And when I say “easy”, I mean so-easy-anyone-can-do-it-easy! I used three polishes for this, but the third one is just glitter and isn’t strictly necessary. This blue/cyan colour is nr. 657 by MNY. For the stamping you’ll need a very pigmented white polish, like the white special polish by Konad. If the polish isn’t pretty much opaque in one coat, your stamping pattern won’t be as crisp (but it can still look good!). Because I just don’t know when to stop, I added Essie luxeffects As Gold As It Gets.

You can, of course, swap the colours for anything you like – and apply base and top coat if you wish. I used Essie’s All In One Base and RapiDry TopCoat by OPI. You also need a slightly coarse sponge (like the double-sided ones you use for scrubbing pots), nail polish remover and some q-tips.

Step 1

First, you need a decent-looking base. One coat of the MNY polish clearly wasn’t enough, as you can see above. Bald patches all over the place!

Step 2

After a second coat, though, everything is much better. If I was wearing this polish on its own, I would have added another layer, but as I knew there would be a lot of decoration on top, I didn’t bother. Wait until the polish is so dry that you can touch it gently. This way the colours won’t smudge together (unless you want that, of course).

Step 3

Next comes the sponging. Put a blob of your chosen polish on something like a magazine you’re not very fond of, or a paper plate. Dip a corner of the sponge into the polish, then press it lightly on the magazine/paper plate/whatever until the pattern looks good. Then simply press the sponge on your nail, using a very light touch.

Want the pattern to graduate towards the tip of the nail like mine? Start with a thin application covering about half of the nail, then sponge again, only further towards the tip, and then another touch of the sponge on the very tip. You’ll probably have to re-dip the sponge in the polish for every nail you do, and also add a few more blobs of polish to your magazine/paper plate/whatever as you go along.

Allow the sponged pattern to dry for a few minutes to avoid smudging it. Then comes the clean-up. Dip a q-tip in some nail polish remover, and use it as an eraser to remove polish that got stamped on your skin/cuticles. You don’t need much remover on the q-tip, just enough to make it slightly damp.

Step 4 – if you want to

Here comes a coat of glitter if you’re so inclined. I wanted my manicure to look a bit like the ocean in the summer, with foaming waves and glittering sunlight, hence the gold. Finally, a top coat will make everything smooth and shiny, and make the manicure last longer.

Next time I’ll try a pale lilac base with a bright pink sponged pattern. Ooh, or simply swapping the blue base here for a black one. Or a combination of different shades of red, with pink glitter on the tips. The options are endless!

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