Three colors and a glitter
*While not shown, I start every manicure with my Sinful Colors base coat (found at Walgreens for $2.50). For this manicure, I used a Sally Hansen Hard as Nails top coat ($1.50 at Dollar General)
For the 'base' color, I went with a very light shade of purple. I can't read the name off of the bottle, but it was purchased at Dollar Tree in a 2-for-1 combo pack.
Pros: It comes with a nice brush, albeit thin, that makes application quick and easy.
Cons: The polish is really sheer, so you'd need many (3-4, maybe more) layers to get the full effect of the color.
Using the end of an eyeshadow application (the kind that typically comes with a new eyeshadow), I applied a thin layer of NYC In a New York Color Minute (in "Prince Street" - $1 at Walmart) from the tip of my nails to about 3/4 of the way down.
Don't worry if it's not perfect. That can be fixed later by the glitter layer.
After the second layer has had a chance to dry a bit, you apply the next color. The third layer should be the darkest of the nail polishes. I choose a deep, rich purple; Wet 'n Wild's Wild Shine (in "Eggplant Frost" - paid $1 on amazon.com).
Cons: I have nothing bad to say about this polish.
Again, don't worry if it's not perfect.
To finish off the look, I added a glitter layer for the little extra 'oomph'. This step is also to help blend the three colors together and make the differences not-so-obvious. I used my current favorite, Sally Hansen's Gem Crush (in "Bejeweled" - paid $5 at Walgreens).
No two gradient manicures will look the same; That's half the fun.
Final Verdict: For less than $10, you get a manicure that is both pretty and unique to the person wearing it. It's my newest favorite design.