Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tutorial: Beach Gradient!

Here is a summer manicure for you. I think this one would be particularly cute for kids. Enjoy! 

What You Need

Sand Colored Polish (American Apparel California Trooper)
Lighter sand colored polish (American Apparel Cotton)
Aqua colored polish (China Glaze Hey Audrey)
Medium-dark blue polish (Sally Hansen Pacific Blue)
Orange-red or coral-red Polish (Sinful Color Thimbleberry)
Fine brush for cleanup with acetone
cotton swabs
Makeup sponges

Dotting (with dotting tools or toothpicks)

What You Do
  1. One coat of sand colored polish. I used California Trooper by American Apparel.
  2. Add a second coat of sand-colored polish. Allow to dry. 
  3. Get ready to do your sand and water gradient. I used almost white (American Apparel Cotton), sand (American Apparel California Trooper), aqua (China Glaze Hey Audrey), and cornflower blue (Sally Hansen Pacific Blue). If you want a little assistance with how to do the gradient, I recommend you look at this awesome tutorial by Nailasaurus. Girl has skillz. Yes, her skills are so good, they get a "z." I modified her formula slightly: instead of painting a stripe of the last color of the gradient, I dotted it. 
  4. Behold your pre-cleanup gradient in all its messy glory. 
  5. Behold it from another angle. 
  6. Do some cleanup using a cotton swab dipped in acetone for the larger areas around the nail. Use a brush dipped in acetone for the area very close to the nail. This will let you get nice, clean lines without ruining your design. 
  7. Add a topcoat. I recommend Seche Vite. 
  8. Using toothpicks, freehand a tiny starfish using a coral-red. Think of making each arm of the starfish like a tiny comma with the dots all in the center. Practice it a few time on a piece of paper or tin foil before you do it on your nail. 
  9. Paint another layer of topcoat on the nails that you added the starfish design. 

I hope you like it! :)


  1. Love this sooooo much. Trying it tonight for an upcoming challenge post.

    1. Thanks, Sue! I'd love to see photos of your beach mani! If you think of it, send one to :)


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