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So this post has been a small disaster which is pretty much my fault for leaving it till the last minute despite planning to do this with Emma at the beginning of the week. Just to explain what is going on: once a week Emma (from Imagination In Colour) and I will be doing twin posts inspired by our series theme which to start with is the rainbow. Check out what I’ve done so far here: Red, Orange, Coral, Yellow, Green.
Emma and I kind of went in slightly different ways today she really wanted to do teals – which is a colour I don’t really wear, so I headed for the lighter tones of mint and aqua. As I lined up the polishes on my bed to inspire me, I noticed they did make quite a nice ombre but it wasn’t quite perfect so I decided to create a gradient instead.
Someone pointed out I am a bit addicted to accent nails at the moment and I’m guilty as charged – I like that they add something extra without me having to think about coming up with lots of combos for a skittle and can also be done on both hands without any hassle (unless the accent is nail art, then it can be trickier). As always with all my blog posts feel free to click the pictures for a larger view!
That’s right, no OPIs were used in the making of this mani. Shock horror. No particular reason for choosing any of these polishes over others really, with the exception of Ion. Most people use white was a base for their gradient but I don’t have a white that has good application and also, I wanted a softer colour with a touch of green to it. Ion is a kind of stone/grey tinted off white that is a 1/2 coater and also dries reasonably quickly. Peppermint I have had for a long long time as part of my stash and it’s actually nearly all gone – pretty good formula, not the quickest dry time but lovely wide brush (reminds me Sally Hansen also has a great wide brush really similar to OPI!). I think both of these polishes are on Fragrance Direct for a couple of quid so worth having a browse there if you’re interested. I think Ion might be a dupe for OPI Skull and Glossbones (which I recently got my greedy little fingers on) but I keep forgetting to check.
I used Ion as the base on all my nails (except accent) and added some quick dry topcoat because I was feeling impatient. I added stripes of my polish to a scrap piece of paper and picked them up on a piece of nail sponge. I cut my sponge so it’s approximately as long as my nail and about half as wide as this allows me to control where the polish is going and get the gradient approximately the same across all the nails I apply it on. At the moment I am using the square flat makeup sponges which don’t seem to absorb as much polish as sponges I have used previously. If you do find your polish is sucking up into the sponge then make it slightly damp with some water. I did two coats of my sponging and then topcoated to even the finish and blend the colours together some more. It took about 2 minutes to do this once my base coat was dry. I tidied up with a cotton bud for the larger smudges of polish on my skin and then a brush as normal to get anything around my cuticles.
On my accent nail I applied 1 coat of CG Bahama Breeze which is a beautiful aqua leaning baby blue. I was really impressed with the formula on this – it applied opaquely, evenly with no muss or fuss. Dry time was also really good. China Glaze for me is very hit and miss but I do think there are some really lovely ones on there. Always worth checking out blogger reviews before buying though – just in case. Over this base I added a coat of Barrym Diamond Dust which is a silver holo glitter with various sized particles and then over that I added a coat of Barrym Aqua Glitter. I just did this to add lots of sparkle. I do find these Barrym Glitters can be a little thick and also the dry time isn’t great but my bottles are pretty old and both fairly used so it might just be my bottles have thickened a bit. They’re really pretty so I’ll forgive them.
I actually love how the gradient came out on this (if I do say so myself) – it just makes me think of calm warm days by the sea or gazing up at the sky. Bliss…just what I need after a bad nights sleep and a stressful day doing tax forms! I actually ordered some other mint polishes for this post but they didn’t turn up today, so I hope you liked this post instead. I’ll try and do a comparison post down the line for anyone interested. Do you have a favourite mint or aqua polish? Do you paint accent nails? Are there colours that you like but can’t/don’t wear on your nails?
Any thoughts, comments or questions – please please please do feel free to post below, I will reply! Don’t forget to check out Emma’s post!