Happy International Nail Art Day!

I just found out about this last night, but today is the second annual International Nail Art Day!  In honor of such a stupendous day I tried out a traditional summer nail art design that I think has been done since the dawn of nail art design, sunset with palm trees.  I know, I know totally unoriginal but I have never done it and I wanted to practice my gradient sponging.

Base and top coat
White polish or light base color polish
2 -3 shades of polish to create sunset affect
Make up sponge
Black acrylic paint and brush (or black nail art striper)
Tape and matte top coat (optional)
Clean up tools

After applying my favorite base coat/nail strengthener I applied two clean coats of Sinful Colors Snow Me White.  You can use white polish or the lightest color of your gradient for your base color.

I then covered my cuticles and fingers with scotch tape.  You do not have to do this step but I highly recommend it.  The last time I did a gradient sponging without protecting my fingers I spent hours trying to clean up my cuticles.

Once your fingers are prepped apply your gradient colors to your makeup sponge.  I choose three colors from my Sinful Colors stash.  From top to bottom: Dream On, Sunburnt, and Let's Meet.  I just realized that this color combo is very similar to the INAD poster I posted above, it was completely unintentional but hey I like it.

With your sponge loaded apply it to your white (or light colored) polish.  I found that the best application method is to roll the sponge width wise across the nail.

You may have to repeat loading and applying multiple times depending on the opacity of your polishes.  Just repeating sponging technique until you achieve the look you desire.  It took my about 5-6 applications to receive the opacity you see here.  I also recommend giving the polish a few seconds between applications.  This seem to help decrease the number of applications I had to do.

When your happy with your gradient remove your tapes.  You will most likely still have a little clean up to do but not as much if you didn't apply tape.

After performing a little clean up I applied a matte top coat.  The matte top coat is optional but I prefer using it when I am going to paint with acrylic paints.  For some reason the matte top coat seems to help the paint glide better.

I then drew my palm tree design with my black paint and a thin brush.  This can be accomplished in basically four step. 1) Create a horizon by drawing a black line across the tip.  This doesn't have to be perfect, in fact, a little imperfection makes it feel a little more realistic (in my opinion). 2) Draw the trunk of the tree.  I recommend making it thick at the base and curving it slightly at the top.  3) Draw your branches, 4-5 should be good. 4) Fill out your palm fronds by drawing little tick or hash marks off your limbs.

To complete the look throw in a couple of m-shaped birds and apply your favorite top coat and you've got a fun tropical sunset.  

I really enjoyed getting to practice my gradient sponging and creating this fun (albeit typical) nail art design.  Make sure you celebrate INAD and give yourself a nice mani, you deserve it.  If you feel like sharing your mani today, you can post it on Instagram and tag me @polish_plebe in the comments.  Or you can post it on my Facebook page, while your there like and follow me.  You can also follow me through Google+, Bloglovin, and/or Pinterest.

Your Fellow Plebe,