We love to talk about fresh and new nail trends every season because, why not? It’s fun to try new things when it comes to beauty. But there are some nail looks that stay around and really never go out of style. One of those is ombré nails. The colors might change, folks might switch up the length and the shape but the style stays the same. It’s all about that gradient, either from light to dark or with two totally different shades. There are endless possibilities.
You don’t have to be a professional to want to create the ombré look at home. First, you really need to think about your colors. Do you want to go for a more natural-looking fade? Or a really bold French manicure look? Many say you want to choose pairings that complement each other, like pink and orange or teal and blue, but we say, feel free to go a little crazy. It’s just nail polish!
Your nail shape is a factor here, too. You might be using your natural nails and not have as many options. But if you’re adding tips, you can shape them into almond shapes, squared-off talons or something like coffin nails. The longer the look, the more intense your ombré.
Then, you’ll want to grab a wedge-shaped makeup sponge. Take your lightest nail polish color and paint a thin layer to each nail. Take the darker color (or the one you want on the tips) and paint horizontal stripes onto the makeup sponge. Lightly tap the sponge onto the first nail, move it slightly up and down the surface of the nail to blur where the colors intersect. Continue until all your nails are finished. Finish with a topcoat or wait for the nails to dry a bit and add-on glitter, rhinestones and/or designs. The choice is yours.
Need a little inspiration? We’ve got you covered. Check out 10 of our favorite ombré nail looks. You’ll want to bookmark this.
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1. Butterfly Details
These ombré nails are an example of adding cute designs when you’re done with the style. The nude and pale blue polishes surprisingly go really well together and the little blue butterflies are just enough. These are dip polish nails done at a salon but you can totally create this vibe at home with what you have in your stock.
2. Nude with Sparkles
Nude ombré nails are not-at-all boring thanks to a glitter line across each nail. Get a line this thin with a nail brush dipped in glitter nail polish. Or pick up a glitter polish that already has an extremely thin brush right in the lid to make your life that much easier. Silver is classic but a colorful glitter would look great, too.
3. Lavender Glitter
These lavender talons are a more subtle take on the ombré nails trend. The two shades are pretty close together so there’s not a dramatic difference in colors. There’s also a heavy glitter on top of a few nails. What makes these so creative is how each nail is slightly different with a line of glitter, a star or a glossy look.
4. Sunset Nails
Nail polish shades that resemble a sunset, shades of yellow and orange, will always be a good idea. (This goes for eyeshadow, too!) These ombré nails resemble a sunset with bright yellow on the bottom and orange at the tips. A great topcoat and cuticle oil give them that glossy effect.
5. Pink French Ombré
Shades of pink are another popular color story for ombré nails. You can use a bright and light pink together, or go for more of a French manicure look like this style here. The classic French mani has a thin white line but these have a pretty gradient that gives the vibe instead of the exact look.
6. Shades of Grey
Grey doesn’t seem like the obvious choice for nail art. But the way this light grey fades to light pink on just a few nails is really unique. It goes to show that there are no rules when it comes to nail polish. It’s all about experimentation and sometimes it really pays off.
7. Rainbow Ombré
Why choose one color when you can pick five? These ombré nails feature yellow, light pink, bright orange and baby blue (we can’t see the thumbs) that fade to a natural shade. That safe is flawless. There’s no distinct separation between the nude and the colors, making it look like the nails were just grown that way. (Which of course, we all know they weren’t.)
8. Navy Tipped
When it comes to ombré nails, you can decide how much of each shade you want to feature. There’s no rule. Maybe the tips are going to be thin and the bottom color heavy. Or the other way around. These nails are mostly navy blue but they fade into just enough purple to look unique.
9. Natural French
It’s almost a French manicure but has a few trendy spins on it. First, the white and nude shades blend together so they’re still considered ombré nails. There’s also a glitter topcoat just on the ring finger to add interest. Don’t be afraid to add glitter to each nail. You’ll still see the ombré underneath but they’ll stand out even more—IRL on just on Instagram.
10. Mint Green
Each season we get obsessed with a new color and this time around, it’s all about green. Hunter green, mint green—it doesn’t matter. It’s all chic as hell. We love the way these almond-shaped talons flawlessly go from nude to light green without any line separating the two. This glossy topcoat is always a good idea but to totally switch up your vibe, try a matte one. You can pop it on top of any nail look to turn your shiny look into a trendy matte one.