One of my favorite tricks that I’ve come up with is an ombre effect on a nail. It takes two or three colors and blends them into a more continuous ombre effect. While I’ve only ever done this with a black or white base color before, today I decided to use Essie’s Sand Tropez nail polish as my base. It’s a lovely tan that’s great for a nude nail, and I’ve fallen in love with it since I first bought it a few weeks ago. Because it’s beach season, I’ve decided to pair it with a pale grayish blue, Maybelline Color Show polish in Poolside (It’s a limited edition shade) to look almost like the water’s edge.
The main tip to this look is to use very little polish on the brushes so that it’s hard to get an even coat (or if you do, it’s a super thin coat). By layering up a couple coats and having each layer’s colors end in a different spot of the nail, each layer may look splotchy but the overall effect is like an ombre. The best part of it is that while it looks professionally-done, it requires no tools other the basic brushes that come with each polish.
First, I used Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat. Then I put on two layers of the Essie Sand Tropez. While one layer may go over the entire nail, one or both layers should start at the cuticle and end about halfway down the nail (but not at the same place). Both can cover the entire nail, but there are a lot of layers of polish that can build up.
Then I put on three coats of Maybelline Poolside. The trick to this is actually to start at the tip and paint downwards, so that when you lift the brush away, not all bristles pull up at the same time and the color trails off. I usually start with the shortest layer first and then make a longer layer. If you let layers dry between coats, you can usually dab at the color if the color change looks too extreme on the last layer. The last layer for this was actually the thickest and the shortest, to smooth out the finish near the tip and make sure the color is the most vibrant.
Then I added a slight sparkle/shimmer. I used a shade from OPI that was actually a mini without a name (it has NL !36 13130 printed on the bottom, though I think at least one of those refers to the batch number). It’s mostly translucent white with small white sparkles . Extend it a little bit past the longest bit of blue. I then finished off with a top coat, Revlon’s Extra Life No Chip Top Coat.
Thoughts on this final look: I’m not so crazy over using so much sparkle. It’s what I like using to finish off white-base ombre looks, and I figured it might look a little like seafoam. It’s too powerful on top of the entire blue half of the nail, and you lose a lot of the ombre look from the blue. I’ve never had this happen before on any of the polishes or looks I’ve done, though this is the first time using it over top of either color. (I also used it over the whole nail on the thumb before realizing it didn’t work).
Poolside also wasn’t a good color to use. The formula is very thin and watery, which made it a little difficult to work with here, and it just seems too light for the ocean. Having a third color on top of it may have helped.