Friday, 26 December 2014

Nude-toned edgy holo reciprocal-V gradient

Here's an edgy but simple enough look I did in early November and I think it'd be perfectly suited for New Year's nails! Striking, simple and holo - all necessary to ring in the new year! This reciprocal gradient (see my Gradient Guide for more on terminology and variations) was inspired by Mélanie of iparallaxe's silver and black holo version, who was inspired by @supinaileuse on Instagram. Mélanie is an amazing French blogger and her photography - especially holo photography - is just to die for.

I used two new Colors by Llarowe polishes to me that I've lusted over for a long time now, Blonde Ambition and Final Fantasy. Together they could be Final Ambition? Blonde Fantasy? Whoa, okay. Nevermind.


Different lighting definitely brings out different looks in this mani. The pic below was taken under my usual 2x 5200k CFL (compact fluorescent lighting) bulb set-up (no lightbox), with no other light sources. The pic above was taken with an added warm-toned halogen bulb, hence the yellow glow of the gold/nude holo sparkle.

I loved this look so much I did both hands!

These nails were super tricky to photograph - so much dimension! You can really see the pink shimmer embedded in the deep mauve holo in the Final Fantasy colour in this macro shot, with peeks of the golden glow of Blonde Ambition in the three corners. Bam! 

(see also 15sec version on Instagram)

This mani is actually a pretty straight forward look to achieve, unlike many of my convoluted gradients teehee. Here's some of the key points:
  • I always use HK Girl quick dry top coat by Glisten & Glow and let fully dry before applying nail vinyls or tape - this ensures no polish peel-up
  • I used nail vinyl straights (the orange stickers) to yield a clean edge after sponging on the second gradient and the green painter's tape just as a cover-up for the spots not to be sponged on and the surrounding skin. If you use painter's tape for the actual divider line it will not come out as clean than with nail vinyls (see my Gradient Guide for more on nail vinyls vs. regular tape)
  • The purple liquid is Liquid Palisade from Kiesque - it serves as a quick and easy post-gradient clean-up. It dries in under a minute and turns dark when dry and then you're ready to get messy! After you're done, it peels off in one pull. I love this stuff!

Polishes used (just 2, what!):
- Colors by Llarowe 'Blonde Ambition' (gold linear holo)
- Colors by Llarowe 'Final Fantasy' (charcoal taupe linear holo with pink shimmers)

*Nail vinyls were provided by Nail Vinyls to me for my impartial review.


  1. Final Ambition! I looove it. I have a simple holo gradient on my nails now, and i will do the rest of the tutorial ASAP :)

  2. It's amazing! Regards, Natasha

  3. Gorgeous. I'm going to try something similar with regular metallics this week. Maybe if it works ok, I'll try some of your more intimidating crazy gradients! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. This is SO ridiculously gorgeous!!!

  5. This is so beautiful! I came here via The Crumpet, I'm definitely a new fan of yours!

  6. This is so stunning! I love how the gradient is quite subtle, yet it is so striking!

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