Here is my own version in creating those nifty aqua buttons using only the gradient tool and a few selection options and features. This technique is pretty simple and require no fancy steps or methods.

First you will need to create your button or bar. Once you have done that you then need to load a selection on the bar or button.

Select a color and set the foreground color and background color with the darker and lighter shade of that color. I chose red for this tutorial so I set my foreground color and background color to light red and dark red respectively.

Apply a vertical gradient with the lighter color coming from the bottom of the button or bar.

Without losing the selection after applying the gradient, contract the selection by 5 pixels then feather the selection by 3 pixels.

Keep in mind that the amount you need to contract and feather the selection will vary from the size of your button or bar.

Then with the selection still loaded, make a new layer on top of the current layer.

Set the foreground color to white then change your gradient option to "foreground to transparent" then apply a vertical gradient starting from the top of the selection to the center of the bar or button.

Release the selection and adjust the opacity of the new layer containing the white highlight effect by a few percent depending on the amount of highlight you want.
Download PSD file of this tutorial.
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