Wednesday, 18 July 2012

How To: Create a Perfect Gradient with a Makeup Sponge

Gradients have quickly become my favourite nail trend (as you will see in my future posts). For such a cool looking effect, they are so easy to do! It also gives me the chance to use multiple colours, so I feel way justified for having so many polishes.

There are mainly two ways I use to create a gradient: brushing and layering on sheer polish, or stamping with a makeup sponge. Using a makeup sponge is my favourite way as it gives a smooth transition between colours.

General Tips for a Sponge Gradient

  • choose pigmented, opaque colours
  • paint a generous amount of polish on the sponge, since the sponge absorbs it
  • don't be afraid to go over the gradient again if the colours are not opaque enough, or you missed some spots (but give the first layer some time to dry first)
  • dab sparingly while blending the colours - the sponge already does most of the work, and you don't want to lift the paint off by dabbing too much
  • you can use the same side of the sponge, as long as it's not overly saturated with polish, and the polish is not dry yet - I usually use one side for one hand, then switch to a fresh clean side for the other
  • finish one hand and clean up with Q-tips (cotton swabs) around the nail before doing the other - it's easier to clean before the polish is completely dry

My colour choices for gradients don't always work out, but this one came out wonderfully. I wore this on vacation to San Diego and received many compliments for it!

Left to right: American Apparel "Malibu Green", OPI "No Room for the Blues", Sally Hansen "Blue Away", OPI "Last Friday Night"

A makeup sponge
1) Paint stripes of your colours on the makeup sponge in the order you want them to show up on your nail.
This is how we do it at The Nail Artiste - hand-drawn pictures
2) Stamp the stripes onto the nail and dab, moving up and down along the nail until the colours are blended
3) Repeat steps 1)-2) with other nails. Go over again any nails that are not opaque enough or have bald spots
4) Optional: add some sparkle. Here I brushed OPI "Last Friday Night" on two-thirds of my nail
5) Clean up with Q-tips and nail polish remover
6) Top coat over everything
You're going to need a bit of cleanup


 Have fun experimenting with different colours and combinations! I think I'll be doing gradients for a while to come...


  1. Cool! I think I'm going to try gradients next :)

  2. Awesome!! Hope you'll love them as much as I do!

  3. I love how well the colours go together! Reminds me of light under waters. So beautiful!

    1. Thank you!! I had to wear these to the beach, since they reminded me so much of the ocean.
      By the way, you have a lovely blog yourself!


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