Manicure Mania, Pt. III: Glitter Gradient

And so we continue with the mayhem that is Mani MANIA! Next up is a look that's incredibly easy to do and guaranteed to get the nod of approval (or even the ole eyebrow-raise of astonishment) from all of your pals: The Glitter Gradient.

First, pictures:

And now, here's how to do your own Glitter Gradient.

  • I first had to comb through my Stash for some good glitter / base color combos. You'll need to do the same. What we're trying to achieve is a pairing that is pleasing to the eye — but it can't be too matchy-matchy or else the glitter fade will be difficult to detect. Nor can it be too contrasty; too distracting. Eventually, I settled on two polishes that looked great together: ORLY Pixie Dust, a lavender-gray hybrid with teensy specks of silver microglitter, and Nubar Pink Glitter, a pretty shade of pink that's more sparkling rosé than bubblegum.
  • Next, I did my usual Essie base coat, followed by two coats of ORLY Pixie Dust. I let the polish dry down a little and watched a scintillating half hour of Pawn Stars. (That show gets me every time!!)
  • And now, the fun part. GLITTAH. Do not shake the bottle. With a lot of glitters, you'll notice that the glitter sinks ever-so-slightly, leaving the bottom of the bottle very dense with glitter and the upper part of the bottle with fewer glitter particles. Carefully remove the brush from the bottle. We want to dip into the very top of the polish, the part that is mostly clear polish with only some bits of glitter here and there.
  • Then, paint about 75% of your nail with this diluted glitter formula. Don't go straight across; kind of move your brush like a zizag at the top, to avoid a clear line of demarcation between glitter and no-glitter on your nail.
  • Okay, now give that bottle a decent shake (like how you'd shake a bottle of milk). This will stir up the glitter and give you a more concentrated glitter mixture to paint with. Now paint 50% of your nails with this shaken-not-stirred polish. Use the same zigzag strategy.
  • One more step! Shake, shake, SHAKE. I mean really shake it (like when you were in second grade, and you brought in small glass baby food jars and added cream and then shook it the entire day to make butter). Get the glitter as mixed up as you can! This will give you GLITTERO MAXIMO. Paint just the tips of your nails, say the bottom 25%.
  • Top it off with your favorite top coat and BAM! Sparkle fingers FTW!

sparkleandshine, Francesca