For some reason gradients are a go to for me. They feel easy and look amazing even if your clean up isn't 100% on point (which mine is not). My biggest pet peeve is having to clean so far from the cuticle to get clean lines but, eh, life moves on.
My gradient tips:
- I use a standard makeup sponge triangle. I cut it in half and then in half again to get a surface about the size of my nail. It's easiest to line up this way.
- I start with my middle color in the center and work out with my colors for even application of color. For this look I have (from base to tip) Orly Liquid Vinyl, China Glaze City Siren, Julep Jackie, Sinful Colors Anemone, and China Glaze Peachy Keen. I HIGHLY recommend when starting out on gradients to use 2-3 colors. It's a challenge even for me to get 5-6 colors on one nail.
- For brighter colors use a base of white. I used OPI Alpine as it's a squishy white so it doesn't play with some of the sheerer colors like Julep Jackie.
- I will usually go over my gradient twice. So I load up my colors, sponge (sponge on straight and then daub up and down slightly to mix the colors), then I load and repeat. I use one sponge for each hand.
- I don't ever wet my sponge first. I've read this as tip, but I find it messes with color intensity and dry time so I don't do it. Ever.
- Finally I finished my look here with China Glaze Fairy Dust. I don't always finish with a glitter topper and this is NOT what mixes the colors together. The daub up and down with the sponge is what does it. But it's a nice touch don't you think? ;)