Today's NOTD is a simple pink gradient with some silver glitter as an accent. Because glitter makes everything better, right?
I did not take step-by-step pictures of the process, however I will tell you how I achieved this look. So it's a semi-tutorial. This assumes you know about sponging and pigment/glitter dusted methods. If you are not familiar, click here for the sponging tutorial, and click here for the pigment/glitter dusted tutorial.
Prep your nails as normal for a gel polish manicure up to and including curing your gel base coat.
Step 1: Apply 1 coat of SensatioNail "Crystal Avalanche" to the entire nail, and cure completely.
Step 2: Beginning about 1/3 down the nail from the cuticle, apply SensatioNail "Pink Chiffon" all the way down to the free edge. You don't want to start this color at the cuticle - leave room for the third shade to go there. Using a *sponge that is very lightly dampened with rubbing alcohol (gel cleanser), sponge the color from the tip just a bit, to about 1/3 of the way down the nail. Cure this coat for 30 seconds. (If using a gel polish other than SensatioNail, use half the usual cure time for that polish.) Repeat this step, but this time when you sponge the color from the tip, make sure you are only sponging the very edge. Cure for 30 seconds.
* - As opposed to the type of sponge shown in the sponging tutorial, when I do gel gradients I use sponges that are typically used for makeup application that are squishy and kind of "foam" like; they come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are usually sold by the cotton balls. I find these ones work best with the gel polish.
Step 3: With SensatioNail "Tease Me Pink", apply a thin coat starting at the cuticle and extend this color so that it just barely overlaps where "Pink Chiffon" begins. Use the sponge to lightly blend out the color at this point. Cure for 30 seconds. Repeat this step, but the second time apply "Tease Me Pink" so that it overlaps "Pink Chiffon" a bit further, about half way down the nail. Sponge to blend, and cure for 30 seconds.
Step 4: Again take "Tease Me Pink" to just barely overlap "Pink Chiffon" and sponge to blend out the color to the desired look. Dust fine silver glitter from the cuticle. I used silver glitter from the craft department, but if you have nail art specific glitter you want to use, that's fine. Do not worry about cleaning up any excess glitter left on your fingers right now. Cure for 1 full minute. I like to add an extra minute of curing at this point to be certain that all the layers to this point have cured fully, but I'm not sure the extra time is truly necessary, honestly.
Step 5: Use a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol (gel cleanser) to remove the excess glitter from your fingers so there's no more loose glitter. If you don't do this, you will wind up with glitter in your top coat.
Step 6: Apply gel top coat. Cure for the time indicated on your top coat of choice. Use rubbing alcohol (gel cleanser) to remove the moisture layer.
Sit back and admire your gorgeous nails!
You can of course do this with any colors you like, and the glitter is completely optional. But this is the method I think works best for gel polish gradients. If you have success with another method, feel free to use that method instead.
Don't forget to clean out your sponge afterward - rinse it well with rubbing alcohol then wash with warm soapy water, rinse well and let it dry. You can get numerous uses from the sponge this way before you need to get a fresh sponge.