Gradient Galore

TGIF!!!!! I am just as excited about the weekend coming up as I am about sharing today’s post with you!!!

You know when you spot a manicure, like it, and ponder up ways on how to recreate it… but epically fail time after time?

Such was my story of woe with the Gradient Manicure… many-a failed attempt… until Sam from The Nailasaurus shared  THIS TUTORIAL.  Sam is a master at all things NAILS: freehand, stamping, gems and studs, and now SPONGED GRADIENTS!!!!

Thanks to Sam I am well on my way to mastering this sponged gradient manicure, and I hereby would like to dedicate this post to Sam! ;)

(get it? NailaSAURUS… and my prop… a Dino-SAURUS ;) )

Following Sam’s tutorial, I started out with one nearly-opaque coat of Sally Hansen Green Tea.

I then dipped my sponge in the ‘advised mixture’ of the lighter Green Tea and the darker shade, SOPI Ocean Love Potion.

I really was quite happy with the creamy gradient… and then, Cult Nails Hypnotize Me kept purring at me from my Helmer, then actually whimpering to be part of this gradient; now you tell me, how could I deny it the pleasure? ;) (Plus, many of you Lovely Ladies encouraged me to try it via Twitter and Instagram) :D

ROAR!!!! Thank you Sam for sharing the tutorial that has enabled me to try this style of manicure! This is part of the reason I really like the blogging community- because we share our ideas and offer support and advice.

I’m one happy camper right now!!!

Was/is there a manicure style that you really like but struggle(d) to achieve? Was there something/someone who helped you out?


  • Nailart-Addict

    Yep! You’re totally wright! I also really love the bloggin community to. Thanks to the community I managed to paint my nails properly, do a good clean up, now I figured out how to do a one-stroke nailart and sponge. The only thing I’m still struggling with is marbling my nails. 

    Wow I love your dino! What a cute little thing. And of course I really love your gradient! 

    • Marta

      Hi Nailart-Addict:
      I agree!!! How great is it that we are so willing/eager to share our success stories and show how the look was achieved (rather than hogging the idea/method to ourselves). :D
      LOL… with three kids around the house there isn’t a shortage of toys… this one was on the floor and I had to use it as a prop ;)
      The Watermarbling is a real skill thing… the two things that help me is a small-circumference cup (small is better than large for the polish to spread). Filtered room temp water AND nail polish that is not too thick (I guess those are three things… but I have yet to truly succeed at the watermarble).

      • Nailart-Addict

        Thanks for the tip of the smaller cup. Maybe I need to you a water cup and cut the top of it.

        • Marta

          YES! That is what I did… I took a plastic cup and cut it about 2.5 inches from the base… that helped me get a bit better results… good luck

  • Joanne Proctor

    I agree, because of ladies like yourself and Sammy , I have learned to do things with polish that I would never have attempted :D This mani is wonderful , love the colours and what you did with the dinosaur :D

    • Marta

      Hi Jo,
      Thank you!!!! It is days like these where I feel all warm and fuzzy about belonging to such a great group of bloggers :D
      Thank you!!! (it helps to have loads of toys around for props… and I thought it was a nice tribute to Sam) ;)

  • Carolina Garcia

    I love this manicure, the color combination is perfect. Great job amiga!

    • Marta

      Hi Carolina,
      Thank you!!!!!!!!!

  • PassionForPolish

    Really beautiful gradient!! :)

    • Marta

      Hi PassionForPolish,
      Thank you SO much! :D
      I couldn’t have done this without Sam’s tutorial… it was one that created an “ah-ha” moment for me :D

  • Sammy

    Love this gradient! It has an under the sea feel to it! And of course, the dinosaur is just AWESOME!!

    • Marta

      Hi Sammy,
      Thank you! I’m glad you like the little tribute attempt.
      You really were a source for an AH-HA MOMENT for me! Thanks

  • Angie

    I have yet to try this tecnique for gradients, but keep seeing it around, and can’t wait to try it.  Love what you did with it!

    • Marta

      Hi Angie,
      Thank you!!!! I have seen a few tutorials floating about but Sam’s really looked easy enough to follow and was truly effective.

  • Nuša

    When I saw Sam’s tutorial, I knew I had to try it asap. I’ve been putting off trying to do a sponged mani for so long I’m ashamed. :D 
    Yours turned out amazing, as we all knew it would. One thing we all also knew is you are going to add some glitter to the mani and for sure you did. If comes out so gorgeous! One day I’m gonna steal half of your manicure skills to make myself a little bit better. :D But don’t worry, you’ll still have more than enough left!

    • Marta

      Hi Nusa,
      You know me too well :D Of course I can’t always resist the urge to add glitter ;)
      I followed her tutorial with a makup sponge and it really does work that easily and well :D
      Good luck :D Hope you post on your look :D

  • MariJo Nails

    I love this!!!!  It looks perfect!

    • Marta

      Hi MariJo Nails,
      Thank you!!!! :D

  • Marta

    Hi Candrews6806:
    AWWWW, thanks for your AWESOME comment :D
    I think this is one of those looks that requires a few tries to get ‘right’…
    For this look I used a makeup sponge and dabbed it onto polish on tinfoil (as in Sam’s tutorial). I did find that the makup sponge absorbs a lot of color (and I have read that soaking it in water and squeezing some of the water out helps with this…). Make sure that your base is FULLY dry… and the key is to keep dabbing the sponge onto your nail with an up and down motion (not in the same spot) over and over.
    If you cut the sponge into a smaller piece (I used one that fit my nail 3/4 of the width) you can sort of see off to the sides of the sponge how the gradient is coming along AND you don’t get too much mess on the cuticles.
    OH… I think it helps to NOT have the base covered in a topcoat… topcoats can create glassy slippery surfaces that aren’t ideal for sponging… so sponge on top of a DRY base color.
    I hope these few extra tidbits will help? I am here (and via email) if you have any other questions… I’d be happy to trouble shoot with you :D

  • Lexi Martone

    love the colors you chose! :)

    • Marta

      Hi Lexi,
      Thank you! :D

  • Mary

    Love your gradient manicure – very soft and the transitions are perfect! hahaha, I just love how you posed with a dinosaur! :D

    • Marta

      Hi Mary :D
      I thought it would be a nice tribute to Sam who shared her tutorial :D
      Have you tried this look yet Mary? I bet this would look so pretty in green ;)

  • Deborah


    • Marta

      Hi Deborah,
      Thank you!!!!! :D

  • Poemas poemas


    • Marta

      Hi Poemas Poemas,
      Gracias :D

  • Carmela

    I’m a sucker for anything blue so you know I absolutely adore this! Hypnotize Me definitely takes this to another level. So pretty! (And how simple is that tutorial? I’m totally trying my hand at it, too!)

    • Marta

      Hi Carmela,
      With the help of this tutorial I really enjoyed this look AND have a gazzillion new combos I am itching to try.
      I really like Hypnotize Me… it is such a great color to do glittery tip accents with… I’ve used it before with Hard Candy Sky ;)

  • Ivana

    I’m really loving gradients (wearing another one atm) but that glitter really makes it even more special!

    • Marta

      Hi Ivana,
      Thank you!!! Gradients sure are taking us by storm and I am loving the ride… so many choices and color combos to explore! :D