Manicure Mondays – Real Snakeskin Manicure DIY

on June 5 | in Manicures, Nail Art | by | with 51 Comments

Real Snakeskin Manicure DIY Tutorial

My buds, knowing the manicure addict that I am, love to share fun outrageous ideas with me. My good friend Kathy was watching The Today Show (video below) and they were doing an authentic snakeskin manicure that costs $300 in salons! How wild is that, literally?!? Kathy sent me the link and I was WAY way excited about the idea, but I really didn’t want to use real snakeskin and have PETA come after me lol. I’m not sure if they used snakeskin on The Today Show; however, we were able to recreate the look using snake sluff that snakes shed naturally. Kathy was on the phone with her friend Heather, that works with animals, and had secured us some gray rat snake sluff within the hour lol. Try calling local pet stores if you don’t have your own snakeskin hookup lol.

Real Snakeskin Manicure DIY Tutorial

Snakeskin DIY Ingredients:

  • Real Snakeskin (Snake Sluff)
  • A Base Coat
  • A Base Color
  • Thick Clear Top Coat
  • Small Scissors
  • Tweezers

Kathy had the idea just in time for my sisters visit – my sister Lauren is the queen of the infamous lace manicure and feather manicure. A little yucked out by using real snakeskin, I assured Lauren that the snakes were as clean as they could get, as they were kept by animal lovers, so after our initial freakout, we got right to work.

We started with a Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat and two coats of Sally Hansen’s Petal Pusher pink (last seen here). Next, each piece of snake was trimmed to the size of my nails. Each nail was painted with Seche Vite Top Coat, and before it could dry, the snake was placed on the nail and then secured with another top coat. Because of the texture, I really couldn’t wear this for longer than a couple of days, but it is perfect for a night out or special occasion!

Can you believe that we recreated a $300 salon manicure for free, using nail polish we already had and free snake sluff? What do you think of this snakeskin manicure? Is this something you would try?

The Today Show Snakeskin Manicure

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51 Responses

  1. Ria says:

    Oh lord, this is hella impressive but I wouldn’t do it. I’d be too creeped out and I hate snakes so I probably couldn’t touch their shedded skin.

  2. bug says:

    wttf!!!!!! whats wrong w you. gross.

  3. shoshi says:

    ok. this is wrong

  4. HEATHER says:


  5. Nicole O. says:

    I really don’t think I’d try this. Just looking at the snake sluff creeps me out. Haha. You’re brave for doing this, Jen. It looks great too, but just not for me. Haha.

  6. I am kinda weirded out by the whole real snakeskin nails. I cannot stand snakes made that is why. LOL But good job on the DIY for less.

  7. cadrommy says:

    It looks great on you! Not sure about wearing snakeskin on my nails though. Does it feel weird on your nails?

    • jennifer says:

      yes! it does feel weird. that’s why i had to take it off the next day lol. it’s not really for me, but apparently this is a big hit at salons, so i thought id show everyone how to get the look for “nearly free” ;)

    • Alex says:

      Yes I agree, and kinda creepy. I saw in Vogue mag on toenails and YSL shoes and kinda fell in love with it, with the look. But I rather wait for the Sally Hansen nail effects synthetic version. No judging whatsoever, but something tells me it shouldn’t feel right.

  8. Patti says:

    Wow, you and your nails always amaze me. You are so good at it. I am just lucky to keep polish on mine! Ha Ha

  9. Lauren says:

    Very high fashion! It turned out awesome!

  10. Trina says:

    I would totally try this! In fact this is so funny you are posting this today because over the weekend {at the luau we attended} I over heard the homeowner taking about finding snake sluff in her garden and she was freaking out about it. I had seen this nail idea around the internet and was intrigued by it so I was THIS.CLOSE to asking her if she found anymore to let me have it. LOL I knew she would think I was crazy though and I didn’t know her that well. HA! Man, I wish I would have though! I would so rock this nail look!

  11. Taryn says:

    to the negative commenters, what’s the big fuss? did u read that it was snake sluff and not the actual skin. totally harmless. this is the way to wear snake without killing one for a handbag or boots.

    the looks for less did not say this was her mani of choice, she is simply doing what she does best, showing us how to get a look for less, in this case it is how to get a $300 salon mani for next to nothing. this is a mani for those that are into this particular trend. why not save while you’re at it. she stated that it was a clean snake and it was sealed with a top coat. its really for a one night event rather than everyday wear. i like it!

    • Alison says:

      Taryn, the sluff/shed is the skin. Its no different than our skin exfoliating off. lol The snake just isn’t being killed for the entire skin.

    • Alison says:

      Taryn, thanks for the PERSONAL E-MAIL. But before you slam me make sure you now what you are talking about. All I asked her was how she cleaned it. There are 2 Alisons on here.

  12. Katie says:

    WOW! Talk about a unique idea! This isn’t for me either only because snakes give me the creeps, but I love that you rocked it just to show how it could be done cheaply and snake-friendly! :)

  13. Melanie B says:

    I know that you’re recreating something but…*GAG* :)

  14. Fea says:

    Looks beautiful! Wonder if there is a way we can create this look without having to use snake skin. I’m not sure I could bring myself to touch the real stuff ;)

  15. Kat says:

    I love it! Creative and animal friendly! Rock on Looks for Less!

  16. Melinda says:

    Boo the the haters. Nevertheless I think this is awesome, I have 2 snakes, and love doing my nails! Never thought those two things would have any correlation. I usually use the Konad nail stamp art. I actually stumbleupon-ed this, and I just thought it was ingenious. Can’t wait to try!!!

    • jennifer says:

      im so happy you love the manicure. you should definitely try it sometime! that’s cool that you found it on stumbleupon. hope you gave it a thumbs-up ;)

    • Terea says:

      I picked up some shedded snakeskin from a pet store. i read on the internet, that sometimes the skins can carry salmonella. What do you recommend I do to clean the shedded snakeskin. i read on the internet i could dip it in a vinegar solution do you think maybe I could drop a little clorox in the water too? I was just thinking about placing the skin against MY skin, I don’t want it to be infected. I love the look though. Now, I have to work up the nerve to touch the skin! LOL

  17. [...] blog, TheLookForLess, when an article showed up for different nail designs like feathers, lace and real snakeskin harvested from her local pet shop… Freaky, but I [...]

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I love it!!!! I have a snake so I can do this look for free as well. Yay! I can’t wait to try this look! At least I can say no one I know has done this look… I will be the first ;) Thank you for posting this unique style.

  19. valerie says:

    This is disgusting. gag

  20. Precious says:

    I lalalaLOVE it!!! I’m a nail tech in Wilmington, DE and my clients are already asking for it. Everything isn’t for everybody, but my passion is to be able to provide what is current and trendy.

  21. Zena says:

    I LOVE this!!! I so wanna try this but I don’t have access to snake sluff.. BOOOO!

  22. Alison says:

    I consider it very messed up up how you wrote: “I really didn’t want to use real snakeskin and have PETA come after me lol.” How dare you only care about PETA come after you and not even put in mind the live of the Snake. Trust me not only would PETA go after you but so would all of us Animal lovers. Also, now that I know youre okay with it, I would like to request your eye ball to make a pendant. Or are you in shedding season yet…beast? Im dying for a fur coat…kidding! Im not like you.

    • Leah says:

      You need to calm down. This is not a site for animal activism. No animals were harmed in the creation of this look. Snakes NEED to shed old skin to remain HEALTHY. Look for less is only providing a unique way to achieve a designer look for free! I understand that you love animals, but if you would educate yourself about the topic, your comments would read as a little less “crazy troll”. No offense meant of course. :)

      That being said, I love the look but snakes creep me out. I wonder if you could use some kind of snake embossed fabric a la the lace mani tutorial? …must try sometime.

    • Alison says:

      And if you would learn how to read you would of noticied the fact that I know its shedded skin, I was complaining about the fact she said she didnt use thier skin instead of the shed just because PETA would go after her, also Animals will always be defended where ever its needed, so dont tell me this isnt an animal activism site. Anyways, Im not offended at all, I dont know you for your words to even bother me :)

    • Taryn says:

      Alison, if you’re going to pick words apart, then why did you use the word “only” in your comment? She never said the “ONLY” reason she didn’t use real snakeskin was so PETA wouldn’t come after her. She was just emphasizing that no snakes were harmed. I follow her on twitter and happen to know that she is a pet lover (she tweets pics of her pets frequently), so i’m positive she wouldn’t kill a snake wether PETA were coming after her or not. Beyond that, your words are a waste of time as she didn’t even kill anything lol. Take your “overreaction” to “nothing” elsewhere.

    • jenn says:

      i’ve done this and you can wait for a snake to shed its skin like i do my bf has a snake and he gives me the skin so you don’t have to hurt any snakes to do this so stop going off on something you know nothing about

  23. Rianne says:

    Well, now I know what to do when one of my snakes sheds skin again XD I’m amazed though how much color is still in the sluff, all I ever see is completely transparent sluff. BUT, that might make for some interesting nails too, hm?

    Anyway, very awesome manicure!

  24. Alison says:

    Is the shed cleaned before you use it? If so with what?

  25. erin says:

    This is awesome just asked my roommate to throw my snake skin my way next time his snake sheds! Can’t wait. And you everyone going ewww gross, yes dead skin cells the must evil of all evil things. I hope no one ever tells you what is used to make your nail polish or make up. :/

  26. Kari says:

    I’ve always hated the snakeskin trend be it in shoes, bags or anything else, but this is a great, creative and ANIMAL-FRIENDLY way to do it. I might just give it a try.

  27. Ann Parker says:

    your brave…for sure…and lighten up people..always always a critic in the crowd..creativity is just that…and it takes alot to be creative consistently….not for everybody..but come on now…I hate when people get all extreme…and I AM an animal lover and did rescue for years.

  28. Amy says:

    Jennifer, this is AH-MAZING!!

  29. LAURA says:

    why do people freak out by this, its amazing! and, at heather, fashion can never be taken too far.

  30. [...] designed a real snakeskin manicure (made from natural snake sluff) a few months ago, and while it makes a statement, it wasn’t [...]

  31. Justine says:

    This looks amazing! It’s very gorgeous, but I doubt I’d ever try it myself. I’m not that fond of snakes.

  32. Sarah says:

    I think its rally cool :) I do think it’s really cool of you to use the shedding. So awesome idea :)

  33. [...] My sis came back and also did a feather manicure and snakeskin manicure. Hope you’ll check them out and let me know what you [...]

  34. Nicole says:

    It’s always nice to see more people who use snake shed for manicures! Nice tutorial! (this is the last one I did, it isn’t too good but

    Why on earth are there so many people freaking out about this? I have a corn snake who is still growing, so she sheds every two weeks. There really is no better way to announce to the world “I have a pet snake that I love like a child” than to wear old shed as a manicure. “Shed” or “sluff” is obtained when your snake sheds normally:

    For people who are claiming that wearing snake shed is “gross”: Snakes are very clean animals. If you take care of your pet snake PROPERLY, your dogs and cats are dirtier than snakes. Snakes are so clean that you can do this: and (pictures are of my snake). They can be quite affectionate. Mine is like a cat. Snakes aren’t terrifying creatures that will harm you, they are a lot like cats.

    Hopefully this clears up some misconceptions.

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