Gradients were one of those things that I'd wanted to try, but never had the balls to actually do it. I thought it took a lot of skill and a lot of products to pull off. Well, it took a moderate amount of skill, but nothing huge, and as for the products? All you need is a bunch of polish, a plastic plate, and a makeup sponge. And time. You need time. But other than that... it's easy peasy.
Before I go too far, here are a couple pics. I've turned them around so you can see the gradient and the konad easier. I plan on taking more pictures tomorrow in the sun.
For this gradient, I used OPI Van-couvered in the Snow, Misa Russian Sage, OPI You Ottaware Purple, and ChG Let's Groove. The konad is ChG Harmony.
Van-Couvered in the Snow and You Ottaware Purple are from OPI's 2004 Fall Canadian Collection. Let's Groove is from ChG's current Fall collection, Retro Diva, and Harmony is from the Romantique collection. I have no clue what collection Misa Russian Sage is from. I googled it, but found no real answer. Several of these have been d/c'd (basically the ones that are from older collections), but they are pretty easily found at e-tailers. I got all these, save Harmony, on TD.
As for application, I started with a base of V-CITS, a white shimmer. I then poured some of the Russian Sage on to a plastic plate and using a cosmetic sponge, I started applying it to the nail, leaving a little bit of space for the previous color to show. I repeated this process with YOP, and Let's Groove. Russian Sage is an irridescent purple, YOP is a sheer-ish plum, and Let's Groove is a deep purple. All are shimmers. Then I used plate m21 and Harmony for the konad.
From start to finish, this took well over an hour, but I took a little time in between to let the polish dry, so I could apply the konad. If I just factored the time for the gradient mani alone, it was probably 45 minutes and that includes the time it took for me to remove it from my right hand and reapply, as I got a bit heavy-handed with a couple of the colors.
Bottom line, I love this look. Granted, I'm a SAHM, so my bosses are perfectly okay with me wearing this in the workplace. LOL. There also is a learning curve to making sure the polishes blend together nicely. Other than having a light hand at first (you can always add more), my biggest tip is make sure you apply your TC quickly as the TC will help the colors look more cohesive. If you wait, it doesn't work as well.
I'm planning on trying a few more of these. It's a great way to use those untrieds, as well. All but V-CITS and Harmony were untried before I did this mani. Hope you guys like it.