Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sponge Gradient Mini Tutorial & Winter Wonderland!

 Since I've moved to Florida and it's been 75-85 degrees every day, it doesn't really feel like the Holiday season to me!
I figured I would do a snowflake design to try to invoke some holiday spirit hehe
Here is my version of a Winter Wonderland!
 Indoor shot with flash.
Outdoor shot, natural sunlight.
I achieved this Winter Wonderland look by doing a dark/light blue sponge gradient, a coat of multicolored glitter and then hand painting each snowflake on top with acrylic paint and a tiny brush :)
This isn't a traditional tutorial but I think it can be explained pretty easily!

What I used, in order from lightest to darkest:
- Essie "Ballet Slippers"
- Essie "Bikini So Teeny"
- Sinful Colors "Aquamarine"
- China Glaze "Sexy in the City"
- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear "Disco Ball" for the glitter
- Seche Clear base & Seche Vite topcoat

I am not that great at doing sponge gradients, but here is a brief explanation of how I do it:
 1. Choose whatever colors you want to do a fade, it can be anything but I find it easier to do a gradient of 1 color since it will blend easier.
2. Cut a nail-sized piece of a make up sponge.  I use the wedge shaped ones and cut off a corner.
3. Use any base coat, let it dry.
4. Paint 2 thin coats of the LIGHTEST color from the fade & allow to fully dry.
I used a coat of Seche Vite fast drying topcoat to speed this up!
5.  Paint a stripe of each color across the sponge in the order of however you'd like the gradient to go.
6.  Dab the sponge in an up-and-down motion along the length of the nail.
It will look kinda crappy at first, but the more you dab it, the better the colors will blend.
7.  It's damn near impossible to do a sponge gradient without getting polish all over your cuticle/skin, so don't be alarmed if you are making a royal mess!
Once you are happy with your gradient, and you've finished off with a topcoat, you can begin your cuticle cleanup!
Simply dip a clean, small paint brush or cotton swab in nail polish remover and swish it around a bit to clean up your cuticles.
Be sure to avoid getting any on the design, so you don't ruin it.

*If your colors are a little light, just repeat steps 5 & 6 until the desired color is achieved!*
I went over these about 3 or 4 times before I was finally happy with the colors, so please don't be discouraged.

Here is the gradient pre-snowflakes..  I'm really not great at it but it makes a good enough background!
If you'd like to try to hide some of the imperfections in your gradient, it's great to use a small/fine glitter topcoat.. it will help the colors to appear more blended and smooth! :)



  1. Wow, super awesome! I painted my nails yesterday.. and smudged it ><
    x, Lara

    1. I hate that :( The best thing is fast-dry topcoat no smudges hehe

  2. very cool nails! adore!

    Inside and Outside Blog
    P.S. I'm hosting a glasses giveaway on my blog here check it out!

    P.P.S. love your blog and following you now

  3. Oh My God it's too hot. I am having pretty much cold here in my area :)
    These nails are awesome! I can feel some cold from them hehe :)


  4. Great , I am enjoying winter and this is a perfect winter art :D

  5. So far, Lauren, I think this is my most favorite design of yours. It's so pretty and lovely! Really awesome! Love it! :)

    I'd like to invite you to participate as well in my very first Blog giveaway (^_^)
    #ChaiChenGiveaways (International)
    Chai's December Birthday Bash - 1st Giveaway!
    Win shoes, clothing, and accessories worth around $88 from Asianvogue Shop, FlauntPH, and Bedazzle Accessories!


    1. Thanks so much Chai! I will check out the giveaway! :D

  6. Thanks for the tutorial! Your nails are awesome as usual! So much detail in the snowflakes! I could never do that!

  7. I'll have to try this once my nails get longer!


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