NAIL ART: Lisa Frank Inspired Graphic Neon Gradient Nails

by - July 08, 2022

As a girl child of the 80s, I obviously have a ton of nostalgia for Lisa Frank. Back when I was little, the binders and stickers and notebooks and pencils and all of the other goodies that were available in bright neon designs with dolphins and unicorns and kittens and pandas all over them we basically better than gold and I was in love. Obviously I've grown out of that particular phase in my life, but there's something about summer nails that just makes me want to lean into all of that nostalgia and go hard. Being that I'm also currently deep in a rabbit hole of gradients, it seemed like the perfect time.

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To create this gradient, I went directly to the very tried and true Color Club drawer to pull out my much loved and very frequently used neons from the brand. I love the Color Club neons to an incredible degree and they pretty much always perform for me. I decided to do a full rainbow for this mani, moving through green, blue, purple, pink, orange and yellow, across my entire hand. This style of gradient is perfect for a full mani because you need 6 colors for 5 nails. 

I started by applying one coat of my tried and true gradient base - a nearly-white pale blue polish also from Color Club - to all of my nails and letting it dry down completely. Next, I applied a latex cuticle barrier to all of my nails and let that dry down as well. Finally, I went in with my gradient. For this mani, I did three layers of each color combo to get the blend and opacity I was looking for - though I suspect a couple of the nails could have been good with just 2. I decided at the last minute add a rainbow flakie topper to the design for a little bit more overall texture, so I applied one coat of Starrily's Unicorn to all of my nails as well. 

Obviously I knew that I wanted to do a very strong black, graphic stamping design for this mani and, keeping with the inspiration, I had intended on doing an animal print for this design but changed my mind at the last minute to this really sharp graphic image instead. It's not quite as on the nose with the Lisa Frank inspiration as an animal print would have been, but I feel like it still carries the same vibe and brings something a little different to the table. As is my custom, when it works, I alternated the direction of my image placement to break up the design a little bit and add some more visual interest to the overall mani.

Once I was happy with my stamping, I sealed it in with a layer of nail art top coat and then finished with a generous layer of quick dry glossy top coat for shine and volume. And voila!

All Products Used
Color Club - Astro-Naughty
Color Club - We Liming
Color Club - Chelsea Girl
Color Club - Disco Dress
Color Club - Peace Out Purple
Color Club - Catch A Fire
Color Club - Yellin' Yellow
Starrily - Unicorn
Whats Up Nails - Neither Noir
Apipila Smudge Free Top Coat
Vibrant Vinyls Fast & Hard Top Coat
MoYou London Trolls 04 Stamping Plate
Whats Up Nails Magnified Clear Stamper & Scraper
Pueen Latex Tape Liquid Peel Off Cuticle Guard

This is definitely a style of gradient that I've done before and that I'm sure I'll end up doing again, but it's just so tried and true and there's so much you can do with it. I think that's why I really love having a great collection of the Color Club neon polishes on hand. They always get the job done for me to create really beautiful gradient designs that are perfect for summer (and Halloween!)

If you're interested in seeing video tutorials for all of the mani's I post here on the blog and to keep up with all of my nail art, be sure to head over to @pblnails on Instagram and follow me there!

Thanks for reading!

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