Sunday, December 14, 2014

How To: Easy Polka Dot Gradient Nail Art

It's no secret that I looove gradients, but I haven't quite found my stride yet with technique. Today's nail look was possibly the easiest. Gradient. EVER. It's such a simple technique that I almost didn't blog it, but I absolutely love the outcome, so here it is, complete with instructions on how to turn any polish into a perfect polka dot gradient.

I started with my base polish. This time it was Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Peach of Cake. Pretty, huh? I think I needed something bright and cheerful. This and a Sally Hansen french tip white polish are the only polishes I used. FYI, the photo above is a much better representation of the actual color than the tutorial pics below (yay natural lighting!).

Once I had a nice clean base, I made my next color- still Peach of Cake, but one shade lighter by adding a drop of white. I mixed that and dotted on two lines of dots at the base of the nail.

Then I did it again.

 And one more time.

And I was done! I gave it a few minutes to dry, then topped liberally with Julep Oxygen Performance Topcoat (I used Oxygen Basecoat here, too). One more look at the finished result:

Oooh! Ahhh!

I kid you not, this is so gorgeous. This polish is one that I have a weird love/hate relationship with depending on the lighting and my mood, but I haven't had anything but mad adoration for this mani. You could easily use this technique to create progressively lighter dots with almost any polish, or with a darker color instead of white to create a reversed effect on a light polish. Don't use black to darken the shade-I learned the hard way that it just creates an ugly, muddy version of your polish. Instead, choose a darker version of the same color and mix it in one drop at a time (for example, if your base color was baby pink, add a magenta polish to it for your dots). I did two layers of dots in each shade, but you could adjust that to your nail length and the preferred size and distance between your dots. I used a small/medium dotting tool, but a toothpick or bobby pin would work fine as well.

I already have ideas on other colors that would go well with this easy nail art look, perfect for all skill levels. You gotta try this!

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