Sunday 25 May 2014

Alligator green chevron scaled gradient

Gradients on a whole other level! I was playing around with my fav Formula X by Sephora polish, 'over the top', a subtly saturated neon lemon-lime creme, and this is what happened. I'll call this a 'scaled gradient' because it involves distinct and adjacent gradients that when right beside each other look like the scales of a fish or other reptilian. This colour scheme in particular kind of reminds me of an alligator. And the dots almost look like creepy alligator eyes. Oh snap!


I'll try and explain. How I executed this mani (scaled gradient nails):
1) Paint base (in this case, lemon-lime creme), let dry.
2) Apply one chevron nail vinyl towards the base of the nail, with about 1/3 of the nail showing between the base and the edge of the chevron. This will serve as the guide for the first chevron-shaped scaled gradient. Tape off the remainder of the nail with regular scotch tape or painter's tape, and your fingers, cuticles, and so on, if desired.
3) Sponge on first gradient in the section you've just prepped with a make-up sponge. Remember that the colours should be applied to the sponge very closely together since you're working with a small surface area and you want to maximize the blend of the gradient. Try not to pick colours that are very very different in hue or else you might end up with a muddy looking mess. Remove tape, apply quick-dry topcoat, let dry. Let REALLY dry! This is key. I waited about an hour and occupied myself with surfing nail porn in between the scaled gradients.
4) Now you're going to prep for the second chevron-shaped scaled gradient, this time in the mid-section of the nail. Tape off the area using two chevron nail vinyls. The one closest to the base will be - you guessed it - covering your first gradient. Make sure that when you apply the nail vinyl it is perfectly lined up and covering your first gradient. The second chevron nail vinyl guide should be about 2/3 up the nail. Use regular tape to mask off above and below the chevrons as necessary to prevent the gradient from messing up any non-targeted areas.
5) Sponge on second gradient in the section you've just prepped, same as step 3. Remove tape and let dry.
6) Apply top coat over the whole nail. You've got yourself a scaled gradient!

There are so many different patterns, directions and variations of the scaled gradient technique that I can think of already. The possibilities are endless! My instructions may be a bit confusing without a proper tutorial, so I'm adding this mani to the list of to-do tutorials once I get my video situation figured out.

If you're still reading then you also get some insider information: You may have noticed this mani in my updated blog header a few weeks ago. I did this mani last month. Since then I've tried another two more looks using the scaled gradient technique. Stay tuned :)

(see also 15sec video on Instagram)

Polishes used:
- A England 'Saint George' (dark green holo - this one is only subtly in the scaled gradient nails)
- Quo by Orly 'Mesmerizing waterfall' (dark teal creme)
- Formula X 'Over the top' (lemon-lime light neon creme)


  1. Nice design ... wish to see step by step pics too

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Anita! Absolutely! This design will be one of the first I add to my tutorial to-do list as soon as I get my video software under control :)

  2. This is so beautiful.. would love to try this soon..

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  3. On the site someone was praying with her fav Formula X by Sephora polish, 'over the top', a faintly soaked neon lemon-lime creme, and this is what occurred. We can talk about mhrwriter reviews for better assistance. The person said that she will call this a 'scaled gradient' because it includes separate and head-to-head gradients that when right beside each other and look like the scales of a fish.

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