Father’s Day & My First Gradient Attempt

Today being Father’s Day, we took it upon ourselves to use that as an excuse to get together, watch movies and eat as if it were our last meal. My brother and sister-in-law came over and we just hung out all day with my parents. My other brother had to work so he missed out on the fun. Why does celebrating always have to involve being gluttons for my family? I don’t know why, but we ended up watching Rocky movies on Netflix…omg…how cheesy yet entertaining. Who doesn’t like an underdog movie anyway?

Since I was wearing a purple top today, I decided to finally try a gradient nail look. I had seen the Nailasaurus’ tutorial linked on Nicole’s page so I went to check it out again before starting. Well, I am a gradient loser and I have never been able to do it properly so I was excited at the prospect of finally being able to do a decent gradient. It didn’t quite turn out the way I hoped. I used a foundation sponge and it seemed to soak up tons of the polish and not leave any on my nails. I even tried wetting the sponge in hopes that it wouldn’t absorb so much nail polish but that didn’t work either. I wondered if it would work better if I used a different kind of sponge so I tried it with a foamy sponge and that seemed to work slightly better. I am still not really happy with the way this looks because Sammy from The Nailasaurus makes it looks gorgeous and effortless and mine just looks…botched? Anyway, here are some pics. I used OPI Do You Lilac It? for the lighter color and China Glaze Grape Pop for the darker tip color.

And this is what I HOPED it would look like:

(Photo Source)

So what do you think? Maybe I just need a little more practice before it looks the way I want it to. Thank you Sammy for the awesome tutorial and thanks to Nicole for blogging about it!

Oh, I have a question for all of you nail polish addicts out there: Are you at all worried about the health risks of the chemicals in nail polish and acetone? I try not to use pure acetone too much, but non-acetone removers just don’t work. Are you concerned at all? I know for most people it’s not a big deal, but for those of us who blog and change our polish like we change shoes, I feel this is an important question. I sometimes wonder if the concerns are completely overblown and you’d have to basically drink acetone in order to get sick from it. Anyway, I’d like to hear what you think so share away!

43 thoughts on “Father’s Day & My First Gradient Attempt

  1. Gradients are somefhing I can't seem to get the hang of either!

    I've never really thought my polish being able to make me sick before…

    1. I hope my technique improves because this was pretty pitiful. 🙁

      Yeah, I never really thought about it but considering I use so much darn acetone I thought it would be wise to look into it.

  2. I just did a gradient on my blog, and it was difficult but i found that if you keep sponging and blending, it really works out! Also, the sponge always soaks up the polish…it sucks but if you keep blending it usually works! I would say practice makes perfect! I need some more practice…hahah.

  3. Your gradient is really cool ( and it's only your first time!).
    I'm worry about the health risks of the chemicals in nail polish and acetone, that's why I try to use non-acetone removers.

    1. Merci bien! 🙂

      I just bought some non-acetone remover to try out because I want to stop using pure acetone so much. I do think it can be dangerous because I use it all the time.

  4. It looks really cute! I try nojt to use pure acetone only for the simple fact that although it works a lot better i can also feel my nails being brittle like it took layer off my nail too. I just tough it out, uhse non and it just takes more

    1. I think glitter is the only finish that absolutely needs acetone. I think my nails are bionic or something because I treat them like crap and they're still pretty strong and resilient. As long as I use my cuticle oil, I'm set. I picked up some non-acetone remover yesterday so I'm going to give it a try.

  5. Gradients are somefhing I can’t seem to get the hang of either!

    I’ve never really thought my polish being able to make me sick before…

    1. I hope my technique improves because this was pretty pitiful. 🙁

      Yeah, I never really thought about it but considering I use so much darn acetone I thought it would be wise to look into it.

  6. I just did a gradient on my blog, and it was difficult but i found that if you keep sponging and blending, it really works out! Also, the sponge always soaks up the polish…it sucks but if you keep blending it usually works! I would say practice makes perfect! I need some more practice…hahah.

  7. I think it turned out pretty good for a first try. I should try one of these these days…if you wanna see a good fail!

    I am concerned about my health these days. I avoid pure acetone. I use it for foil-method glitter removal, shellac removal, and not much else. I use a no name brand remover in my Zoya pump bottle.

    Where possible (So like 99% of the time) I use 3-Free brands. I think I own only 2 or 3 polishes that aren't 3-Free.. My greatest care comes with topcoat. I have distanced myself from Seche Vite as it uses toluene. Poshe is 3-Free and acheives the same result. Overall though, polish use is safe as long as it is not consumed (nail biting) or inhaled chronically. I still like to minimize my exposure anyway…. Especially now that I might be having a child in the next few years.

    1. I've been using seche again because it feels like such a waste considering I have a huge professional size bottle. Once I use it all up, I might stick with Poshe. I never paid much attention to the whole 3-Free thing but I think most of the polishes I buy are 3 or 4 free so I guess I don't have to worry about that.

      I am going to try using non-acetone remover especially when I have a swatching session. I think it's a good idea that you're watching all that stuff if you're thinking about having a baby in the near future.

  8. Your gradient is really cool ( and it’s only your first time!).
    I’m worry about the health risks of the chemicals in nail polish and acetone, that’s why I try to use non-acetone removers.

    1. Merci bien! 🙂

      I just bought some non-acetone remover to try out because I want to stop using pure acetone so much. I do think it can be dangerous because I use it all the time.

  9. It looks really cute! I try nojt to use pure acetone only for the simple fact that although it works a lot better i can also feel my nails being brittle like it took layer off my nail too. I just tough it out, uhse non and it just takes more

    1. I think glitter is the only finish that absolutely needs acetone. I think my nails are bionic or something because I treat them like crap and they’re still pretty strong and resilient. As long as I use my cuticle oil, I’m set. I picked up some non-acetone remover yesterday so I’m going to give it a try.

  10. That is not bad for a first try! I think a couple of more tries and it'll be gravy!
    I don't worry about it too much. I sometimes think about it when I am removing my nail polish, but I'm not too concerned overall.

    1. I hope I get better at it because I love the way gradient nails look.

      I've been concerned about it more since I started this blog. I only used to do my nails once a week before and now I change them daily. And then when I do my swatching sessions, forget about it!

  11. i think it looks good! i've never even attempted this, i always just admire others' work 🙂 about acetone: hell yea I'm concerned! i try to only remove my polish 1x/wk which is why i don't do more nail posts haha and i rarely go to the nail salon…how healthy can it be, really? and I'm having a $50 gift card giveaway, check it out!

    1. Oh man…I currently use acetone like a maniac. I just made the switch to non-acetone and I'm finding it really hard. lol I guess I just have to suck it up unless I want to breathe acetone fumes.

      You always have such great giveaways! I'll check it out for sure.

  12. I think it turned out pretty good for a first try. I should try one of these these days…if you wanna see a good fail!

    I am concerned about my health these days. I avoid pure acetone. I use it for foil-method glitter removal, shellac removal, and not much else. I use a no name brand remover in my Zoya pump bottle.

    Where possible (So like 99% of the time) I use 3-Free brands. I think I own only 2 or 3 polishes that aren’t 3-Free.. My greatest care comes with topcoat. I have distanced myself from Seche Vite as it uses toluene. Poshe is 3-Free and acheives the same result. Overall though, polish use is safe as long as it is not consumed (nail biting) or inhaled chronically. I still like to minimize my exposure anyway…. Especially now that I might be having a child in the next few years.

    1. I’ve been using seche again because it feels like such a waste considering I have a huge professional size bottle. Once I use it all up, I might stick with Poshe. I never paid much attention to the whole 3-Free thing but I think most of the polishes I buy are 3 or 4 free so I guess I don’t have to worry about that.

      I am going to try using non-acetone remover especially when I have a swatching session. I think it’s a good idea that you’re watching all that stuff if you’re thinking about having a baby in the near future.

  13. When I did my last gradient I painted the base color and when I went to stamp I put both the base color and my sponging color down on the plate and blended them a little before I picked them up with the sponge. I use a makeup sponge too, the little triangle shaped ones, and yeah, they pick up a lot of polish but I found that applying the two blended together makes it look very smooth in the color transition area. I think you did great for your first time, it reminds me of the wall painting sponging technique. Props to you for posting your first try at a gradient, I wasn't so brave! lol

    As for health concerns, there is a wealth of information (MSDS's – material safety data sheets) on all the chemicals used in polishes as well as health reports and studies done concerning nail tech workers, particularly those of childbearing years. A little bit of research in those directions could yield you the answers you're looking for. Take home lesson: always apply and remove polish in well ventilated areas with good air circulation, you don't want to huff fumes. I use pure acetone that I mix glycerin in to and don't own or use any polishes with big-3 chemicals and I'm not too worried about it. Just remember, ventilation! 🙂

    1. I did the same thing. I mean that I blended both colors a little but it still didn't come out right. Meh. I hope it's not like how I just can't water marble. It's so frustrating!!!! After all the stuff I post on here, a little crappy gradient attempt doesn't phase me. lol

      I should really look up those data sheets so I don't keep freaking out. I am pretty bad about being in a well ventilated area so I should probably start there. What does mixing glycerin into acetone do?

  14. That is not bad for a first try! I think a couple of more tries and it’ll be gravy!
    I don’t worry about it too much. I sometimes think about it when I am removing my nail polish, but I’m not too concerned overall.

    1. I hope I get better at it because I love the way gradient nails look.

      I’ve been concerned about it more since I started this blog. I only used to do my nails once a week before and now I change them daily. And then when I do my swatching sessions, forget about it!

  15. i think it looks good! i’ve never even attempted this, i always just admire others’ work 🙂 about acetone: hell yea I’m concerned! i try to only remove my polish 1x/wk which is why i don’t do more nail posts haha and i rarely go to the nail salon…how healthy can it be, really? and I’m having a $50 gift card giveaway, check it out!

    1. Oh man…I currently use acetone like a maniac. I just made the switch to non-acetone and I’m finding it really hard. lol I guess I just have to suck it up unless I want to breathe acetone fumes.

      You always have such great giveaways! I’ll check it out for sure.

  16. When I did my last gradient I painted the base color and when I went to stamp I put both the base color and my sponging color down on the plate and blended them a little before I picked them up with the sponge. I use a makeup sponge too, the little triangle shaped ones, and yeah, they pick up a lot of polish but I found that applying the two blended together makes it look very smooth in the color transition area. I think you did great for your first time, it reminds me of the wall painting sponging technique. Props to you for posting your first try at a gradient, I wasn’t so brave! lol

    As for health concerns, there is a wealth of information (MSDS’s – material safety data sheets) on all the chemicals used in polishes as well as health reports and studies done concerning nail tech workers, particularly those of childbearing years. A little bit of research in those directions could yield you the answers you’re looking for. Take home lesson: always apply and remove polish in well ventilated areas with good air circulation, you don’t want to huff fumes. I use pure acetone that I mix glycerin in to and don’t own or use any polishes with big-3 chemicals and I’m not too worried about it. Just remember, ventilation! 🙂

    1. I did the same thing. I mean that I blended both colors a little but it still didn’t come out right. Meh. I hope it’s not like how I just can’t water marble. It’s so frustrating!!!! After all the stuff I post on here, a little crappy gradient attempt doesn’t phase me. lol

      I should really look up those data sheets so I don’t keep freaking out. I am pretty bad about being in a well ventilated area so I should probably start there. What does mixing glycerin into acetone do?

  17. I think you just need more practice and to try a different sponge. I use a cheapo makeup sponge wedge thingy from the dollar store. I kinda like this tho… it's just really faint. I would say you should try a different polish, but China Glaze polishes should be a good choice so it's gotta be the sponge.

    I laughed so hard when you said you eat like it's your last meal. We seem to do that too! And to top it off my mom always has like 8 billion snacks so half the time by dinner you're not even hungry! 😉

    Y'know… I DON'T worry about the chemicals really. Maybe it's foolish but I limit my exposure to other things (don't smoke, don't go tanning, wear sunscreen, drink water, etc) so I figure this is just one area I may take a hit. I don't use non-acetone remover, but I can't stand pure acetone!! Those people that use pure acetone are nuts!! I absolutely hate it. I don't like the smell, but even more so I hate how it feels. It's like almost dry feeling and it leaves my fingers so dry they're white and slippery. EW EW EW EW EW!!!! I'm glad nail polishes are less toxic than they used to be, but I don't worry about the toxins that are still there too much. Your nails are dead, and I generally keep the polish off my skin. I do get remover on my skin and obviously breathe in the fumes tho. Nail techs don't seem to die off in huge numbers so I'm thinking I'll live.

    1. LOL…they don't seem to die off in huge numbers. LMAO!!!! Ok, so I guess I am a nut because I do use pure acetone like 80% of the time…especially for clean up. I really don't find that it dries my skin out, but I always wash my hands and moisturize right after using acetone.

      I'm not the healthiest person right now but I do not smoke or drink. I know I need to make a lot of changes and I will eventually get there. These family gatherings and celebrations aren't helping me to eat healthier. lol We always eat so much junk that we can barely eat dinner too. hahaha Notice I said barely…

  18. I think you just need more practice and to try a different sponge. I use a cheapo makeup sponge wedge thingy from the dollar store. I kinda like this tho… it’s just really faint. I would say you should try a different polish, but China Glaze polishes should be a good choice so it’s gotta be the sponge.

    I laughed so hard when you said you eat like it’s your last meal. We seem to do that too! And to top it off my mom always has like 8 billion snacks so half the time by dinner you’re not even hungry! 😉

    Y’know… I DON’T worry about the chemicals really. Maybe it’s foolish but I limit my exposure to other things (don’t smoke, don’t go tanning, wear sunscreen, drink water, etc) so I figure this is just one area I may take a hit. I don’t use non-acetone remover, but I can’t stand pure acetone!! Those people that use pure acetone are nuts!! I absolutely hate it. I don’t like the smell, but even more so I hate how it feels. It’s like almost dry feeling and it leaves my fingers so dry they’re white and slippery. EW EW EW EW EW!!!! I’m glad nail polishes are less toxic than they used to be, but I don’t worry about the toxins that are still there too much. Your nails are dead, and I generally keep the polish off my skin. I do get remover on my skin and obviously breathe in the fumes tho. Nail techs don’t seem to die off in huge numbers so I’m thinking I’ll live.

    1. LOL…they don’t seem to die off in huge numbers. LMAO!!!! Ok, so I guess I am a nut because I do use pure acetone like 80% of the time…especially for clean up. I really don’t find that it dries my skin out, but I always wash my hands and moisturize right after using acetone.

      I’m not the healthiest person right now but I do not smoke or drink. I know I need to make a lot of changes and I will eventually get there. These family gatherings and celebrations aren’t helping me to eat healthier. lol We always eat so much junk that we can barely eat dinner too. hahaha Notice I said barely…

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