Julep InstaGrim Part II: Ghastly Gradient

Hi everyone! I have another design in my series that I made for the Julep InstaGrim contest (see contest rules here), which I talked about being a part of in my last post showing the “Haunted Hollow”. As I said earlier, Julep (whose polishes I love!) let me make a Halloween-themed nail art design for the contest and, instead of coming up with just one, I ended up with three ideas that I simply could not choose between! So each one is getting its own blog post!

Julep Ghastly Gradient Nail Art

This is the second part in the series, which I call the “Ghastly Gradient” (like my alliterative names?). I was inspired by Julep’s Casper, a glow-in-the-dark glitter polish, to make something that glows and – naturally – I thought of ghosts given the name (how obvious of me…). Glow-in-the-dark ghosts definitely screams “Halloween” to me! I decided to make small ghosts so I could put multiple on each nail, and opted to put them on a smoky purple gradient to make them look mystical. On with the nail art!

I actually had quite a difficult time deciding what the ghosts should look like. With so many different ghost designs on the internet, I had a hard time figuring out which elements I wanted. In the end, I decided to give them a round head, a narrower body that flares out at the bottom, and some little arms. And, of course, they have faces. I think the faces keep them from looking too much like octopi, but they still look like some sort of anthropomorphic sea creatures to me instead of ghosts. Yeah, I don’t think my execution was the best on this manicure. Oh well, they still look cool!

Julep Ghastly Gradient Nail Art 4

I used a total of five Julep polishes to create this manicure:

  • Julep Joanna (pale lilac frosty shimmer) – light gradient
  • Julep Colette (medium blue-purple shimmer) – middle gradient
  • Julep Logan (blackened eggplant frosty shimmer) – dark gradient
  • Julep Isla (white chrome) – base of ghosts; this can be omitted (see the notes)
  • Julep Casper (glow-in-the-dark translucent white sparkle) – ghosts

Since I don’t have a great tutorial for this design, I’ll describe the technique in text. First, I painted my nails with two coats of Julep Joanna (the lightest purple) and, my, is it a lovely color! I really should wear it on its own sometime. I then did a sponge gradient with Joanna, Colette, and Logan, putting the lightest color at the tips and the darkest at my cuticles. I LOVE this gradient. It’s so purple! Here’s what that step looked like:

Julep Gradient Logan Colette Joanna

I have a couple of notes to mention before I talk about how to make the ghosts. The biggest thing to keep in mind when making the ghosts is that some glow-in-the-dark polishes, such as Julep Casper, do not yield a strong glow unless you put on a lot of polish. This means you have to really load the glow-in-the-dark polish on the ghosts to get a good glow. Also, I mentioned in the list of polishes that I used Julep Isla at one point, but I later realized that it was unnecessary. To prepare for making the ghost shapes, I used a Q-tip to apply small dots of Julep Isla where I wanted to put the ghosts’ heads. By doing this, I intended to make the heads of the ghosts more opaque because Casper is so sheer and translucent. I wanted the heads to be more opaque in the middle, and the rest of the ghosts to be translucent. Ultimately, since I put so much of Casper on to make the ghosts glow brightly, this step was pointless because the ghosts were plenty opaque without the use of Isla.

Anyhow, to make the ghosts, I put a big glob of Casper down using the Plie Wand dotting tool (basically the biggest dotting tool I had). Before it dried completely, I used a thin striper brush to draw some of the polish away from the original dot to make the ghost bodies. Using this method, I made several parallel lines for the points at the bottom of the bodies, and I made the outer lines curved to define the ghosts’ shape. I then made the arms slightly beneath the head using Casper. At this point, I bulked up the ghosts with more of Casper to give them a strong glow. Finally, I used a striper brush and Colette to make the eyes and mouths. That’s it!

Julep Ghastly Gradient Nail Art 3

Julep Ghastly Gradient Nail Art 2

Kinda neat, I guess. My execution of the ghosts doesn’t look so great in daylight. They look blobby to me, and not obviously like ghosts. However, I do like the gradient, and the way Casper sparkles is quite pretty. So it’s not a total loss. The best part, though, is that the ghosts do glow in the dark! It took me a ridiculously long time to get a good photo of the glow, but I managed it.

Julep Ghastly Gradient Nail Art Glow

A comparison:

Julep Ghastly Gradient Nail Art Glow Comparison

This makes this manicure worth it. The ghosts do look like ghosts when they’re glowing, so at least I accomplished that. Still, this manicure is definitely my least favorite of the three I did for the InstaGrim series. My execution of the concept didn’t turn out like how I envisioned, so I was not thrilled with the result. But, still, it’s purple! And glow-in-the-dark!

I hope you’ve liked my latest installment in my Julep InstaGrim series. If you enter the contest, good luck! And Happy Halloween! Thanks for reading!

– Emi

Disclosure: products from Julep were provided in compensation for producing this work. Read the disclosure policy under the “Disclosure” page.

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