Nail Art

Dahlia Gradient Nails

Who said that bright colours are only for summer? Why not liven up those gloomy winter days with these cheerful, sunny dahlia nails.

Step 1

To start off this gradient design, I applied my peel off basecoat and allowed a few minutes for it to dry.

Next, I applied two coats of Rimmel London’s “Chin Up, Buttercup” yellow polish, for the gradient’s base colour and waited around 10 minutes for it to dry.

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Before moving on to creating the gradient, I applied liquid latex to the skin around all my nails. If you are allergic to liquid latex, there are latex-free alternatives available on the market, such as those mentioned in my gradient guide which can be found here.

Step 2

I really wanted to capture the colours of the dahlia flowers from my garden for this nail art – and so I chose these 6 different polishes to make up the gradient. I tried to match up the colours to the flower as best as possible. I think the yellow polish maybe should have been slightly paler, but it worked well regardless.

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Since I was having to apply so many different polishes to the makeup sponge for the gradient, I made sure that I unscrewed all of the bottle tops before I started. This saves time when doing the gradient and reduces the chances of the polish drying up on the sponge before you apply it to your nail.

I started by applying the light yellow in the centre of the very top of the sponge, followed by the darker yellow in an arc shape. I then used a very small amount of bright orange at the edge of the dark yellow; followed by an orange coral, a pinky coral, and a light pink (for full product listing, see the end of the article).

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Step 3

I quickly dabbed the sponge onto each of my nails, applying two layers for full opacity. When the polish starts to dry or stops transferring to the nail, just reapply the polish to the sponge. If the polish on the sponge ever becomes completely dry, just cut off that part of the sponge with a pair of scissors and start over with fresh polish.

**Tip: try to work quickly when dabbing on the gradient and try not to let the polish on the sponge become too dry. If the polish is too tacky it will create a bubbled effect on the nail that will show up more after you have applied the top coat. This happened to me on a few of the nails (I took too much time taking pictures).**

Step 4

To seal in the design and further blend the colours of the gradient in, I applied a thick layer of my quick dry glossy top coat by Barry M. I then removed any excess polish around my cuticles with a cleanup brush dipped in acetone.

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I liked the way these nails turned out. Even though the gradient itself was easy enough to execute, the colours really make the nails pop and catch the eye. Perhaps it would have been better though to use a matte top coat to really replicate the texture of the flowers.


Products Used

UNT: “Ready For Takeoff” Peel Off Base Coat.
Barry M: Wet Set Quick Dry Topcoat.
Rimmel London: 60 Seconds Super Shine 452 “Chin Up, Buttercup”.
Maybelline New York: Color Show 749 “Electric Yellow”.
Rimmel London: Rita Ora 400 “Tangerine Tent”.
Maybelline New York: Color Show 30 “Fire Island”.
Rimmel London: 60 Seconds Super Shine 415 “Instyle Coral”.
Rimmel London: Rita Ora 270 “Sweet Retreat”.
I ❤︎ Nails: “Paint n Peel” liquid latex.

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