Gradients have become one of the most popular techniques for nail artists, whether they stand on their own or are incorporated as a base for a design. What makes gradient nails so great is that they are so customisable and can easily be achieved by anyone with the right tools. This look uses a sponge to dab on various polishes and has the effect of creating well-blended colours.
This is the look that can be achieved with the tutorial below. There are many gradient tutorials on the web, some using other techniques, but this is the way that I personally do it. I chose to do a gradient with different colours and I have just realised I unintentionally made the gradient the same as my blog background!
The polishes I have used for this manicure from L to R are: OPI 'Alpine Snow', OPI 'Mod About You', Revlon 'Charming', Ulta3 'Soft Hydrangea', OPI 'Gargantuan Green Grape', Seche Vite fast drying top coat and China Glaze 'Fairy Dust (optional). This may seem like a lot of different polishes but the look is customisable to whatever colours you have and wish to use, whether it be 2 or 3 or more.
You will also need a makeup sponge of some sort. These may come in various shapes and sizes.
- Apply a white polish onto your nail until opaque. I used 2 coats. Let dry.
- Paint the colours you wish to have in your gradient straight onto the makeup sponge (see below). Dab the sponge 1 or 2 times onto a piece of paper and then sponge onto your nail. Let dry.
- Repeat step 2 again and again until the gradient is at the intensity that you would like it. Make sure you wait for the previous layer to dry before dabbing on the next layer. If the layer below is still wet, the sponge may pick up previous layers and it may ruin the gradient.
- Apply a fast drying top coat onto the gradient. This should smoothen out the gradient and make it look well-blended.
- Clean up the edges of your nail with acetone. I used a cotton tip to do this.
- (Optional) Add a glitter of your choice onto the gradient.
This is what my sponge looked like in step 2 above. I painted the lines so they would match the length of my nails and I used this small part of the sponge for the whole manicure.
The possibilities for this look are endless. I chose to create a gradient with different colours but you may choose to use monochromatic colours or as little or as many colours that you wish. For other gradients that I have done previously you can look here and here. You may also wish to incorporate this look into a design as I have done here, or as a background for other art.