Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Greyscale Gradient with Illamasqua and A England

I was rather ambitious with my first attempt at a gradient.  Ever since I found myself in possession of a grey polish, I'd been quietly aching to do a monochrome mani; so instead of doing something with tape, I decided to go all out and try my hand at a gradient.

I used Illamasqua Scorch, Color Combos CBL115 (from a Sasa in Hong Kong) and A England Camelot.  I started by painting my nails with two coats of Scorch (it was still a little streaky at two coats, but that's okay since I was covering it up) then let that dry for about ten minutes.  Then I put some tape around my nails to keep the polish off my skin.

I then chopped a bit off a makeup sponge and painted the black, grey and white polishes straight onto the sponge.  (Some time I'll get around to trying the Nailasaurus' swirly method and see if that makes the gradient any smoother).

I finished off with a coat of Cult Nails Wicked fast top coat - I had to be careful not to smudge the darker colours back onto the white, even after leaving it to dry for a while.  I achieved this by using a generous amount of top coat while 'floating' the brush over the nail and not dragging it through the polish.

I was actually quite pleased about how this turned out - the most annoying thing was clean up.  Despite the tape, I still got quite a bit (i.e. heaps) of polish on my fingers as it was difficult to get the gradient onto the very sides of my nails without squooshing polish everywhere.  To clean up, I used a cotton bud dipped in remover and an angled eyeliner brush to get the bits closer to my nails.

Overall, my first foray into gradients was a reasonable success and I love the cloudy, rainstorm look this gives my nails!  (I think it'd be nice with some silver glitter dabbed somewhere as well...)

Notes on wear time and removal: I wore this mani for four days with minimal tipwear (in the form of the black gradient wearing back a little to reveal white at the tips) and I only got one chip late on the fourth day.  No issues with removal.

Base & top coat:Base - OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Illamasqua Scorch - two coats
Color Combos CBL115 - sponged
A England Camelot - sponged


  1. Nice work! I can say from experience that the swirly method does result in a smoother gradient. I also find that it tends to work better if you use less of the dark colour, that way if it's too light, you can just dab more on as opposed to having too much and not being able to do anything about it.You did pretty well considering that the black/white gradient is one of the hardest to do!

    1. The swirly method sounds like it'll be a bit more time and effort to do, but if it'll give me a better result, I guess it's worth it. Thanks for your tips, anon!


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