Monday, March 5, 2012

Another way to do a sponged gradient!

Ever have a day when you see something that totally changes how you look at something? Yea, that was me last night. I was browsing nail stuff online (as I so often do) and came across people doing a sponged gradient in a totally different way. (See here and here for examples.) It looked much easier than the tutorial I just wrote, and it looked just as good (if not better)! I had to try it out!

This is so much easier than the method I've been using. The tutorial can be summed up like this:
  • base coat
  • 2 coats of white
  • 2 coats of gradient stamping
  • top coat
And that's it! You cut a piece of sponge the size of your nail (or just paint an area the size of your nail), paint stripes of the colors you're using onto your sponge, then pat-pat-pat the sponge over your nail all at once. The gradient basically forms itself, and you're left with a very messy gradient that goes all over your fingers!

I sent a link to my friend, needing to share my excitement over this find. She didn't believe that it could look so smooth and pretty. Then she did it- she challenged me to prove to her it could look that smooth and soft. What could I do?

I pulled out my China Glaze Electropop collection and started painting. I only did one nail, as a proof of concept, and WOW was it messy. There's really no way to avoid getting the polish everywhere unless you tape off your fingers like you would do for a water marble. I'll have to try that next time...

Still, the one nail I did turned out beautiful. This wasn't enough for her... she didn't think it looked smooth enough, so I added a layer of topcoat over everything to meld it together.

Even though I know how much topcoat can pull a manicure together, I was still blown away at just how smooth this gradient was! It was so easy, and so pretty. That's one stamped coat of rainbow goodness on my index finger there, and it's absolutely gorgeous.

She was pretty gobsmacked too. She couldn't believe how fast and easy it was to get a gradient look like this. She's definitely looking at her ombre nails kit differently now.

So of course, I needed to do a full manicure like this, but I was too lazy to deal with 5 colors like I had in my test run. I ended up sticking with three pastel shades- I'm fairly sure I used Dance Baby, Sweet Hook, and Kinetic Candy.

As you can see, it worked beautifully. The stripes on the sponge really didn't look all that soft and gradienty, but on the nail? Gorgeous pastel softness. I'm just blown away at how smooth the transition is!

Cleanup was an utter nightmare, much like trying to clean up a water marble is. I used cotton swabs, brushes and acetone, and still had a horrible mess to clean up. Still... it's SO worth it!

I can just see doing all my nails in rainbows. You could also do angled gradients or vertical gradients, based on how you apply the colors on the sponge. I really am in love with this look!

Although now I'm thinking it would be fun with a pattern over it- I'm thinking zebra stripes, or maybe leopard print. My husband laughed when he saw it and said my nails look like easter eggs.

So, what do you think of this look? Would you wear it? Would you change it? Would you put a print over the top of it? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of it...

So many awesome ways to create pretty results!
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