Wild thing nails with full sponging step by step

Hi today I have a step by step post, because it's been a while since I did a proper one, it turned out pretty long! phew so many photos...
I'm going to show you how I do the sponging technique used in loads of my nail designs recently and some extra tips for leopard print at the I said, it's long so here goes:
1. To create sponged nails all you really need are your regular cheap beauty sponges and clear top coat, nothing fancy.
2. I chose a blue colour scheme, but experiment with whatever shades look good together, I'm using 4 but again you could use less and still get a great effect.. I cut the sponge in half so I don't use up as many.
3. Oh yeah I already painted my nails white (I forgot to say), any pale colour is fine.  Grab a piece of scrap paper before you start this bit.
My first sponging colour is the palest blue, I apply it directly to the sponge.
4. Dab the sponge on the paper a few times until the polish has a good even coverage, it's better to apply the sponging too thinly at first so blot of as much excess as you can while you get used to how the polish will apply.
5. Dab the sponge over your nail, don't worry about getting it around the edges for now.
6. Next I used a mid range blue, this one didn't actually show up that much..but you will always find some polishes work better for certain techniques/looks than others so keep experimenting, it all adds to the finished look.
7. Now I will show you a little trick I used to clean up around the nails, with this technique it really pays to clean up as you go along it will save you a lot of time and effort in the end..
Using a cuticle stick and a cotton wool pad, open up the pad to expose the fluffy bit.
8. Twirl  the stick around so it catches the fluff around it, you don't need too much.
9. Now you can just dip it in the nail varnish remover and use this little wand to magically clean all the really tricky places around your cuticles without messing them up,  yes yes to some of you who will know this already - I know it seems obvious - now you know it...but if you didn't know about this yet it's very helpful indeed!
Nice tidy edges see!
10. I used another mid range blue polish next in exactly the same way as in the previous steps, always try and let the layers dry between each coat.. even if you're adding more of the same colour, remember to apply the sponging thinly and build up gradually for best effect.
11. I added a darker blue colour to the look, I love this colour.. but for the look I had in mind it's a little too dark to leave it like this.
12. Going back to the pale blue polish I started with I carefully apply a thin layer of sponging over the darker colours...I say carefully because I don't want to just block out all the colour behind, I just want to make it softer and less blue/white more of a nice blend.
13. Buuut maybe I did a little to much with the pale although you can definitely see the different shades behind it, still I ended up adding a teeny bit more of mid colour blue just to the tips..which I like coz its sort of shimmery.
That is the end of the sponging tutorial ...if you want to leave it like this then simply allow to dry completely and add 2 coats of your clear top coat to finish the look.. its an absolute must with sponging to have the top coat on, it will smooth everything out and enhance the blending soo much!

 I how ever decided not to leave it like that, I added some funky leopard print.. which gives me an opportunity to show a couple of the tools I use regularly and find very useful to own.

14. O.k so to start the leopard spots I use the same tool I use to paint pretty much all dots, bows, flowers etc: my dotting tool, they are really cheap if you shop around and come in various sizes, colours etc. Mine are just swirly pattern but it's the round ended tip that's important (sometimes people think it looks fancier than it is because they think the purple part does something doesn't). Dotting tools are soooo useful, if you don't have some..I suggest you get a set right now and you can just thank me later ok! ^_^
I drop some  pink polish onto my scrap paper and dab the dotting tool into that, rather than the polish bottle and make leopard spots on my nails, size and shape can vary however you want it!
 15. I wanted my pink to stand out more so I added neon pink highlights on top again with the dotting tool .. this kind of small detail can be really important in a finished look.. nails are small, so small details can make all the difference.
 16. Here is another tool I use often and find really useful to have for so many things. it's a fine brush with a long tip I find that dipping it in a little nail polish remover and dabbing it off  onto some scrap paper before I start using it really helps with the flexibility of the brush strokes and also the consistency of the polish gets a little thinner which is helpful with fine details.
 17. I drop some polish onto a scrap of paper instead of dipping my brush directly into the polish pot, this makes it lots easier to control how much you have on the brush.
 18. Here's the finished black highlights for the leopard print.. just clear top coat left to do and then it's finished... yay!
 19. Aaaaand here it is with the final clear top coat on for the finished wild thing look! I hope you like it and find the tutorial useful... sorry it turned out really long didn't it haha well so many people have been asking me about sponging I just knew I had to share!
Come back soon, I have another post pretty much ready to go! Have a great weekend x


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  1. You are so good at doing nails - how do you not go shaky when you do the other hand?

    Where did you get that really fine brush from?

    And thank you for the cleaning up tip :)

    Devon xx

    1. I always get asked this.. its totally normal to be shakey with 1 hand, I have 3 tips the first tip is the most important:
      1. Practice loads (I even practice writing left handed - boring I know but it helps train your hand)
      2. When you are painting with your shakey hand, try resting part of the palm of on a flat surface (your knee/desk) for support.
      3. Lastly, when you are painting on the designs you should start with your worst is MUCH easier to copy that over onto your good hand and have a matching set, if you start with the good hand you will often get amazing results but feel like the worse side lets it down or doesn't match up.
      hope this helps...
      The brush as with pretty much all my nail art stuff was from ebay, it's 100% the cheapest place.
      Thanks for reading, your questions and comments are always welcome!

  2. Wow. Wow. Wow. How do you deal with chipping when your nails are so intricately done? Love them!

    1. I have a really 'hands on' job so i get a lot of chips although I'm alot more aware of my nails/hands than I used to be.. that helps (just trying not to be my natural clumsy self), I find that the best product to prevent chipping is the amazing Sally Hansen double duty clear top coat- make sure your colour is all dry and then apply 1 or 2 coats of this and your nails will last longer than you expect! hope this helps x

  3. wow, applause for a detailed tutorial! I loved these wild nails :) Look awesome! technique is a bit long for a beginner but easy to pick up:) I am going to buy some of nail polishes. Is it better to use opaque colors for nail art?

    1. this is just a guide for this particular look..the sponging technique can be used with fewer colours and steps if you are just beginning.
      Everyone prefers different's up to you and some will suit your application technique better than others..I like opaque polishes because you don't need too many coat and they stand out well for nail art details but I have some great colours which take a bit of building up aswell... experimenting is the best, and shop around for good prices.. I have some amazing polishes which cost next to nothing and others I spent more on that didn't turn out to be so good, don't buy nail polish online unless you know exactly what you want, it's really hard to tell the correct colour and no way to test the consistency/brush size etc.
      hope this helps!

    2. Thanks for reply. I guess that I'd also better use opaque colors then. Well, i know that the price doesn't mean good always. Thanks for a piece of advice, and as soon as I do some nail art, I will let know :)hehe

  4. Thanks for the comment at my blog (:
    D&G The One is indeed an amazing perfume. Right now on my wishlist is Candy by Prada. I think these two are quite similar in some ways (:
    Anyway this is an amazing tutoral (:
    It must have taken you a long time to make this nail art, since it looks pretty complicated!


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