Today I thought I would give you all a nail tutorial for gradient nails. I've been seeing a lot of these looks done so I'm guessing it's the Hot New Thing. It's amazing I am doing it now since usually I wait a year or so before I am into the Hot New Thing. By then it's the Old Forgotten Thing and I'm running around acting like I have discovered something new. I wanted to show y'all how I did this mostly because all of the tutorial I see look like a professional make up artist did the work, nothing is flawed, everything is so easy. I'm a regular chick who tries things and wishes they turned out like the pro's, but usually ends up looking simply o.k. Like a real person did it. You wont see perfectly filed and shaped nails, beautifully trimmed cuticles or smoothly applied nail polish that is evenly spaced around the sides of my fingers and cuticle. I make a mess that I don't even clean up very well. "Whatever Teri, I'm a real person and I can do MUCH better than that!". I'm happy for you, really. I can't.
O.K. so lets begin. I did a 3 color gradient. Obviously you need at least 2 colors and can probably do many more, depending on how long your nails are. The colors I chose are:
Sinful Colors in "Rise and Shine"
Sinful Colors in "Midnight Blue"
Wet and Wild #424A or as I like to call it "Black"
Start with painting your nails with a base coat and the lightest color. Of course you can do a reverse gradient and start with the darkest, just make sure your lighter colors are very opaque and only need one coat or the color wont show up. If you have a problem with your light color not showing up very well paint your nails with white polish first. Let this layer dry.
To do the gradient effect you will need a sponge. It doesn't matter what type, using the one in the kitchen is fine, just know you wont be washing dishes with it again. I used a makeup sponge that come in packs of like 30. Your going to cut the sponge in half.
Now take your other 2 colors (If you are only using 2 colors you will paint your nails with the lightest and still use it again to mix with the next darker color.) and pool a bit of polish from each on some waxed paper or something plastic, I used a sandwich baggie. Make sure they are touching.
Take a toothpick and swirl these two colors together in the middle. I know I should have picked better colors to show this.
Now press the cut side of your makeup sponge into the pretty polish pool. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure why the sponge needs to be cut. I'm sure there is a reason, maybe. Just make sure you have a large enough area to cover your nail.
Lovely blurry photo...
Press this down on your nail with the lighter of the two colors on the bottom. Don't place the sponge all the way to the bottom of your nail or you will cover your light color. Now that I think about it you should probably pool the lighter color on your plastic, too. I didn't, for some reason I didn't think of it. Press down like you are stamping your nail and continue to stamp back and forth over your nail a few times. It will make a mess over your finger.
Blurry AND dark photo!
Right after you do this take your clear top coat and apply it to the nail while still wet. It will help blend the colors a bit more and smooth out any bumpiness the sponging might have caused. The first time I used my clear coat it bubbled up REALLY BAD. I did the rest with Seche Vite and painted over the bubbled nails with it, it covers them up and makes them look less noticeable.
Once done you should end up with something like this, or hopefully better.