I apologise for the yellow light in my bathroom everyone! This post (because of how awful the colour seems to look) is more about the technique than what it looks like at this point.
This was my first successful gradient ever and when I completed it I was so proud of myself, I couldn't stop smiling. After seeing such amazing photos of what others have done, the dismal turnouts I had before were not satisfying. At. All. I recently purchased my first set of Nicole OPI polishes and decided to put my shimmer polishes to good use.
I used Barry M Navy, which is a beautiful deep blue, that has an extra dimension of pretty when it shines in the light. Navy is probably my favourite blue polish that I own currently and only needs two coats for opacity. The Nicole OPI polishes are Yellow It's Me and Iceberg Lotus. Iceberg Lotus is a glitter duochrome, that shimmers blue or green depending on the light. Whereas Yellow It's Me has a much more subtle orange shimmer to it. I have to say, of the two I think I like the yellow polish better. I haven't actually done individual swatches of these two so I don't know how many coats is needed for opacity. From looking at the contents of the bottles I assume that it would only take two coats for Iceberg Lotus but seeing as Yellow It's Me is much more sheer, it definitely should take a few more coats for opacity.
Now onto technique. I used a base coat of course, then layered one-two coats of Yellow It's Me. Once dry I taped around my nails to reduce the mess (I'm so glad I did this. It does not create a minor mess) around the edges of my nails. Next, I painted polish directly onto the piece of sponge I had with me. I placed a decent amount of polish in each section and made sure to overlap the edges of two colours. Once I did that I dabbed it onto the nail. Sometimes with a rolling motion, other times just dabbing in order to get the gradient I wanted. I did one coat, then waited for it to dry, then followed with a second coat.
While my clean up around the edges is less than perfect (I'm awful at removing polish) and the yellow lighting in my bathroom does not make my nail colour look amazing, I'm still super proud of how my Gradient nails turned out. This is definitely the first step in becoming a Gradient pro. XD