So it turns out that the key to getting your gradients to work well is using a makeup sponge. I started off with a layer of ZOYA Indigo (super pretty and worth every penny, a rich deep blue with just the tiniest flakes of sparkle):
Then used Sinful Colors Gorgeous to create a half-gradient cover on the nail. The base coat needed to be completely dry first, but the application was pretty easy — just daubed some polish on a makeup triangle and patted it onto the nail lightly.
Followed that up with a layer of OPI Last Friday Night (really great blue-based glitter coat, but not super blue which was key to letting the first layers through) and dannnnnng I can’t stop looking at my nails.
(Forgive how gnarly my hands are right now — between working on the bikes and gardening a bunch my hands are just generally pissed… but at least the nails are cute!)