New Mani: Black and Red Gradient with 3D Gold Accent Nails

Hello dear readers,

I’m still enjoying my stiletto shape and I’ve been practicing sponge gradients with regular polish, which I’ve never been terribly good at, but the black and red came out so nice on the swatch that I just had to incorporate it into this mani. I paired the vampy gradient with a hand drawn drawn design in bronzy-gold chrome for the accent nails.


The gradient was very easy to do, I started with 1 coat of IBD Luck of the Draw, cured and sticky layer removed with alcohol. I then masked off the skin with liquid latex for easier cleanup and then using an makeup sponge and Sinful Colors Black on Black and Sally Hansen Red Snapper I sponged on the colors over the gel polish. It took three coats to get the opacity I wanted. The regular polish dried really quickly between coats so this did not take long, about 10 min. I then removed the latex and did some minor cleanup around the cuticle with acetone. I made sure the polish was completely dried, I moved on to doing the accent nails, about 30 min, before applying 2 coats of gel topcoat.

For the accent nails, I applied 2 thin coats LeChat Black Velvet, cured and sticky layer removed. I then hand drew the design using First Gel’s Royal Nude gel paint, cured and removed sticky layer. I then applied Crystal Nails Bronze ChroMe UV polish (the bronze looks more like antique gold over the black to me) over the design with a fine detail brush making sure not to get the chrome on the black background. Any bits of excess chrome I got on the black I simple covered with a little of the Black Velvet. I cured in the LED lamp for 30 seconds and then topped with 2 coats of a no-wipe top coat.

If you don’t have the chromes you could certainly do the design using a foiling gel or foiling glue and gold transfer foil.

And because it’s almost halloween, here’s a vampy hand pose :D.


Products I used are linked below:

IBD Luck of the Draw gel polish
LeChat Black Velvet gel polish
First Gel Royal Nude gel paint
Crystal Nails Bronze Chrome UV polish
Sally Hansen Triple Shine Red Snapper
Sinful Colors Black on Black
Akzentz Shine On no-wipe gel topcoat


6 comments on “New Mani: Black and Red Gradient with 3D Gold Accent Nails

  1. Laura

    Heheheh. Love this experiment. You have so many unique techniques. It’s fun to see what comes out of your brain!

  2. Rabbit

    Your design is beautiful and I like the vampy hand pose :)

  3. Jade

    Do you do nails professionally or just in your personal life? I will be interested to find out because for an “amateur”, you are unbelievable. But for a “professional”, you never seem to get tired of it (or advertise for any shop of your own)! <3

    1. Kim

      No, I’m not a pro…just love doing my nails and experimenting with new art ideas :).

  4. Diana

    just a short question Kim. with these first gel gels – i understand, they are non soak offs? how do you remove them? i suppose if they are applied only in thin lines, they still come off since the base on the nail is a soak off? or do you have to buff them off? and if you apply not thin lines, but more , e.g. halve or full nail? thx a lot! ki d regards, diana

    1. Kim

      I’ve never had a problem soaking the First Gel’s off…any thicker bits can be lightly filed to break the seal and soak off should be a breeze.