NAIL ART: subtle sponged manicure using OPI ‘Germany’ neutral nail polishes

This post was featured on Buzzfeed: 25 Eye-Catching Minimalist Nail Art Designs.

Last week I got a bee in my bonnet about nail art and thought I’d try out a sponged manicure for the very first time. I got my google on for ‘sponge manicure tutorial’ and read through the top few results… and frowned. Then I read through some more, and frowned some more. Man, they just all looked so needlessly complicated and messy and kinda, well, a bit on the ugly side.

Then I thought that I could probably do better with whatever I had laying around my bathroom and create a look that was subtle and wearable in the real world. So here we go! I did a soft neutral sponged French tip done in just three steps, and wore it to a successful job interview the very next day. Nice!

NAIL ART: subtle sponged manicure

NAIL ART: subtle sponged manicure

For this look I used a regular cosmetics wedge sponge, and two laquers in Berlin There Done That and Don’t Pretzel My Buttons from OPI‘s Germany collection.

  1. I applied a base coat and two thin coats of Berlin There Done That (medium dirty greige) and waited a minute or two for it get touch dry.
  2. I then applied a dab of Don’t Pretzel My Buttons (sandy beige) to a sponge wedge and pressed off the excess onto a tissue. I then applied it to the edge of my nail to create a French tip with a faded soft edge. I left a little fuzziness on the edge of the transition from cream to griege, as I wanted it to have a soft flocked effect. You can get a super smooth gradient by gently buffing the sponge lacquer though.
  3. I finished with top coat and looked at my nails and then said, yep, looks good. I didn’t need to tidy up any overpainting on my cuticles or do any finessing, as it was super neat to apply without any mess.
NAIL ART: subtle sponged manicure

NAIL ART: subtle sponged manicure

And there you have it – easy sponged nails without a huge mess or a million finicky steps. The same technique can be used for a full ombre effect simply by taking the sponging further up the nail and adding in a third or fourth colour.

You all know how allergic I am to doing YouTube tutorials, but luckily Elise from Stuff That I Bought has stepped up to the plate! Check out her excellent tutorial video for a play by play live tutorial on how to do a sponge manicure.

About author
Lara is a freelance makeup artist, super dork and an incorrigible techhead based in Sydney, Australia. She likes coffee, marathoning seasons of Seinfeld, and carrying out her epic quest to own every grey nail polish ever created. Follow her on Instagram: @theswatchgirl
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