Sponged Glitter Gradient Tutorial

By | April 1, 2013


Today I am going to be using 4 of my Illamasqua polishes to do a gradient with glitter tips tutorial. I learnt this off Sam who runs The Nailasaurus blog. Her nail art and tutorials are amazing, go check them out!

First off we need to pick our colours! I grabbed Illamasqua ‘Throb’ a blood red, ‘Boosh’ a glossy black, ‘Spartan’ a gold/silver glitter mix in a clear base and ‘Untold’ a red glitter in a clear base.


Start off with nice clean nails. Since we are doing the black/red gradient, we want to paint our lightest colour on first. Apply a coat of your base colour. ‘Throb’ is a beautiful 1-coater blood red.


Next up, grab your black and red polish as well as some sponge. The sponge can be any type. Tear it up into pieces so you have a rough surface, if it’s smooth it won’t work well. I use latex makeup sponges and one side is smooth, so I cut them in half and use the rough cut part. Put a couple of drops of each polish onto a surface (such as a piece of paper), just touching one another.



Some people like to mix where the 2 polish colours touch, but I don’t feel the need to. Grab your sponge and plonk it down on the polish, sponging it a few times to pick up the polish. Now the fun part… line up the sponge with the cuticle and go for it. I’ve found that if you don’t use enough polish and are too gentle or tentative with sponging the polish it won’t work – you have to put aside your fear of screwing up and just do it. Only dab your sponge onto the nail 4-5 times or you will start to pick up the polish off the nail.


Now continue on all your other nails. You will need to put more polish out for each finger. You can use the same sponge as long as it doesn’t dry or go hard.


Now you must wait a few minutes until doing the process again. You need the polish to dry so when you sponge on more polish it doesn’t pull it off. When it’s dry to touch, you’re good to go. Depending on what colours you’re using, you can repeat the process as many times as you like to get a nice even gradient.


Woo! Sparkle time! Grab your glitter polishes and a new bit of sponge and repeat a similar process. Put a couple of drops down on your surface, but this time you want to mix them. I mixed mine with a bobby pin, you could use a dotting tool if you have one.



Now instead of doing this at the top of the nail, add it just to the tips, gently working your way up to the middle of the nail.


Yay pretty! Clean up time! Grab a cotton bud and dip it into some acetone. I find it easiest to clean up the larger areas with a cotton bud, and clean around my cuticles with an old fine tipped makeup brush.


Last step! Apply 2 coats of your fave top coat to give it a nice glassy shine and to protect all your hard work. Rub in some cuticle oil to re-moisturise your fingers after all that nasty acetone.

Be prepared for people “oooh”ing and “aaaah”ing over your nails. Enjoy your brand new awesome mani!



Kierra is one of the spooky girls of the group. When she is not dreaming of mountains of kittens and flocks of bats, she is either getting holes poked in herself or obsessing over nails and makeup. She is a working photographer and spends her days huffing photography chemicals in the dark. She is the mastermind behind LookWhatTheBatsDraggedIn.com.

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