Thursday, 30 August 2012

Sponge Gradient Nails

I’m back after quite some time and I’m leaving you with two posts this time.  My pre-occupation with my thesis and GAMSAT prep has left little time to add more to this blog. I took some pictures of a really cool sponge gradient effect I tried on my nails a couple of weeks ago and finally found the time to share them with you. Sadly finding pictures that weren’t too blurry to use was a challenge so I am sorry about that. My photography skills are limited as I am a complete novice and I have really shaky hands! I blame my excessive caffeine drinking – a consequence of my student life.

There are several methods to achieve a gradient effect so experiment to find which one works best for you. The colours I used here are OPI’s Polar bare and Miami Beet. Polar bare is probably discontinued now as I believe that it was part of OPI’s Canadian collection. It is a nude creme with hints of peach and pale rose which I thought would go well with a brighter, stronger pink like Miami Beet. I haven’t tried this effect with glitters and my first experiment involving blending a shimmery colour with a creme ended up a mess. I’d recommend sticking to the same type of polish i.e creme with creme.

Sponge Gradient Nails

You might be able to make out a slightly mottled appearance on my nails but this is solved by adding a topcoat. I used my Seche Vite topcoat to get rid of the bumps left behind by the sponge. So here’s how I did it:

After applying my base coat, I painted a coat of the lighter polish onto my nails and let them dry fully.
Once they were dry, I painted a generous stripe of the pale polish onto a foundation wedge followed by a stripe of my second polish right next to the first polish, making sure the edges overlapped. Again you want to use quite a generous amount of polish as some of it will be absorbed by the sponge. My foundation wedges aren’t that absorbent so I only had to apply the polish once on the wedge for each hand.
I quickly bounced the sponge against my nails, letting the polish dry for a few seconds before the next “bounce”.  The reason for this is that I found that it smudges and creates an awful mess otherwise. I kept the sponge moving up towards my cuticles, occasionally moving it back down the nail to make sure the colours blended properly and didn’t leave any sizeable gaps.
I have to admit, it didn’t look that great at first. The surface was bumpy from the sponge and the colours didn’t look like they’d blended as seamlessly as I wanted but once I added my topcoat, these problems were resolved.

A slightly blurry and closer look at the finished product.

Sponge Gradient Nails (closer)

And another one!

Sponge Gradient Nails final


My nails definitely got me a lot of compliments. I have tried painting the colours directly onto the sponge and just sponging on the colours but I found that this method left a lot of gaps in the colour.

So what do you think about sponge gradients? Have you ever tried it and what colour combinations would you/have you used? Your comments will be greatly appreciated!

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