Rainbow Gradient Mermaid Nails – Chickettes: Soak-Off Gel Polish Swatches, Nail Art and Tutorials
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Rainbow Gradient Mermaid Nails

I’ve been wanting to attempt a rainbow gradient look for a while and have tried doing it with pure gel polish a few times, but that didn’t work out too well.  I know how to do gradients with pigment powders, so I decided to try that route instead and ended up creating a really cool looking gradient effect.  I’ve also been dying to use my new Lily Anna 09 stamping plate from Messy Mansion, so I layered this pattern that looks like fish scales over the gradients and the end result makes me think of a colorful mermaid!  I love it!  Michelle over at Manic Talons said that all it needs is a mermaid charm and I totally agree!

Chickettes.com Rainbow Gradient Mermaid Nails using gel polish, pigment powders, & Messy Mansion Lily Anna plate 09The Lily Anna stamping plates from Messy Mansion are rectangular plates with 12 full nail patterns each, and 2 accent patterns on the bottom.  I love the intricate designs on these plates and they stamp flawlessly!  Lily Anna 09 plate has many nature-inspired patterns including florals, wind and water.  It sparks so many new nail art ideas!

You may be wondering how I created this look, so let’s get into the details!  Before doing this on my nails, I actually practiced the gradients on a nail wheel first.  I wanted to make sure that the colors flowed well and that the pigments that I chose would work over the base colors.  In hindsight, I actually might have been able to achieve the same look by just applying the pigments over white, but I didn’t think to try that first.  Here’s what the gradient effects looked like before I applied the stamp.

Chickettes.com Rainbow Gradient Nails using gel polish and pigment powdersOn each nail I applied two coats of the base gel color, and then burnished (rubbed) the pigment powders into the tacky layer of the polish with a dry brush to get the gradient effect.  After adding the pigments, I applied my gel top coat as normal.  If you would like to see how to use pigments to create gradients, please watch this video.

Here’s a breakdown of the polishes and pigments used on each nail:

Thumb:  {Base color:  Gelish I’m Brighter Than You} | {Pigments: CND Haute Pink, Glam & Glits Burnt Out}

Index Finger: {Base color: Couture Tres Chic} | {Pigments: Glam & Glits Burnt Out, Young Nails Gold}

Middle Finger: {Base color: Couture Tres Chic} | {Pigments: Young Nails Gold, Glam & Glits Timeline}

Ring Finger: {Base color: Gelish Lime All the Time} | {Pigments: Glam & Glits Timeline, Glam & Glits Masquerade}

Pinky: {Base color: TruGel Tantalizing Trapeze} | {Pigments: Glam & Glits Masquerade, CND Deep Blue}

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14 Responses

  1. Nathalie says:

    This is simply beautiful.

  2. Nicole says:


  3. Shanna says:

    Eeek!!! I adore!!! Haven’t used my pigments since your last pigment post. Time to dust those babies off!

  4. Diane Dube says:

    Thank you Andrea. You gave me an idea with this manicure. My sister love to have 5 different colours on her hand. I will suggest to her to add a stamping pattern over it.

  5. yulitza rivera says:

    woo that so nice

  6. Vic says:

    So you did find a use for Lime All The Time!

  7. Gosia says:

    These are fantastic!!!!

  8. Megan says:

    I really like the effects you can get with pigment, do you know if you could use acrylic powder the same way or not?

  9. Kat says:

    I love this look and have wanted to try out glam and glitz for awhile now but they don’t ship to Canada anymore, is CND comparable? It seems less shimmery.

  10. Hellen says:

    Are those pigment dusts can only be used over tacky gel top????

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