Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How to do: Gradient Nail Art

Gradient Nail looks go something like this:

or this:

Its a super fun trend that will get you double takes and lots of compliments!  The bummer is that its a bit messy, however, its not too hard to pull off - I would say a medium skill level is required (just try it already!)

Here's the deets below:

What you need
- Base Coat
- Polish Remover
- Makeup Sponges

- Shades of Polish
- Orange Stick
- Cuticle Oil (use Argon Oil or just lotion in a pinch)
- Anti-chip top coat

Step 1:  Choose your colors!  Will you go with a simple two-tone

OR are you going for the tri-color look?

Take the guess work out of it and grab one of these kits from China Glaze (available at Sally Beauty Supply for under $20)

PLUS, if you get frustrated with this look - then you already have the perfect shades to do an 'easier' Ombre mani:

Step 2: Prep nails with a great base coat, I like Jessica Restore Nail Base

(available on amazon.com for $8)
then paint the nail the anchor color, usually white or the lightest color.  You don't have to have an anchor color, but I recommend it for the first time around.  Especially with three colors, then you only have to sponge on 2 colors!

Step 3: Once base coat is semi-dry (give it at least 20 minutes) grab an old magazine or some tin foil as your 'station' because you will be 'dumping' out some polish, unless you end up wanting to 'paint' on the shades to a sponge for each nail - either way works.  Optional: prep the cuticle with a bit of cuticle oil and let absorb, wipe off excess.  This is a good step because the more hydrated your cuticle is, the better the polish will come off with the remover when you have to clean around the nail at the end

Step 4:  Dump out the colors and 'blend' with a toothpick

OR, just paint the colors onto the end of the sponge for each nail application

Step 5: Dab onto nail, don't 'swipe' you'll blend the colors too much.  If you can quick clean off the excess with a Q tip (and then get the rest later when dry) the better!

Check it out:

If you're just doing 2 colors, you can always just paint the tip of the nail the 2nd color, then use the sponge to just smooth the transition

Step 6: Clean up the nail area.  Wait until nails are nearly dry to do it so you don't smudge!

Step 7:  Aplly a super glossy top coat!  Everything looks better with an ultra glossy top coat!!  One to try, how about the 'gel' effect that Nail Inc gives you with their 'gel' top coat - it makes it look like an authentic gel mani!

($10 at Sephora)

Some of my fav looks in the gradient are below

I love this 'starry night' look!  Paint nails a shimmery champagne color then sponge on pale blue and glitter navy blue

The "super pastel" gradient, it looks like sweet princess candy (or something like that!)

The "orange dream" gradient.  This is a great way to wear orange, it makes it more fun than just bold bright nails

The "super metallic" gradient in a toxic green is SURE to get you all kinds of compliments!

"Glitter Gradient" in these deep shades looks utterly cosmic!

The "french mani' gradient - looks just like one, but has a softer transition:

And finally, the "change up" gradient - where you reverse the shades on various nails, its even more funky than the original!

Are YOU going to give gradient nails a try?!

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