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This Gradient Manicure Trend Will Make Your Nails Pop This Spring

Springtime usually suggests feelings of pale and pastel color moments. But, this season’s trends are pointing toward brighter, fuller colors. The gradient trend is especially one to watch this year. Each nail has a distinct color, and you can choose colors that follow a set pattern or gradient. Or you can simply pair colors you feel complement each other. The trend has been called mix-and-match, ombré and gradient on social media, and it is especially popular on Instagram right now. This nail look is super easy and works well if you choose color shades in the same “family” according to Tenoverten nail pro, Nadine Abramcyk. The key is to achieve a purposefully mismatched look. I decided to try out this look with four different shade palettes. 

I ordered most of my polishes off of Amazon, from SHANY at only $13.29 for 12 polishes. The formula and coverage are surprisingly great, and I would recommend these polishes to anyone looking for a cheaper and quicker alternative than going to a salon. The polishes will not last as well as professional brands or treatments, but they are great alternatives for those of you who like to change your polish quite often.

Here are the looks:

1. Amber Glow 

Cayela Cuevas, one of Her Campus UFL’s features writers, helped me out with this look. She first took Essie’s coconut cove and applied two coats to her pinky finger. She then followed up with OPI Up Front & Personal, SHANY in Comet, SHANY in Bronze, and SHANY in Terra in order on her remaining nails. Cuevas also went back in with Terra to make a V design over Up Front & Personal to add an extra eye-catching detail to her nail. Her look is the perfect complement to a solid color outfit, or an outfit pulling on earthy and bronzy tones. Her look also follows a clean gradient pattern.

2. The Perfect Red

I did this look on my own nails. I went in with Essie’s coconut cove on my pinky and followed up with Sally Hansen’s Totem-ly Yours, SHANY’s oak, SHANY’s comet and Essie’s bahama mama. This look followed a more purposefully mismatched trend and focused on mixing sparkles with light and deep colors. The result is a polished and modern take on the mix-and-match pattern. These colors tend be more boldly mismatched, and pair well with a power outfit or a red toned outfit. 

3. Night Sky

My roommate Sarah Devine completed the next look, which created rich colors that resemble the transition of the night sky from that of a sunset to its deep black and dark blues. She started with Sally Hansen’s black to black followed with SHANY’s dark matter, SHANY’s moon dust, Sally Hansen’s Totem-ly Yours and SHANY’s comet. Sarah’s look goes well with a dark toned outfit, especially for a night out. Sarah’s look is purposefully mismatched and follows darker and more pronounced tones.

4. Fresh as a Daisy 

My friend Ariane Cuvillon’s look consisted of shimmery and matte yellow hued tones. She started with a base of Sally Hansen’s Totem-ly Yours on all her fingers. She left her pinky as Sally Hansen’s Totem-ly Yours and followed with SHANY’s sandstorm, SHANY’s seashell and ended with Essie’s coconut cove. Ariane’s look matches well with brown, whites and oranges – or even a deep yellow. Ariane’s look followed a classic gradient, with a slight complementary twist.

Nail trends open up the possibility of all types of creative results, and there are constantly new versions or ways of styling your nails. Painting your nails can honestly be one of the best ways to stop and practice some simple self-care. Take a breath this week and pamper yourself and display your creativity on your nails. You are a work of art, why not remind everyone of that every once in a while? Having well done nails can be the extra step to make you look even more polished and painting your nails can be a fun bonding experience to do with a group of friends. Try out this trend and let us know what you think!

Julia Mitchem is a University of Florida junior majoring in journalism and minoring in Spanish. She is currently Co-CC for Her Campus UFL. She believes in empathy and inclusivity. She works to empower women in everything she does.
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