Tuesday, July 23, 2013

No Sponge Required: Spotted Syrup Gradient

Good morning! Today I have some deceptively simple nail art for you. It's a gradient, but without a sponge! Perfect for those of you that don't want to spend the time fussing with tools, cleanup, and blending, or for ladies that are intimidated by the sponged version and want to try something easier first.

I got this idea from Rebecca Likes Nails, who used the jellies from the China Glaze Sunsational collection to create a gradient. GENIUS -- be sure to check out her tutorial! Next, the technique was picked up by Kayla Shevonne. I know Polish Insomniac has been a fan of this style, too!



Basically all this involves is using a jelly polish to create varying coverage, with the greatest amount of coats at the nail tip.

For this particular look I began with a base of 3 coats of China Glaze You Drive Me Coconuts.
Then, using the polish brush and China Glaze Are You Jelly? I painted on one, two, three, and four coats, with the fourth coat being the shortest and ending closest to the nail tip. (Again, if you're confused, stop by Rebecca's post. It's hard to explain and she has a great visual aid!)

You may be saying, "That sure sounds like a lot of coats Sarah." And yeah, technically it is. But these polishes are sheer and thin, so they definitely build well without getting thick. Truly, this didn't feel any thicker than my normal manicures. Winning!


To finish off the look, I added one coat of Maybelline Clearly Spotted. There are three reasons for this.

Reason #1: I love black and white glitter.
Reason #2: I had just purchased it and was eager to use it!
Reason #3 (the most important one): Putting something over the top of the gradient disguises the fact that the gradients created with this technique aren't as smooth as the ones that are sponged. Nothing wrong with that though, the time and mess trade offs are huge.


I am obsessed with the way this turned out. I imagine most of the China Glaze Sunsational jellies would work brilliantly for this and I will be trying out some more combinations soon! Thanks for the inspiration, Rebecca!


The China Glaze Sunsational collection is available this month at fine salons and beauty supply stores nationwide, & I picked up the Maybelline at Walgreens.

What do you think? Have you ever tried a syrup gradient?
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34 comments

  1. Love this! Any other suggestions for color combos that would work well? I'm bad at putting together matching colors. ;)

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  2. Gorgeous! Too bad I don't have that many jellies :c

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  3. So pretty! Great combo and the glitter just finishes it off really well :)

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  4. Hmm, I think it just depends on what jelly colors you own! I really want to try a syrup gradient with lime green and Revlon Royal (royal blue jelly).

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  5. Sounds like the perfect excuse to go shopping! :)

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  6. Black and white glitter makes everything better! ;)

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  7. I'm getting that glitter TODAY. I'm sure Lynnderella's having a fit that Maybelline "stole" her idea. Mwhaha! ;)

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  8. Julie McCulloughJuly 23, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Oh I so totally love this! Thanks for posting!

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  9. this combo is soooo gorgeous. i really need to get this collection, stat.

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  10. I love this! No masking, no messy spounge and it looks amazing!

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  11. Gorgeous mani! I love the colors you used together.

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  12. omg looks so stuuning...the colors blew me away!

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  13. Seneca GreenstreetJuly 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    I definitely need to try this!

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  14. Such a stunning gradient ! You just made me want to buy those China Glazes ;)

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  15. LOVE this!!! I need to get some of these Jellies too.....great job :)

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  16. So pretty! I love the glitter over the bright gradient.

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  17. Love this look, love jellies, and love easy nail art! Total must try for me!

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  18. I was thinking maybe blue and teal.. :)

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  19. This looks awesome!! I have to try it! And maybe pick up a couple jellies from the Sunsational collection... :) Thanks for sharing!

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  20. so amazing nails. I love them

    http://glitterana.blogspot.com

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  21. LittleMonsterx14July 24, 2013 at 5:29 AM

    this is amazing!!

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  22. I love them. I follow you. Kisses ^^

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  23. I was inspired by this!! I mentioned this post in my blog here: http://nailsss.blogspot.com/2013/07/no-sponge-gradient-essie-lilacism-and.html

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  24. This. Is. STUNNING! PERFECT! Woah!

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  25. Victoria - manicuratorAugust 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    I will definitely be trying a jelly gradient soon, it's been on my "to do" list. These look amazing!

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  27. Is this the same "gel" that you need to cure in a lamp "oven" after each coat of polish and then remove with pure acetone soak instead of just using nail polish remover? Thanks much for explanation.

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  28. I have that glitter! ^_^

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