Testing: The Gradient Manicure

Photograph by Anne Vickman

With the ombre hair trend on its way out, a new option has taken its place: the gradient manicure. I spotted a charcoal-tipped version on Sweet Talk on the Spot and set to work recreating it. All told, it was pretty simple. All you’ll need are two colors of polish (I used Catherine by Rescue Beauty and Maybelline Salon Expert nail polish in Sheer Whisper), a sponge eyeshadow applicator, and some sort of plastic (read: disposable) surface that you can pour the polish onto.

Start by pouring a small amount of your the tip color onto the flat surface. Dip the eyeshadow applicator into the color and dab onto your nails — I found it was easier to sponge from the middle toward the tip, so that I could build the color outward. The trickiest part is getting the perfect fade of color — so the trick is not putting too much polish on the applicator, and remember: you can always add more later. Darken the tips last, then add two coats of your second, sheer color, and voilá: welcome to your new trendy manicure.

I was iffy on the final outcome, so I asked my ever-participating housemates what they thought. “They look dirty,” replied one without hesitation. “It looks like you painted your tips with Sharpie and now they’re slowly fading,” said the other. What do you think, Bostonistas? Give it a go, and let me know your thoughts!