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Is It Spongeworthy?

I use the word "sponge" annoyingly often lately...but with very good reason.  A simple sponge can turn streaks into sparkle and boost a shimmer that's too shy.  It's also unbelievably easy, and you might have everything you need already.  I hesitated to write a tutorial because it's as basic as "apply the polish with a sponge," but showing is better than telling, right?

tools and supplies:

  • makeup sponge (I use the wedges from Target)
  • scissors
  • tweezers (optional)
  • a polish that could use a little help
  • top coat
  • your standard cleanup stuffs

So what kinds of polishes do you sponge?  More on that later, but here I'm using American Apparel Smoke Dazzle.  Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful....

...but this application was slightly streaky and bubbled a bit.  Yuck.  Perfect for the magic of sponging!

I take a wedge sponge and cut a small square or rectangular piece about the width of the polish brush. so...

You can hold the sponge with tweezers if you'd like, or just cut it long enough that the part that you're holding won't get full of polish.  That can ruin the polish on the fingers holding it.

I paint the polish directly onto the sponge...

not an easy photo to take alone w/o a tripod
..then quickly dab the sponge directly onto the nail.

Dab and dab and dab and dab some more until the whole surface is dabbed, then dab the rest of your nails.

Did you dab?  I dab!  You should dab!  Stop saying dab!

...sorry...geeked a bit for a second there.  Dab.'s out of my system.

Once you've...d-....applied your polish with the sponge, let it dry and then use top coat or add quick dry top coat immediately.  Alone it will be dry to the touch fairly quickly, because of all the small surfaces exposed to the air.  I usually do a layer of quick dry top coat and a second if needed.  The can be some lumpiness, so I've occasionally added a layer of Gelous for extra smoothing.  With top coat on, it's smooth and shiny again...

You do lose some of the chrome-ness, but I think it's a fair switch.  When I dabbed Smoke Dazzle, it brought out an extra color shift that I hadn't seen before.  You can see it here.  Not just a pale aqua and rose, there's also a bit of coppery yellow-orange shift.  As much as I like Smoke Dazzle painted on, I love it sponged!

...and that's been the case most of the time that I've da-...sponged.

So what to sponge?  I sponge both to 'fix' streaky polishes and to bring out shimmer that doesn't show as much as I'd like.  It doesn't work every single time, but if you're already not loving how it went on...give it a...DAB!!

Sinful Colors Gone Platinum is another chrome that streaked no matter how careful I was.

Chromes do this...and I love them, but...meh.  Streaks.  Sponge to the rescue!

Yesterday's post was a great example of shimmer next will be too!


  1. This is quite genious! Love it! :)

    1. Thanks. :) I've gotta give credit to Nichole, for nagging me to do gradients. Never would have done this otherwise.

  2. Wow, thank you so much for this post!!! I love what sponging did with the last polish!!! I'll have to try this out!!

  3. I really need to try this last attempt turned out so badly.

  4. I've neve thought of... dabbing (!) that much ;) But I have to admit the result is really nice, it does soften the streakiness of some metals / chromes, and that is a thing I like :)

  5. Wow! I had never heard of doing this but it's such an excellent idea! Awesome!

  6. This is fantastic!! Love how your photos show the results so clearly. Thank you!

  7. I'm sold... now maybe I'll be able to stand wearing those China Glazes from last year :)

  8. I really want to try this wth a glitter polish! have you or has anyone else?

    1. I've tried it with glitter...the results are meh, at best. Most of the glitter sticks to the sponge, which seems a little counter-productive to me.

  9. this is SO cool! has anyone tried this with a glitter?


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