The single-nail style of gradient manicure has been making the rounds on nail blogs recently—thanks in part to its simple application method (I swear!) and its endless colour possibilities. It’s also a favourite of L.A.-based nail artist Madeline Poole, whose cheery sunset-ish designs will convince anyone to make this her next manicure. And when it comes to translating spring’s underwater trend into nail art, what could be better than a deep blue to foamy white gradient? Peter Pilotto’s aquatic print—as well as the illustration that accompanied it in our March issue—served as the perfect Nail Corner inspiration. Time to break out a makeup sponge and find out how to do this manicure!
Photographed by Gabor Jurina. Illustrated by Lewis Mirrett. Styled by Susie Sheffman.
To do a single nail gradient, you’ll need three things: nails polish, a makeup sponge, and a small brush for removing any errant polish once you’ve finished painting. I recommend using at least three shades of nail polish that sit in the same colour range—a dark, a medium, and a light shade. Start by painting your entire nail the lightest colour and let it dry for a few minutes. Then, paint the second-lightest colour directly onto the pointed tip of a makeup sponge and dab the colour onto your nail—leave the tip bare but cover the rest of the nail. (You’ll probably need to reapply polish to the sponge for each nail as it absorbs quickly!) Repeat this step with each shade of polish, always leaving a bit of the previous colour visible. Don’t worry if you get some polish on your skin, just use a small paintbrush dipped in acetone to remove it once you’re done. Finally, I finished this design by adding a few graphic bubbles with a dotting tool, and then glossed it all up with a shiny topcoat.
Polishes used:<br />
<b>Nars</b> nail polish in “Kutki” (<i>$21, <a href=“http://www.narscosmetics.ca/color/nails/”>narscosmetics.ca</a>, available May 2012</i>)<br />
<b>Nars</b> nail polish in “Koliary” (<i>$21, <a href=“http://www.narscosmetics.ca/color/nails/”>narscosmetics.ca</a>, available May 2012</i>)<br />
<b>Revlon</b> nail enamel in “Surf” (<i>$6 at drug stores</i>)<br />
<b>Essence</b>e Colour and Go nail polish “Walk on Air” (<i>$2, at Shoppers Drug Mart</i>)<br />
<b>CND</b> nail polish in “Midnight Sapphire” (<i>$12, <a href=“http://www.cnd.com/”>cnd.com</a></i>)<br />
<b>Sally Hansen</b> Complete Salon Manicure in “Lavender Cloud” (<i>$8, at drugstores</i>)<br />