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January 17, 2012
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Still plowing through the untested goodies, I realized I haven’t done a full blow green in awhile so picked up Barielle Date Night, a metallic bug-green that wasn’t quite as creamy as I thought but still covered pretty well in two coats.  The thinness gave me an idea though.  See, there’s regular gradient sponging and then there’s double-sponging, and the double-dip works really well with the not-totally-opaque polishes.

Started off sponging in one, two rounds of Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris over the tips, which was well enough on its own and I could’ve walked off with a perfectly lovely gradient mani.

sponging nail art

But here’s the trick — you go back in with your primary color (in my case, the green) and re-sponge over the black you just laid down over the middle of the nail, so you’re creating an even softer burnout of the color.

makeup sponge manicure

“Yeah, looks awesome….”  Topcoat fixes everything, remember?

beetle nails

This can be really fun with super-contrasty colors (like for corpse nails), but I’ve been on a bit of a black kick lately so I stuck with what I’m liking for this one.  Simple, but a cool effect!  Just make sure you’re not overloading your makeup sponge at all; the trick is to lay everything out super sparingly — it’s easier to go in and fill more than constantly try to over-correct for being too heavy handed with this stuff.  Plus things dry 100x faster when you’re only doing a dab vs. a blob of polish anyway.

Barielle Date Night

Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris

corpse nails

Categories: gradient, how to
Tags: , , ,

11 Responses

  1. this came out great, the green is beautiful

  2. Meg says:

    This looks really cool! I’ve tried a couple gradient nails but nothing comes out quite like this did.

  3. Kiki D says:

    What top coat do you use?????? This is marvelous!!!!!

  4. gottwinkies says:

    Abso-freakily gorgeous! I love the subtle complexity of it! I know….an oxymoron…I don’t care! lol

  5. Helga says:

    I love the hint of black. It’s like a blackened green :)

  6. the nerd says:

    Thanks ladies! I like the effect a bunch too. :-D Meg, swear to you, it’s just about *barely* loading any polish onto the sponge at a time and taking it real slow — you can do it!

    And Kiki, the topcoat on this one is Seche Vite — if you don’t have it yet, get some! It’s pretty much the perfect topcoat for stuff like this because it levels off really nicely with a really hard and glassy finish. The only drawback is that it can tend to pinch up on polishes underneath so if you have a detailed pattern or something going on you might want to find a softer topcoat (I have a couple of topcoats that I’ll use that don’t dry really fast and tend to be pretty gummy/tacky til they dry out, but they don’t pinch whatever’s underneath).

  7. Aren says:

    Ooh, I may have to try this some time, ’cause it’s sezzy as heck!

    And argh to topcoats that shrink! I use Sally Hansen Dries Instantly 30 Second topcoat, which I’ve had to thin out with some Seche Restore, and it shrinks like CRAZY, especially on my Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes. Less than 24 hours, and my nails look like they have a full week’s worth of tip wear. Booooo!

  8. the nerd says:

    I know, right?!

    And yeah — I’m almost out of my CND shiny topcoat (it came in this great big round bottle but my drugstore doesn’t have it down here) and there’s definitely a huge difference between them. I’ve been pinch hitting with the OPI topcoat but honestly? Don’t like it. Takes way too long to dry, doesn’t do anything to level what’s underneath it (may even make some craters worse) and definitely did that ripple-nudge thing after a couple of days. sigh.

  9. Gottwinkies says:

    Oooo, when my SV gets nasty-ish, I have moderated mine with a little bit of regular topcoat and then some thinner. Keeps the awesome SV qualities while not being so “shrinky” and stringy.

  10. Toni Allen says:

    GREAT tutorial! I did mine in purple with silver tips, and they look fantastic! I use Pure Ice nail polish (seriously, THE best stuff ever — better than OPI, China Glaze, and everything else I’ve tried!) with the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri topcoat. It doesn’t shrink for me, and I usually only have to redo my nails when there’s a big gap at the cuticle from them growing.

    • the nerd says:

      I STILL haven’t tried that polish, but thanks for the recommendation — I’ll have to check it out! Super glad it turned out great though. :)

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