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.

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