My First Gradient Manicure

It was only a matter of time until the ombré craze hit the nail world, and now it seems like gradient manicures are omnipresent on Pinterest. I have seen tutorial after tutorial assure me that it’s just so easy! 

Protip: Pinterest lies.

See, that should have been my tip-off. Whenever something is described as “easy” on Pinterest, you usually need at least two additional hands to pull it off.* Those “oh so simple” hair tutorials (ie, Mermaid Braid variant #4,287) and messy romantic updos often require you to be a contortionist.  So I don’t know why I thought a gradient manicure would actually be easy, but after finding a secret stash of unused wedge sponges while cleaning out my closet, I decided to give it a go.

The colors I chose were Ulta’s Sun of a Gun, a pretty medium orange, and Plumberry by Essie, a raspberry red. I swear that I wasn’t going for another sunset theme– I wanted to do this in a cream to start, and I have very few light cremes. The other option was a teal gradient, but that would require the use of Zoya Neely, which I just had on my nails. I was ready for a change.

First Gradient/Ombre mani - Ulta Sun of a Gun and Essie Plumberry

The first tutorial I tried advised me to paint a base coat of white and then stamp the colors over it. It turned out sooooo splotchy and bad.  So, the second time ’round I painted two coats of Sun of a Gun on the nail, waited for it to dry, and then sponged over Plumberry. The blending point was too stark, so I then picked up more orange and smoothed it out.  The result:

First Gradient/Ombre mani - Ulta Sun of a Gun and Essie Plumberry First Gradient/Ombre mani - Ulta Sun of a Gun and Essie Plumberry

Not tooooo terrible. I think the camera is being rather kind here, because they’re not quite as smooth in real life, and there’s a nail on my left hand that’s a total travesty. But there is potential, once I get the technique down.

*The exception that proves the rule? Pinterest told me that melting Nutella and coconut oil together makes a tasty magic shell topping for ice cream in under 2 minutes. That ish is DELICIOUS.

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