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Sparkly Black Gravel Nails: Simple Emboss Powder Nail Look!

There isn’t any magic or intricacy to this nail look. In fact it’s so simple I can’t even call it a tutorial. It’s just an idea. 

Gravel nails are similar to caviar nails and velvet nails, it’s really just coating your nails with a nail varnish, and then dipping it (while wet) into a fine-grained embossing medium of choice, much like coating your nails with glitter. 

The bad news is things like emboss powder, velvet flocking and tiny “caviar” beads do not nice and flat like glitter, so they tend to fall off easier. Thes nails will usually stay nice-looking for about a couple of days and after awhile enough of the textured particles will wear or drop off that it might start to look a little odd.

Note on Removal: Like glitter, embossed powder nails are harder to remove than regular polish, although I do find it slightly easier to remove than giltter. I usually wrap remover-soaked cotton pads around each nail and leave them for about 20-30 seconds. This softens everything and makes removal easier.

THINGS YOU’LL NEED:

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To get the exact same look, you can get plain black emboss powder and mix in a little multicolored glitter, or else just look for an emboss powder that is “sparkle black” or “glitter black”. Emboss powders look like very fine-grained sand and you can find them plain (matte), metallic, or mixed in with glitters.

You also want to get a piece of napkin and any soft brush just for dusting excess emboss powder off your fingers after dunking them in.

Step 1: After letting your base coat set, apply 1-2 coats of black polish (if it’s opaque a single coat will be enough) onto your nail, working one finger at a time. I used China Glaze Smoke and Ashes.

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Step 2:  Quickly, while the polish is still damp, dip your nail into the emboss powder and check that your entire nail surface is coated.

Then use the brush to just lightly sweep away excess powder over and around your nail.

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Sep 3: Using a clean napkin, very gently press over the nail. This is going to further press loose bits of the emboss powder and glitter into the polish.

Warning: Emboss powder is going to fleck and rub off over the next 1-2 days no matter what, but you can reduce this and improve how it looks by doing this “napkin-press” step. 

Step 4: There isn’t much of a point to applying a topcoat because a lot of the powder will still come off even with topcoat over it, but if you really want to, just paint it on, wait for 10 seconds, and then press your napkin over your nail again to recreate that cool textured surface.

IMPORTANT: Be very careful if you have a habit of rubbing your eyes with your fingertips or chewing your nails! You don’t want emboss powder in any orifice.

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