Gradient Nails Tutorial

Posted on November 24, 2012


I don’t think I’ve ever written or filmed a tutorial for my blog, but there is a first for everything, also, this tutorial is SO easy that I thought it was worth sharing.

During my time in Korea, I made many wonderful friends and one of them, Renee, LOVED to paint her nails; before meeting Renee, I only painted my nails on special occasions, to hide their shabbiness :p However, she taught me one Nail technique that was simple, yet unique and beautiful, that I’ve continued to do so till this day.

Gradient Nails have become very popular in recent memory, and I never thought it was something simple because my brain couldn’t get around the idea of painting your nails, 2 or more colours that seemingly blended into one- I always thought you’d need a special machine like in nail bars. However, I’ve come to discover that all you need is a small make up sponge!

What you will need!

  • A make up sponge; preferably the triangular shaped ones, because you’ll need to use the flat, straight, edge of it. 
  • 2 or more Nail polishes. I’ve found that Glitter nail polishes work best for Gradient nails, whilst other types of polish will need more practice with application, so they seem to blend in better with one another.
  • Base and top coat. Nail polish remover and cotton buds. 


1. Prep your nails by cutting and filing them to your desired length and shape, then apply base coat.

2. Having selected the colours for your nails, you need to paint the colours in the order you want them to appear, on the edge of the make up sponge.

3. Moving across the nail, dab the coloured sponge on the nail. Use a dab-dab motion until the whole nail is covered with the colours.  It’s ok if the nail colour goes into contact with your skin, simply remove with a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover. Any other, stubborn remnants will go away the next day, after washing your hands etc.

4. Wait until the nails dry before applying a 2nd coat in this same dabbing motion.

5. Apply top coat, to bring out the colour more and ta-da, you should now have gradient nails!

Apologies for my bad photography skills! But I hope my tutorial is useful to you, and inspires you to paint those nails! If not, then you can go on YouTube to watch some great tutorials. Also, I’ve noticed that this is just 1 technique for painting your nails this way, there are other (as equally simple) methods out there, it’s just that I’ve stuck to what I’ve been taught originally ^__^