NAIL ART: Unicorn Gradient Optical Illusion Nails

by - August 24, 2022


I have to admit that when I sat down to do today's nail art design, I just really, really wanted to use the base polish and I sort of built everything else from there. When it comes to really wanting to build something from a base polish, for me it's about not only thinking about the overall color story, but also how I want that base polish to be seen. I don't know if this is making any sense, sometimes the way my brain does things is a little.. specific, but I think that focusing on those specifics is really how some of my favorite mani's have come together.

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So recently the trend in indie polish has definitely been flash reflective polishes, which are popping up pretty much everywhere, and which I will now admit that I sort of hate. I mean, they're very pretty, don't get me wrong, but they are sort of hard to work with and there's a texture when they dry down that my brain absolutely does not like dealing with at all. Also, the flash reflective effect ends up being a bit of a novelty that sort of wears off pretty quickly. That being said, I did grab Funhouse Mirrors from Pahlish from PPU and though it does contain the flash reflective glitters and I hate the texture, it is a stunning polish and makes a beautiful base for a mani. Grumble. 

Funhouse Mirrors is described as a bright silver reflective polish with holographic flakes and electric pink shimmer. For this mani, I applied two coats of Funhouse Mirrors to all of my nails as my base. I don't know if it was quite fully opaque, but there was definitely enough camouflage that I couldn't seen any visible nail line at this point, so it was ready for nail art.

I've really, really been wanting to use this image from the Pueen Visual Wonderland 01 Stamping Plate for a while now, but I hadn't found the right mani until this one. To go with the color story being told in the base polish, I decided to go with some gradient stamping using pink, purple and blue stamping polishes blended together. Gradient stamping can be a little bit fussy, so when I do it, I apply a little bit more polish than I normally would and then do a couple of swipes of my scraper with almost no pressure before doing my final scrape right before pickup. For this mani, I alternated the direction of my placement to break up the design just a little bit and I think it worked well.

Once I was happy with my stamping, I sealed it in with a nail art top coat and then finished with a generous layer of glossy top coat to really try and pop the design. And voila!

All Products Used
Pahlish - Funhouse Mirrors
Pueen Cosmetics - 808 Sweet Pink*
Pueen Cosmetics - 812 Charmed Lilac*
Pueen Cosmetics - 802 Baby Blue*
Unt Ready For Take Off Peel Off Base Coat
Glisten & Glow Glitter Grabber
Apipila Smudge Free Top Coat
Vibrant Vinyls Fast & Hard Top Coat
Pueen Visual Wonderland 01 Stamping Plate*
Pueen Clear Stamper*
Pueen Latex Tape Liquid Peel Off Cuticle Guard*

So honestly, immediately after I finished this mani I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about it, but within about an hour I couldn't stop looking at it. At a glance, this did something really cool because it almost ended up looking like the gradient was the background and the glittery reflective base was actually the design and it just looked really cool. It's actually also at that point that this started making me think about unicorns, hence the name. So maybe I don't entirely hate reflective polishes? We'll see!

This post is in partnership with Pueen Cosmetics and if you're interested in picking up any of the products from the brand that I used to create this mani, they're available from Amazon at a pretty reasonable price and I personally definitely recommend all of them. 

Thanks for reading!

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