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Gradient mani using China Glaze Off Shore Collection


I am doing #untriednov with some instagram ladies (it’s where we use techniques or polishes that we haven’t tried before). So I thought what better way to start than with a water marble or gradient using China Glaze Off Shore polishes. The water marble was a complete disaster so I thought I would try a gradient instead. If you don’t look too closely then it looks ok but I still need a lot of practice.

China Glaze gradient Sun Upon My Skin, If In Doubt, Surf It Out and Float On 
China Glaze gradient Sun Upon My Skin, If In Doubt, Surf It Out and Float On
China Glaze gradient Sun Upon My Skin, If In Doubt, Surf It Out and Float On
China Glaze gradient Sun Upon My Skin, If In Doubt, Surf It Out and Float On

For the gradient I used China Glaze Sun Upon My Skin (yellow), If In Doubt, Surf It Out (orange) and Float On (pink). I first began with two coats of China Glaze White On White (my favourite white right now) and then top coated using a fast dry top coat. To start the gradient I painted a line of each polish next to each other on a piece of baking paper. Then I used an orange wood stick to mix the colours together where they met, this makes the gradient more seamless. Then picked up the polish with the makeup sponge and dabbed the colours onto my nail 5 to 8 times. I repeated this process on each nail, each time with more polish. Once that layer was dry, I went back over with the same technique. It took 4 rounds of this to get the above look. Then I used a fast dry top coat, this helps to blend the colours.

I really love the colours together but I class the end product as a nail fail, I seem to be doing a lot of those lately. For some reason my sponge was leaving little pieces on my nail with each dab and I couldn’t get them off. Even two coats of topcoat didn’t cover all the little bumps. I have asked around and there are various reasons why this could have happened, it could be that I didn’t wet my sponge before hand, that my sponge was just dodgy, that I didn’t use enough polish each time or that I “overworked” the sponge. I won’t know which one it was until I have another go but it is a learning experience and next time I will do better.

I am really loving the China Glaze Off Shore Collection, they are perfect for our upcoming Aussie summer. I hope to do another gradient soon using some other polishes from that collection and maybe I’ll try a water marble again – maybe. What are your tips for doing a great gradient or water marble?

Love, Alinta


  • Jae Harrison 07/11/2014 at 5:21 am

    I often have the same problem with sponge coming to pieces when I do gradients. To be fair, I've only ever used cheap sponges from Daiso but I have tried both dry and wet and it hasn't made a difference for me.

    An imperfect gradient makes a perfect base for stamping/nail art/water decals though 😀

    • Alinta McMurdo 12/11/2014 at 8:26 am

      Yeah, I think I'm going to try something other than my daiso sponges next time lol. I'll have to learn to stamp to cover up my gradients hehe 🙂

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    I’m Alinta, an animal lover who writes reviews about cruelty free products as a distraction from my chronic illnesses. Read more…

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