Tuesday, June 19, 2012

NOTD: Knight vs Dragon Gradient

After a few so-so attempts at gradient manicures, I was delighted to read about the now-famous Nailasaurus Gradient technique. A bit messy but SO easy! I had been wanting to try out my bottles of a-England's Saint George and Dragon, and this seemed like a great way to try out the new gradient method.

(David Beckham makes a gorgeous knight eh? He can rescue me ANYTIME)


I was absolutely transfixed when I saw swatches of these polishes. So when I finally managed to catch a restock at Llarowe, I bought backups for each. They are absolutely perfect and breathtaking in person. 

(L-R) a-England's Dragon, Saint George

Dragon is the perfect shade of green when you envision a mythological dragon. It has a stunning holographic microshimmer that is subtle but makes this a one of a kind polish. I'm not normally a "green" fan but this is absolutely fabulous.

Saint George is a dark teal/blue/green with the same microshimmer. I love polishes this shade, and I think this is my favorite polish in this color range.
My little Dragon, Hagrid. I don't remember where I got him, but I've had him forever. Ok, so he's probably not what you have in mind when you think 'dragon', but he's precious!

On my left hand, I used Saint George as the base color, with Dragon as the gradient to the end of my nail. I did the reverse for my right hand. On each ring finger, I used China Glaze Fairy Dust for an extra fantasy sparkle. Very subtle but so pretty in the light! I attempted to stamp a design with Diamond Chainmail Charm, but it's dark enough so it doesn't show up at all.

Saint George, Dragon on the tips

Dragon, Saint George on the tips (STILL have a nubbin). You can see a bit of the CG Fairy Dust on my ring finger.

I used one layer of each polish before starting the gradient. I think I did about 2-3 layers on the gradient. However I realized that the polishes are both dark so the gradient didn't appear as dramatic as I wanted it to. You also need at least one coat of clear topcoat to restore the shine--sponging the gradient makes for bumpy, matte nails. I did one coat of regular topcoat, then followed with Julep's Fast Dry Topcoat (my absolute FAVORITE quick dry polish). This is a great method so you don't smudge your colors or any stamping, but it dries quickly with no smudging!

Cleanup was NOT easy--these polishes stain. But was it worth it? Absolutely! I probably would not use these 2 together as a gradient again, even though I have loooooved this manicure. It wore very well, I had some tipwear by photo time and just chipped today (and only then I think it's because there are so many layers).

I am very glad I have both of the a-England collections--the colors are fabulous, and the formula is perfect!

I couldn't resist one more photo of my little dragon!

Have you caught the Gradient craze yet? Do you have a favorite a-England polish?
Thanks for reading.....don't forget to sign up for email updates as I hope to post more often and I approach my one year blogiversary! There are sure to be a few surprises in store! ;)

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