(Just Another) Mani Monday: Gradient Nails

Good evening everyone!  Today’s mani came out SO much better than I had hoped.  I LOVE it!

A good friend of mine has been asking about gradient nails for awhile.  While I was very familiar with the basics, I had never actually attempted it before.  So earlier today, I decided today’s post would be a perfect time to remedy that!

In the past I’ve seen a number of amazing tutorials for how to do this, but I went on my own using knowledge I got from everywhere for today.  I know there’s a number of pins floating around Pinterest of this technique.

First off, the supplies!  You’ll need tape, sponges, a white polish, the colors for your gradient, and a topcoat if you choose.  I used Orly Dayglow, Sonnetarium Samurai Princess, Color Club Pure Energy, and Color Club Ultraviolet.

The sponges are makeup sponges (cosmetic wedges) that I got in a giant pack at the dollar store.

First, you’ll want to paint your nails white.  I really like Dayglow- there’s a very very faint blue shimmer to it that’s barely noticeable.  It was part of Orly’s Feel the Vibe collection this summer- and I got it for $1 this weekend at Sally’s 50% off clearance sale!  I’m just sad I couldn’t find the others I lacked 😦

Anywho… on to the gradient part!

Here’s a picture of my thumb nail taped and ready to go.  You’ll want to cover most of the skin- but from experience, don’t cover the painted part of the nail.  I pulled off some of my white basecoat on other nails because the tape was on it, and it messed up the mani a bit.  This will help you avoid major cleanup- but some clean up is going to be necessary 🙂

I also advise taping all your nails first before painting.  The colors I chose were not the most opaque, so I had to do multiple sponge coats for the gradient- it was easier to be able to do all 5, giving enough dry time between them for a second coat.

I dropped a few drops of both colors next to each other on a paper plate, like so.  The sponge is poised overhead to dab!

You’ll press the sponge onto the paint, and then smoosh it onto your nail.  I made sure the ‘line’ between both colors was roundabout in the middle of the nail.

Voila!  To be fair, though, this dark color was after 3 separate dabs.

Here’s the other nails after 1 coat.

And here’s a ‘finished’ picture, before I cleaned up.  You can see the pulling on the middle finger from my tape.

For those unfamiliar with cleaning up a mani- here’s what I do.  I use a small paintbrush- it has a fairly small brush and is also moderately stiff (soft, but holds its shape while I use it).  I dip the paintbrush into 100% pure acetone, and run it along the outsides of the nail and cuticle area, wiping off on a small tissue or pad.  There’s lots of amazing tutorials out there if you need more help!  If you need help finding one, let me know in the comments and I’ll find one.

In my infinite wisdom, I didn’t take an ‘after’ photo of just the gradient.  Whoops!  But you guys get the idea 🙂  I just love where the 2 colors meet to form a blue-purple!

So to make it more fun, I added my very favorite black and white glitter I own, Sonnetarium’s Samurai Princess.

Seriously, I adore this glitter.  Of course it looks similar to Connect the Dots and it’s many dupes, but I prefer this one- it lacks the crazy big hexes that I’ve never liked much.  This is 1 coat of Samurai Princess- some dabbing for placement over my messed up polish sections 😉

SO beautiful.  I am seriously so upset to take this off- but it didn’t take very long to create, so I think it’ll make a re-appearance very soon!

You can find Sonnetarium here on Etsy- she’s in vacation mode now, so you can find her Facebook profile here to stay up-to-date on restocks!

Ultraviolet and Pure Energy were part of Color Club’s Electro Candy collection from 2009… you can still get these online, and I recently saw a set in Ross (for only $8!).

See you all tomorrow for Try-It-On Tuesday!

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5 responses

  1. LOVE it!! Great choice of colors too! 🙂

    July 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm

  2. You’ve inspired me to do this. I’m not sure when I’ll get the chance (maybe this weekend) but I’ll share pics on fb when I do 🙂

    July 24, 2012 at 11:45 am

  3. skaytanik

    So pretty! My nails are short again and I’ve been hesitant to do a gradient, thinking I wouldn’t have enough room to make it cute. 😛 wrong! This looks awesome!

    July 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm

  4. looks great!! I love the glitter on top.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm

  5. This looked SO gorgeous in person! I was worried my nails were too short too, but it still worked great!!

    Another nail broke today. Someday…

    July 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm

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