Sunday, March 13, 2016

Staggered Gradient | Nail Art Tutorial

We're going to be working on what I'm calling a staggered gradient,and while I know it's possible I'm unintentionally copying someone, I'vepersonally never seen a design quite like this before. It is possible I thinkto do this with tape, but I used my Miracle Mat, and if you'd like to seeexactly how I did it, just stay tuned! As I'm starting out I haven't done anythingwith my nails they're just naked right now, and I'm going to be doing the gradient righton my Miracle Mat.The nail polish I'm using is all Colors by Llarowe. This darkest blue is called Sir Purr,this next blue is called Thunder Shake, then we have KP, and all three of thosewere from their Football Fever collection. And then this lightest blue Ihave is Arturo. I'm going to be sponging with a makeup sponge. Usually when Isponge I apply along the shorter side because it's kind of similar length to my nail,but since I want to have extra length to create that staggered effect, 

I'm actuallygoing to be applying the polish along the long side, and just going to create one longgradient on the Miracle Mat.So, I sponged until this was pretty much opaque, and it is actually mostly dry, andI tested it at the edges and it's peeling up OK, but it feels kind of fragileso, just to make sure that I don't break it when I peel it up, I'm going to go aheadand add a layer of top coat over the whole thing.While that's drying I'm going to go ahead and base coat my nails.Today I'm going to be using my favorite Gripper, which is discontinuedBecause I think I do want to wear this for a while, since it is such a kind of labor-intensivemanicure You can use whichever base coat you prefer.OK, I let this dry a good 15-20 minutes.Now I'm over here at the edge, and I'm just using my little cuticle tool tokind of get the edge started here, 

I was going to use my tweezers and then I thought this mightwork better. Get enough to get a grip, and then gently peel the whole thing off.Hell yeah. OK.I was kind of nervous about that part. So, now I have one big long strip of gradient.And I think just to make it a little easier to work with I'm going to cut it into three pieces,just with a pair of scissors.And stick two of the pieces off to the side.And I probably could have, and should have, cut this a little straighter.

I want to get it straight up and down here.And then what I'm going to do is cut some very narrow strips of gradientIn fact, even this one here is a little bit wide for what I'm wanting to do with it ,which is going to be to stripe them on my nail.So, I'm going to try and get that a little thinner,and yeah, just continue to cut the whole thing into little strips.OK, so I've got a pile of little polish strips,off to the side,and I managed to get most of them pretty much the same size,not quite as thin as I wanted them, which was like striping tape thin, butworkable, and I really debated on whether Iwanted to use a base color, but I decided they didn't want anything nonholographic peeking through. So on top of my regular base coat I'm just using a plainclear polish, I'm actually using Sally Hansen Invisible. 

A quick dry polish may dry too quicklyfor you actually do anything with. And then I'm going to be picking up each strip with a tweezer. Ifyou want to try and do it by handyou're welcome to. I'm thinking and hoping a tweezer will be easier. And, I'm just going to start off in pretty much the middle my nail, and lay the first strip down there.And I'm aiming kind of just for the center of the gradient, kind of the mid blues. Andthen right next to it, I'm going to grab another strip.And I'm going to put that down at a slightly different place in the gradient, so that you get alittle bit of a stagger to the colors. And I want that to lay down on the nail right next to thatfirst strip. 

And if your clear polish begins to dry, or is not sticky enough, you cango ahead and add a little bit more. You want to make sure that the strips are pretty close to each other, or at least that they are even overlapping so that you don't see any bare nail underneath. This one I'm going to place a little bit further up yet.And, actually I think I'm going to grab an orange stick here to help me get this into position.Just kind of press it flat to my nail. Like that.And get one more to finish off on the edge over here.This one under stagger downwards a bit, and then press into place with an orange stick. One thing I do want to mention, at least with these colors, is that there is quitea difference between the top of the gradient and the bottom of the gradient. And I'mthinking the bottom will probably gloss up when you put some top coat onit, but you may just want to stick with using all the same side, if that makes sense.So. I think I actually could get in a little closer here.

 I'm going to finish off this side ofthe nail, and then then I'm going to trim off the edges, and I think I may come back and talk through that part. So, for these overhanging edges you have a couple of options. I'm going to go ahead at least atthe tip and just go with a small pair of scissors and trim it off. You could also use like a pair of cuticlenippers, or I've seen people even just kind of go around the edges with an orangestick, and kind of press and break it off. And I think especially if I had skippedthat layer of top coat that these strips would definitely be fragile enough for that towork fairly easily. Once you do get it fairly close to your nail, you can go in with your cleanup brush and some acetone and finishcleaning up the edges.That's just going to - sorry, kind of distracted here, this is the first one I'm doing -you know, like I said just kind of neaten up the edges, get a nice smile line in there,and can also help it to stick down, if you're having any problems with itsticking down. If you have a bunch left at the tip you can also kind of get that with yourclean up brush. 

And then once I've done all my nails of course finish it off with0another layer of top coat. So, going to show you that process on a couple more nails, and then7finish off with a top coat.0So, here is the finished manicure and you guys know I get really excited when something turnsout 6just like in my head, and that's definitely the case here.0I'm like 99% happy with how this manicure turned out.3I think the thumbs are some of my favorite nails.7And, if you don't have a Miracle Mat, there are several other silicone mats currently on the market. 4You can use any of those, you could use a silicone baking mat, or even a thick piece of plastic 1like I used in my Wired Manicure tutorial. But, I'm definitely looking forward to hearing whatyou guys think 9of this manicure. Please let me know down in the comments. I'm looking forward to5trying this with some other color combinations, and maybe with some more intention in the1design. I tried to keep this kind of pretty random. No two nails are really the same.8And, I also think this same technique will be an alternative for doing reciprocal gradients. Maybe not 6necessarily easier, but I'm going to give it a try. I think especially for colors2that maybe are difficult to sponge over each other, it will create a cleaner look.

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