A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

How To: Neon Gradient Nails with Glitter

Gradient Nails are something I’ve loved the look of, but never properly tried out.  I decided today was the day.

First, pick your colours.  I went with two neon polishes from China Glaze, Flying Dragon and Purple Panic.  (Interesting Fact: “Purple” Panic is the pink one.)

Neon Nail Polishes by China Glaze

You will also need either a foundation sponge or one of those foam eyeshadow brushes.  I opted for the eyeshadow brush, because I never use these for makeup and I thought the smaller sponge would be easier to work with.  But either will work, if you are using the foundation sponge, just use a corner.

Sponges for Gradient Nails

Then, you want to start by painting your nails with two coats of one of your selected polishes.  I personally like it best when the darkest colour is on the tip, so I painted my nails with Purple Panic (the pink).

Neon Pink Nail Polish

Wait until dry.  (Thankfully neon colours dry super fast, so I didn’t really have to wait at all.)  Your next step is to take your second nail polish and deposit a bit of it on a piece of paper.

Flying Dragon by China Glaze

Then, using your sponge dip the tip into the polish.  Dab the sponge off onto the paper a little so you don’t have too much polish on there and carefully dab the sponge onto the top half of your nail.  Concentrate on getting the most coverage at the tip.

Pink and Purple Gradient Nails Tutorial

Repeat for all your nails.  After one coat of sponging your nails should look something like this.

Gradient Nails Tutorial

Once they are mostly dry, repeat the process, but only sponge the tips of your nails this time.  You want to make the tips nice and dark, filling them in so you can’t see any of the pink.

Tutorial for Gradient Nails

Make sure you get the sides/corners of your nails.  You will really have to get the sponge in there, likely creating a mess all over your skin.  But don’t worry, that is the easiest thing to clean up.

Gradient Nails How To

Tutorial for Gradient Nails

Take a Q-tip, dip it in your nail polish remover and take a minute to clean up your skin surrounding your nails.

Tutorial for Gradient Nails

At this point, your nails should have a nice gradient affect, fading from dark to light.

How To: Gradient Nails

If you want, you can stop here (although I would absolutely use a shiny top coat to finish off the look – which I have NOT done in these pictures).

Neon Gradient Nails

I found previously with my blue ombre nails that adding glitter really helped pull the look together, so I wanted to try that here too.

Using Orly’s Winter Wonderland (a clear/white glitter) I added a thin top coat to all of my nails.

Glitter Gradient Nails Tutorial

After this, my pink and purple glitter gradient nails were all done.

How To: Gradient NailsGradient Nails Tutorial

I would love to hear what you guys think!!  Have you already tried this nail technique?  Or do you think you will?

Pink and Purple Gradient Nails with Glitter

Thanks for reading everyone – hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!



Gradient Nails with Glitter

13 responses

  1. Love em!

    April 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

  2. Wow its so clever how you do that. Think im in love with ombre nails…..

    April 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    • Hey thank you for commenting! Using the sponge technique is so easy and fast, I think I will be doing a lot more of these! I am already thinking about the next colors i’m going to do!

      April 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      • cool. maybe you could do contrasting colours or something? or something with metallics? 🙂

        April 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm

  3. I tried out ombré nails last week and decided I love them! I followed a tutorial by the beauty department though, and their technique was slightly different to yours – they moistened the makeup brush (which works really well), and applied both colors onto it… Was intresting comparing techniques, maybe you should give the alternative a go too?

    Tutorial I followed

    April 23, 2012 at 3:43 am

    • Very interesting! I know there are a billion ways of doing this and I’m always up for exploring new avenues. Thank you!

      April 23, 2012 at 6:56 am

  4. Looks great on you! Personally I’m loving Purple Panic, I need that one!

    April 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    • Thanks Tina! Yeah, Purple Panic is actually one of the first China Glaze polishes I ever bought, I just hate it’s name! IT’S NOT PURPLE! 😉

      April 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm

  5. Pingback: White and Green Shimmer Gradient Nails « eyemasq

  6. Pingback: Pink, purple and glitter ombre nails. « littleredthoughts

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