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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gradient nails with a fizzy POP!

Hey guys! So sorry that I have been a bit MIA (missing in action) lately. Life got a little bit nutty with appointments, errands, and a 15 month old teething. Add all that to Mother's Day and my husband's submarine surfacing for a day... what do you get? A crazy craaaaazy last few days!

At any rate, Dom and I were on Skype and I had just reorganized my entire stash. I remember looking at the cam and saying to her "do you ever feel so overwhelmed with what you want to do that you actually don't do anything?" That was my last few days. I have all these beautiful colors, glitters, art supplies, art ideas, stamping plates and all I could think was "I can't decide what color to use".

Well this is just one tiny reason why Dom and I are such good friends. She said very simply, "yes" she felt like that at times but that she had just watched a tutorial on a different way to do Ombre and I should try it. Don't you just love that? *I* should try it... not *HER* lol. Unfortunately she couldn't locate the video she watched so she explained what the artist did and I sort of just did whatever and made up my own way as I went from her broken account of the video lol.

Finished product!
                                        Items needed:
        • Base Coat & Top Coat
        • Paper towel (or anything to wipe polish on)
        • piece of paper/tray/card stock/plastic plate (to put your dabs/lil pile of polish on)
        • make up sponge (these can be purchased for about $2 for a whole bag of them, I prefer the triangle shape)
        • orange stick or toothpick or other pointy item (to poke/mix polish with)
        • at least TWO polish colors in differing shades (I like a light/dark contrast)
        • nail polish remover
        • q-tips or brush for clean up
L to R: Orange stick, make-up sponge, scrap piece of card stock, Ulta - Sun-Sational, Ulta - Limelight, paper towel

For this mani I wanted something bright and cheery, so Dom and I decided that yellow and green might be fun. I never thought anything else about the color combination before embarking on the journey.

Step 1: Start with a clean nail and apply your base coat. Then put a little pile of nail polish down on the card stock. I feel that doing the darker color first is best. I have no concrete proof as to why, just that I feel like the color blocking and bleeding of the two colors together is easier. Next put the second color down right up against the edge of the first pile. you want them to sort of bleed a little into eachother.

Step 2: take your orange stick (tooth pick etc) and from the light to the dark color pull a little bit of light into dark. JUST A LITTLE!!! You aren't mixing the two colors so do this step carefully and slowly. **Remember you are doing a blend of the two with your technique- not brushing on color**

Step 3: Do the reverse of step 2. Slowly and carefully pull the dark into the light

Step 4: take the orange stick and very carefully and lightly blend just a SMIDGE where the two colors meet. If you do this too much you won't have much of an ombre effect, it'll look more like you mixed two polish colors... so do this slowly and carefully!

Take your make-up sponge and lightly dab the paint pile. I like to use the corner edge when doing an ombre. I feel like it helps with accuracy and the general ease with which to apply the color.

The last part is the most fun but also requires the most critical eye of the whole process. It does take several applications depending on how opaque you'd like the colors to be. Mine took 4 as you can see from the photos. 

**The critical part is this... if you aren't achieving the amount of one color you'd like you have to go back with what I call "corrective shading". What that means is you take a clean spot on the make-up sponge, again I personally like using the corners for precision, and dab in ONLY the color that you'd like more of. With this mani I did corrective shading on both colors to get a more precise and defined ombre of green to yellow. If you look closely and critically at the pictures you can see where I went back and added some green specifically. Doing the corrective shading really requires you to be critical and slow. If you get in a rush and add too much you'll get a big blot of color that won't look as blended and pretty as the rest of your nails. There is no do-over cover ups for this mani if you wear it alone like I did. Top coat does not smooth out any little errors you might've had in color either as it does at times with regular polishing. 

CLEAN UP: this mani is a little bit of a mess but clean up isn't too bad if you've got some nice pointy Q-tips or a brush. I personally use an angled brush from my MASH nail art brush set to do clean up. I just dip the brush into the nail polish remover and carefully run the brush along my nail to clean away any stray polish. Once you've cleaned up any little booboos add your top coat. 

It isn't a terribly difficult process and goes fairly quickly once you figure out what you want and how to repeat the effect. I did a full mani (both hands) in less than 30 mins from start to finish, and that includes clean up. I think the mani turned out pretty cool and my son's pediatrician was particularly interested in how I did the effect, which made me laugh of course. 

Image from Google

I think this mani turned out looking like Mello Yellow pop cans.... Might have to re-do this mani and add the Mello Yellow logo! Plus.... I really love the Mellow Yellow Song by Donovan! So it wasn't too horrific to walk around with this mani and hum the song for a day or two!

I hope my tutorial helps and if there are any questions or steps that seem un-clear leave a message or email us and I will do whatever I can to help!!


*This post name has been edited due to the fact that I was apparently referring to the technique incorrectly and it grates on some people's nerves. Good to know... *


  1. I keep meaning to try this! Great walk-thru on how you did it! Thanks :)

  2. Thanks bunches!! You should, with the colors you like I bet you could have a really neat ombre!! xo E


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