Washed Ashore Nails

When it comes to painting nails, I feel like I always need something more than just a plain color. I like the excitement and surprise nail art can add, making your nails an essential accessory to any outfit. On Saturday, I took a day trip to Long beach Island, New Jersey, and was really inspired by the gradient of colors that was created when the ocean hit the shore. I wanted to replicate this by using a sponge technique on my nails with coastal colors. Since our Washed Ashore e-book just dropped this week as well, I thought this tutorial was quite fitting.

nail art supplies

Here’s what you need:

Nail polish – I used Essie “Sand Tropez”, Sinful Colors “Snow Me White”, royal blue, and a clear top coat

Piece of plastic (you can also use a piece of foil or parchment paper)



Nail polish remover

painting nails with base coat

Step 1: Paint your nails with a base coat of the sandy color. Allow this coat to dry completely.

swirling colors together on plastic

Step 2: On your piece of plastic, pour out some of the royal blue and sand color next to each other. Take your pushpin and blend the colors together where they meet. This helps to create the gradient effect.

sponge in polish

Step 3: Take your sponge and dip it directly in the polish.

sponge covered with polish

Make sure there is enough polish on the sponge to transfer to your nail.

dabbing sponge on nail

Step 4: Dab the sponge directly down on your nail a few times to transfer the color.

nail gradient

I made very slight back-and-forth movements when I was transferring the polish with the sponge to make sure it was blended. Repeat this step on all of your nails.

sponge in white

Step 5: Pour out some of the white color and dab a tiny portion of sponge into it.

white polish dabbed on nails

Step 6: Transfer the white onto your nail where the blue fades into the sand color by dabbing very lightly. This acts as the sea foam.

finish with a top coat

Step 7:  Add one coat of clear top coat. This blends out your colors even more and gives a nice finish. This is a pretty messy process, so you will definitely have excess polish on your skin around your nails. I took a paintbrush and dipped it in nail polish remover to clean up the sides.

nails and sand on wood

There you go! Washed ashore nails in 7 easy steps.

More beauty tips from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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10 years ago

pretty, i love the rings!

Zoe @GypsieSister

10 years ago

They look so delicate and beautiful ! I’m in love ! xx.

10 years ago

If you put some Elmers glue (let it dry) or Vaseline on the skin around your nails before you start the process you won’t have as much to clean off your skin afterwards! (So says Pinterest peeps-I have tried it and it works!)

10 years ago

It would be cool to add some sea salt for some texture. Not sure if it would work but I’m totally going to try it!

10 years ago

Cool Colour of the nails and your rings. They seems like the Chromehearts style! The Washed Ashore Rings!

10 years ago

These look really cool! I like doing something a bit different with my nails. I’ll keep in mind using a sponge

10 years ago

I just tried this & love it! I put a twist to it for my pedi: I added a purple color (Revlon’s “stormy night”) over top of the darkest blue portions with the sponge. For the clear top coat I used Sally Hansen’s “diamonds”, which has a little sparkle to it. I’m calling this deviation Midnight Shores because it looks like the sea hitting the sand under the moonlight! Win!

10 years ago

Hi, nice blog shared above. Wow the nail paint really looks cool. Great ideas. Awaiting for more posts like this.

10 years ago

Looks great! Wouldn’t it be cool to use a deep red for Halloween!

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