I must confess. I am in love. I keep falling back to the same base manicure and love how versatile it is. Gradients!! Simple quick and easy to do.
Think 95% of my recent manis have included a gradient!
I usually pick 3 colours as it creates a good blend and any more than 3 I feel my nails are too short to carry off.
I either pick colours from the same family (ie pinks, reds, greens) or a selection of colours to create a scene (like a sunset). I paint my usual base coat, followed by one coat of the lightest colour or white. Wait for this to fully dry then take a triangular make up sponge, dampen it slightly then paint 3 equal stripes of my chosen polish in the order I want them to be one my nail.
I then dab the sponge onto my nail in a horizontal rocking motion, I also move it up and down the nail slightly; this blends the colours better. I do one hand at a time.
Work from thumb to pinky, reload the sponge then work from pinky to thumb. I repeat this until I've achieved the look I was after then top coat. I top coat whilst my gradient is still slightly damp and this also helps blend the polish better.
It can get pretty messy and people often use PVA glue or tape around their cuticles to reduce clean up but I don't get on well with these methods.
Personally I use lint free wipes to take away the majority of the mess, go in with my clean up brush. Then I go in again with a lint free wipe and clean up brush for a second time to get a much cleaner and crisper mani. I also don't use acetone on my nail I use Sally's Beauty Non-Acetone Polish Remover, I get a huge bottle of it and it lasts months. Well worth it.
When this is fully dried I either leave it as is. Or I add stamping. Stamping is another love of mine and so many versatile plates about now you can do so much.
I've even created gradients within the stamping.
I have also done a technique known as reverse gradient. Where you cover parts of your nail with striping tape or vinyl patterns and sponge in the opposite way to which you sponged initially. For example if your lightest colour in your initial stamping was at your cuticle, for the reverse gradient it will be at the tip of your nail.
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