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How to DIY Gradient Nails -

How to DIY Gradient Nails
Helen Nguyen

I been seeing lots of photos of gradient nails lately, needless to say – I got inspired to do them! Not going to lie to you, to me it was little bit harder than I expected. But I nailed it on my third try. Now I can show you step by step how to create gradient nails effects on your own too.

Gradient nails in the sun

Things you’ll need:

  • 2 nail polishes –the two shades should be contrast with each other (light and dark color)
  • Dry fast top coat –this is important when creating gradient nails, there’s going to be lots of steps involved and the nails should be fully dry before moving on to the next step.
  • Paper plate
  • Sponge – I used a makeup sponge for this.

Gradient nails - Rimmel London, China Glaze, Seche Vite, makeup sponge

Rimmel London 362 Barely There, China Glaze Purple Panic, Seche Vite dry fast top coat

How to do:

Gradient nails - Rimmel London 362 Barely There

1. Paint your nails with the first color, it can be the lighter shade first or the other way. It’s your choice. I chose the lighter shade first.

2. Apply dry fast top coat on your painted nails, I used Seche Vite. After this wait for them to fully dry. The more coats you painted, the longer they’ll dry.

Gradient nails - pour the first nail polish color on the plate

3. Take the other color (mine was the darker one) and pour it on the paper plate. Be generous with the amount.

Gradient nails - Dap the sponge into the color on the plate

4. Take the sponge and dap it into the nail color on the plate. Just dap it close to the side/the end of the sponge, not in the middle. This way, it would be easier for you to dap the color on the tip on your nail.

Gradient nails - Dap the sponge on the tip of the nail

5. Dap the sponge on to the tip on your nail. Don’t apply the color too high on the nail, try not to pass the mid -way of it. Concentrate making the color stronger at the tip, that’s where you want the darkest color to show up. Do this only to the first nail, don’t go to the others yet.

Gradient nails - Dap the first color next to the second color

6. Now pour the first color on the paper plate. Take the sponge and dap it right next to the previous color, so they would be side by side.  This is how you create the fading, gradient effect.

Note: You can directly apply the color on the sponge, but I noticed this way you have to move quickly or the sponge will suck in all the color and you have to keep adding more. If you’re not quick, this will waste a lot of product. So I prefer using the paper plate.

Gradient nails - Dap the sponge on your nail and blend out both colors

7. Start dapping on to the middle of your nail, right on top of the previous color. Keep dapping vertically – up and down movements, rather than side to side. Blend out any harsh line and apply more color if needed. Try not to push the sponge on too hard, this might mess up the nail polish. Keep building the color gradually until you’re happy with the effect.

Gradient nails - Dry fast top coat Seche Vite

8. When you’ve achieved the gradient effect you wanted, you can move on to the next nail.

9. Apply the dry fast top coat when done.

Have fun creating your gradient nails. If you don’t get it the first time, keep practicing. That’s how it was for me too, but I’m glad I didn’t give up – because I love how my gradient nails look now and for me, they were fun to do. Hopefully it’s going to be to you too!

DIY Gradient Nails

DIY Gradient Nails

Check out DIY Caviar Manicure Nails and Easter nails part 2 – Ombre nails.


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