How to Do Gradient Nails

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A gradient effect is the gradual fading of one shade or color into another and serves as a stylish and colorful nail design. As professional as it may look, it can be done at home with a few basic nail supplies and polishes. The great thing about this nail design is that you can customize it to your liking; experiment with different colors, glitter polish or even add rhinestones or nail art stickers for extra glamor and shine.

Things You'll Need

  • Base coat polish
  • Light-colored nail polish
  • Dark-colored nail polish
  • Top coat polish

Step 1

Apply one layer of base coat to clean, dry nails. Let the base coat completely dry.

Step 2

Apply two coats of light-colored nail polish to nails. Wait about 5 minutes between coats and let dry for approximately 15 minutes.

Step 3

Apply a coat of the dark-colored polish from the tip to about a quarter way down the length of your nail. Make sure to not paint any farther than this in order to create a strong gradient effect.

Step 4

Apply a coat of the top coat polish to your nails while the dark polish is still wet. Make sure to paint inward toward your cuticles, all the way down the length of your nails. At this point, the top coat should be fading and blending the dark polish into the lighter one. Wait 20 to 30 minutes for your nails to completely dry.

Step 5

Apply another coat of top coat polish to your nails to seal in your design and prevent chipping.

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