that you want to hug my nails – nobody has ever told me that, so it made me laugh. You’re so cute!

      I’m a huge fan of dusty greens like that. Have you seen swatches of the new China Glaze Metro Collection? Westside Warrior looks like a must-have for me…as well as a bunch of others in that collection. Fall nail-polish collections always get me – hands down the best season for fashion and beauty!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Klaine!

      😀 Thank you! Readers like yourself inspire me to try more nail-art designs. I’ve got a few more coming soon.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ruthe!

      Awww…thanks so much! 🙂 Had a lot of fun painting each little panda. I was really sad when the time came for me to remove them.

    1. Mary Post author

      Thanks, Katie! 🙂 When you do try it out, please stop by again and show me your version, okay? I love seeing other people’s nail art!


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