Saturday, May 23, 2015

NAILSANDTHREADS X ANIAB: Pastel Gradient How-to

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If the colour fits, wear it -- Essie


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I remember finishing my worst and last final exam at the end of April, followed by the daunting task of packing up my apartment. For such a little girl, I have A LOT of belongings. In the midst of papers strewn everywhere, music blasting and suitcases bursting at the seams, I received a notification on my phone from one of my favourite fashion bloggers and fellow Calgarians.

I started following Ania's blog a few years back and quickly fell in love with her beautifully composed photographs and great sense of style. Suffice it to say, I was beyond ecstatic for this collaboration (my roommate could tell you how much of a fangirl I was for the first hour).

We've partnered up with Shoppers Drug Mart to bring you the hottest nail trends of the summer using products found in their beauty departments. Keep a look out on your Instagram feeds under #manimasterpieces for the designs as they're released over the next few weeks!

Now onto the fun stuff! Today we're sharing a tutorial on how to achieve the perfect pastel gradient mani in just a few simple steps. 

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Step 1: Prep your nails by shaping and moisturizing with Essie's Apricot Cuticle Oil.

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Step 2: Paint all of your nails with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On! For maximum opacity, paint 2 coats.

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Step 3: Dry your white nails thoroughly before proceeding. To speed up the process, use a fast-drying top coat like Revlon's Quick Dry Top Coat.

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Step 4: Prep a makeup sponge with the pastel polishes in ROYGBIV order for optimal blending. Lay down a couple layers to build up the opacity on the sponge. We used Nicole by OPI Naturally and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Lacey Lilac, Breezy Blue and Mint Sorbet.

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Step 5: Sponge onto the nail with a side-to-side motion making sure to fill in any white spaces. Be careful not to muddle the colours up too much. Tip: The darkest colour usually predominates so once you've put down the first layer, skip re-application of the darkest shade and focus on building up the other colours.

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Step 6: Repeat this sponging a few times to build up opacity. Apply a fresh coat of polish to the sponge after each nail. It's best to wait approximately 2 minutes between layers so the sponge does not lift up previous layers. 

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Step 7: Apply top coat to seal in the design and smooth the colours together.

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Step 8: Time to clean up! Start with cotton swabs dipped in nail polish remover to roughly clean up the surrounding skin. 

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Step 9: Take a stiff detailing brush dipped in nail polish remover to remove any polish around the cuticles.

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VOILA! Your perfect pastel gradient manicure is complete!

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I had a lot of fun hanging out with power couple Ania and Tyler and am so grateful for the opportunity to work with them on this project. Be sure to follow Ania @aniab and myself @nailsandthreads on Instagram to see all of the designs as they are released. Thanks to Shoppers Drug Mart for the extensive assortment of nail polishes and tools that were used to paint the designs. 

Photo Credits: Tyler Stalman

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