Friday, 29 April 2016

Delicate gradient and stamping with A-England

This is my fourth design in a row using the reverse stamping method! This and my previous ornate design don't need reverse stamping, as I could achieve accurate pattern placement using a clear, see-through stamper. But last time I still got a crooked pattern despite using a clear stamper - because the pattern got distorted when I pressed the stamper down onto my curved nail - so I just stuck with reverse stamping this time.

Delicate gradient and stamping with A-England 'Her Rose Adagio', 'Virgin Queen', 'Incense Burner'

The idea for this came from my A-England polishes that I recently bought (they were on sale!) - I saw the bottles side-by-side and I thought they would look good in a gradient. Read on for all the details, more photos including macros - and another video tutorial!

I started with one coat of 'Her Rose Adagio' as the base colour for the gradient. I certainly didn't expect this pale pink holographic polish to be nearly opaque in just one coat - but it was! It still needs one more coat to look its best on its own, but as I was going to add a gradient over it, this was sufficient.

A-England 'Her Rose Adagio' - almost opaque in just one coat!
A-England 'Her Rose Adagio' - one coat (two coats needed for full opacity)
It's also very, very pretty - I almost didn't want to cover it up with the gradient. The holographic effect is very strong under sunlight, which also gives the pale pink a golden sheen. It was cloudy when I took this photo, so sadly the holographic rainbows aren't obvious here.

The other two polishes I used in the gradient are 'Virgin Queen' and 'Incense Burner'. Virgin Queen is difficult to describe - somewhere in between silver and bronze - and it's also holographic. Incense Burner is a dark burgundy with a gold shimmer. All three are beautiful!

Holographic gradient with A-England 'Her Rose Adagio', 'Virgin Queen', 'Incense Burner'
From cuticle to tip - A-England 'Her Rose Adagio' + 'Virgin Queen' + 'Incense Burner'
Over this, I added a pattern from the MoYou London Enchanted 16 plate. I used sections of the pattern placed at an angle on the nails, and reverse stamping helped to make sure that I placed the pattern just where I wanted it. Instead of my usual Konad black stamping polish, I chose China Glaze 'Liquid Leather', which is a regular black polish - this is because I wanted a less dark black, to keep the overall design delicate.

I'll go ahead and include the video here.

A video posted by Lili 🌷 (@polilish) on

The gradient actually took two to three coats to get the colours opaque and well-blended. I waited just about a minute or two for each coat to dry a little before adding the next.

I used a base coat rather than a top coat (clear polish also works) over the pattern on the stamper to make the decal. Top coat dries to a harder finish, which makes it difficult for me to adhere the decal to my nails. Dried base coat is more flexible and easily conforms to the curves of my nails. I wait about 15-20 minutes for the decal to dry before I peel it off.

I also found out this time that because I use a 'sticky' base coat (Glisten & Glow 'Stuck on Blu') that dries slightly tacky, I didn't need to put down a layer or polish or top coat on the nail first to make the decal adhere. The tacky base coat decal stuck to the dry nail well enough. This is great, as pressing down a decal over wet polish can create wrinkles.

Delicate gradient and stamping with A-England 'Her Rose Adagio', 'Virgin Queen', 'Incense Burner'

Finally, close-ups!

Delicate gradient and stamping with A-England 'Her Rose Adagio', 'Virgin Queen', 'Incense Burner'
Middle finger

Delicate gradient and stamping with A-England 'Her Rose Adagio', 'Virgin Queen', 'Incense Burner'
Ring finger

That's it for this design. Do leave a comment below to let me know what you think! You can also find me on Instagram.

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