Rainbow Dots with CND Additives

I’m learning about additives and how to use them to create different nail art effects. A friend was kind enough to share her CND additive collection with me, so now I have a whole new set of goodies to play with.  Additives are pigmented powders that you can layer over gel polish to create different effects (there are other uses, but this is how I will likely be using them most).  She showed me this technique using additives to create a dotted manicure with a rainbow gradient. This was my first attempt at it.  It’s not perfect, but it looks so cool!

I started with two coats of Ink Glacier and I used a brush to apply different color additives on top of the tacky layer. I used a dotting tool to add dots of Gelish TIO on top. After curing for 30 seconds, I used an alcohol wipe to wipe off the exposed additives and was left with this effect.  You can see that some of my dots ran together.  Next time I’ll flash cure each finger to keep the TIO from running together.  Pretty cool, huh?

Chickettes.com Rainbow Dot Effect Using CND Additives

Here’s what my nails looked like before I wiped off the excess.  I’m really impressed with the coverage of the additives.  You can’t even tell there’s white polish underneath.

Rainbow Dot Effect Using CND Additives

And here’s a quick shot of my new additive collection.  Linda was kind enough to send me little pots of each color with handwritten labels.  A little really goes a long way with these powders, so this will last me a LONG time.  Thank you, Linda!!


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12 Responses

  1. Jeanette says:

    I love this! Are CDN additives different than other pigments?

  2. Wow, this looks awesome! I actually think that the running actually looks pretty cool! At least it’s something that would be very difficult to do ‘by hand’..

  3. beachgal says:


  4. Elina says:

    So interesting idea! Need to try!

  5. shanty says:

    I love this! Are CDN additives different than other pigments

  6. Becky says:

    Hi Andrea, quick question, I have just bought the Paradise collection cnd pigments, I did a nice graduation fade applying it to the tacky layer of Gelish Arctic Freeze, then put Vegas nights over that, followed by top it off, curing for the correct time, loved the result, went out to do a bit of light gardening with gloves on and it all started to peal off, I ended up having to redo my nails without the cnd additives. Any idea, are they compatible with Gelish. Thanks for your reply

    • Andrea says:

      I’m not 100% sure. It would be a good experiment to try the additives over CND Shellac and another brand like Gelish to see if there’s a difference in the wear. I normally don’t leave my manicures on for very long unless I’m wear-testing. I’ve heard of others having issues with the top layers staying on over pigments too though.

  7. Kimmie says:

    I know this is an older post. I am just exploring this fantastic world of Gel nail polish & ALL the things that go with it. Can you use 100% Mica powders to achieve this look? Seems like they are a lot cheaper that the CND additives. I love your site & feel blessed to have found it. Your an amazing nail artist. Keep up the GREAT job & website. Thank you for sharing.