8 Aug 2012

Illamasqua Gradient Glitter Tutorial

Hey all!

Today I am going to be using 4 of my new Illamasqua polishes in a gradient with glitter tips mani, but I also decided to photograph my process which I learnt off Sam who runs The Nailasaurus blog. Her nail art and tutorials are amazing, go check them out!

The tutorial after the jump!

Ok! First off we need to pick our colours! I grabbed Illamasqua 'Throb' a blood red, 'Boosh' a glossy black, 'Spartan' a gold/silver glitter mix in a clear base and 'Untold' a red glitter in a clear base.

'Boosh', 'Untold', 'Spartan' and 'Throb'

Start of with nice clean nails and since we are doing the black/red gradient first we want to paint our lightest colour on first. Apply a coat of your base red colour. 'Throb' is a beautiful 1 coater blood red.

Let's get started!

mmm... Juicy
Next up grab your black and red polish as well as some sponge. The sponge can be any type, tear it up into pieces so you have a rough surface, if it's smooth it wont work well. I use latex makeup sponges and one side is smooth, so I cut them in half and use the rough cut part. Put a couple of drops of each polish onto your surface just touching one another.

Let's get messy!!

Just touching!
Some people like to mix where the 2 polish colours touch, but I don't feel the need to. Grab your sponge and plonk it down on the polish, sponging it a few times to pick up the polish. Now the fun part..  line up the sponge with the cuticle and go for it. I've found that if you dont use enough polish and are to gentle/tentative with sponging the polish it wont work, you have to put aside your fear of screwing up and just do it. Only sponge onto the nail 4-5 times or you will start to pick up the polish off the nail.

It's working!
Ok now continue on all your other nails.

It's coming along nicely
Now you must wait a few minutes until doing the process again. You need the polish to dry so when you sponge on more polish it doesnt pull it off. When it's dry to touch your good to go. Depending on what colours your using you can repeat the process as many times as you like to get a nice even gradient.

After round 2
Woo! Sparkle time! Grab your glitter polishes and repeat a similar process. Put a couple of drops down on your surface, but this time you want to mix them. I mixed mine with a bobby pin.

Now instead of doing this at the top of the nail, do it just to the tips, gently working your way up to the middle of the nail. As you can see I tried to do a red to gold gradient over the top but it didn't work so I just mixed the two and applied it to the tips.

Opps! Made a boo boo

Much better!
Yay pretty! Clean up time! Grab a q-tip and dip it into some nail polish remover or acetone. I can't use acetone because of my acrylic nails so my clean up isn't fantastic.

Yay nice and clean!
Last step! Apply 2 coats of your fave top coat to give it a nice glassy shine and to protect all your hard work! Be prepared for people "oooh"ing and "aaaah"ing over your nails. Enjoy your brand new awesome mani!




Oh my!

If you enjoyed this tutorial and this manicure or have any other ideas for manis you'd like to see me do, let me know in the comments!


  1. Awesome tutorial! :) I love the shape of your nails. Mine are so round and I don't really know how to get them strong enough to grow out to long claws.

    1. ^_^ Thanks. I wish my natural nails where strong enough to grow out, one day I might decide to invest the time to start using treatments to try get them nice ad strong, but for now it's acrylics :P

    2. I had acrylics once but I had to soak them all off because one finger hurt like a $@*#£¥! When I got them off I discovered that the tip had bent and cracked my nail in half down to the flesh in the nail bed. That explained the pain.

      I kind of swore off acrylics after that. :( My natural nail is not particularly attractive. Hence the name Stubby Nubbins.