Date: May 8th, 2012

Skittle gradient manicure with the Illamasqua Pastels Blow, Caress, Nudge and Wink

Gradient Nails Gradient Manicure Illamasqua Pastels Blow Wink Caress Nudge swatch swatches sponging nail art

Since I saw the fantastic tutorial by Sammy from The Nailasaurus I couldn’t get gradient manicures out of my head. I have done them in the past and liked them but I did use a different technique and never dared to make a gradient manicure with one specific nail polish finish: creams.

The gradient nails technique I used back then was to apply a drop of nail polish to aluminum foil, pick it up with a sponge and dab it on my nails. With glitters and rough shimmers it was a bliss and worked perfectly. Because of their texture the not smooth blending was never a problem though but for creams it could have been.

Now thanks to Sammy’s fantastic technique smooth cream gradient nails are no longer impossible. Thank you so much Sammy! ♥

Gradient Nails Gradient Manicure Illamasqua Pastels Blow Wink Caress Nudge swatch swatches sponging nail art

Isn’t it surreal how smooth the gradients look? They look like they are airbrushed but they are sponged. I love this gradient manicure technique. ♥

Gradient Nails Gradient Manicure Illamasqua Pastels Blow Wink Caress Nudge swatch swatches sponging nail art
Availability Illamasqua nail polishes
Illamasqua nail polishes can be purchased at for currently £13.50 a bottle or at selected Sephora stores and for currently $14 a bottle. The official Illamasqua store ships international.
Coats used
Illamasqua – Blow: two
Illamasqua – Caress: two
Illamasqua – Nudge: two
Illamasqua – Wink: two
Sponging coats used
Three for each gradient
Base coat and top coat
Base coat: OPI – Nail Envy Matte
Top Coat: Essence – Better Than Gel Nails Top Sealer
Illamasqua nail polishes contain 15 ml.
Blow, Caress, Nudge and Wink were purchased by me but a second bottle of Wink was sent to me by Illamasqua for review consideration.

I can’t mention often enough how I love this technique for gradient nails. It is a bliss to use and I have never seen more perfect gradients than with this sponging technique. Sammy’s tutorial inspired me so much that I wanted to try a gradient nailpalooza featuring vertical gradients with four colors which all fade into each other nail by nail – a skittle/ombré gradient manicure.
Also with this gradient nails technique you can vary how smooth the gradient is by using different kind of sponges. For this gradient manicure I used very smooth makeup sponges.

Have you tried gradient manicures and do you love them too? :)

Thanks for looking and have a great week! ♥

I love each and every single of your comments but please do not leave links in your comments. If you add your blog's url in the "Website" input field and check CommentLuv a link to your latest blog post will automatically be added.
Thank you for taking the time to comment! ♥

162 thoughts on “Skittle gradient manicure with the Illamasqua Pastels Blow, Caress, Nudge and Wink

  1. Elmira on said:

    Случайно вышла на ваш сайт,здравствуйте!Ваши свотчи градиентов потрясающие!!!Маникюр и ногти выше всяких похвал!

  2. Carol on said:

    I’ve never felt like pastels look good on me, but your photos make me want to buy all four polishes and give this technique a try. Your mani is absolutely stunning! And I’m just crazy about the vertical gradient versus the horizontal – thanks so much for posting this for all of us!

  3. beachgal on said:

    Thanks I just asked this ? again but looked back through comments and your replies and see another also thought it was a different direction you used on the sponging.

  4. beachgal on said:

    This is amazing looking! Did you go laterally vs bottom to top on this gradient? Agree with you the sponge on tutorial for how to do gradients really was an eye opener for me too!

  5. That looks gorgeous! I tried a gradient for the first time and it’s nowhere near this smooth. I guess I just need to practice.

    • Thank you so much Rachael! :)
      Yes it just needs practice where you find out and experience how much nail polish you need to mix on a foil for the gradient and how often you have to sponge for a smooth result. :)

  6. Carnivalee on said:

    This is insane! So magical, after I wore that for days Id plaster it w glitter! Beautiful skills!

    • Thank you so so much again Eugenia! :) I am looking forward to your Illamasqua Pastels gradient! They are perfect for gradients. Smooth, opaque and utterly gorgeous. :)

  7. Hello! I think I’m being a little stupid because I can’t figure out how to make it smooth, meaning, to get rid of the stippled effect. Can you explain that a bit more? Sorry if this is obvious and I’m missing it…>.<

    • No Michelle there is no way you are stupid. :)

      My steps were:
      1. apply base color which is one of the gradient colors
      2. apply one line in the length of your nail of each gradient color next to each other on aluminum foil
      3. mix them where they meet on the foil with a rosewood stick
      4. pick the nail polish up from the foil with a piece of makeup sponge
      5. sponge the gradient on your nail with gentle sideway motions
      6. repeat step 2-5 till the gradient is smooth and opaque enough

      This were the steps I used for my two vertical gradients. HTH! :)

  8. This is just so beautiful. The gradient is absolutely flawless! I can’t get over how smooth it looks!

    In her tutorial, she used an up and down motion on a horizontal gradient. Did you still use the up and down motion with this one even though the gradient is going across the nails?
    Sparkles Make Me Happy recently posted..Trind Hand Repair ReviewMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge