D.I.Y Ombre Nails

Updated on February 11, 2014

What You Will Need

  • 2-3 ( or more ) different colours of nail polish, depending on how many gradients you want to experiment with.
  • A make-up sponge or any sponge found around the home. All that matters is that the sponge is one level and not used.
  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-tips
  • Scissors
  • Tape ( if you are planning on trying a gradient design ). Regular Scotch tape will do.

With spring just around the corner and summer soon to be on its way, now is the time to start looking into beautiful and colourful nail polishes to paint your nails with. One nail art trend that I have taken a recent liking to is the Gradient ( or Ombre, as they are most often called ) Nail Art Trend. Not only is this trend of nail art extremely easy and beautiful, but it is one design that you can probably do as soon as you finish reading this tutorial!

In this tutorial you will be shown how to create traditional Ombre Nails as well as one-colour nails with an Ombre design on top of them. Let your creative side soar as no two nail designs will come out exactly alike.

Nails with a gradient design on top.
Nails with a gradient design on top. | Source

Ombre Nails

The first method we are going to try is the traditional method that is used with almost every gradient nail tutorial. This method is extremely easy to do and results almost always come out beautiful. Do keep in mind that you may need to practice this method a few times until you get it absolutely correct.

What You Will Need For This Tutorial

  • Nail polish
  • Make up sponge or any similar sponge
  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-Tip

  1. Paint nails with a nude or white colour. White is usually the best to choose to make your colours seem more vibrant. Some colours blend better with a white base colour.
  2. Wait 5 minutes or until your nails are completely dry. Attempting to sponge nails before they are dry may result in a mess.
  3. Grab your make-up sponge and paint onto it the colours that you want to use. Make sure that the colours touch each other to avoid any gaps when applying the sponge to your nails.
  4. Carefully align the make-up brush to your nails and gently dab it onto your nails until they are completely coloured. Don't stress yourself about being neat at this time as we will clean these up later.
  5. Immediately after dabbing one nail, gently apply a top coat to smooth colours and blend them in even more. More than one top coat may be needed. Finish off nail with a layer of glitter nail polish if you choose to do so.
  6. Add more nail polish to the sponge after each application. Sponges will soak up the colour. If you want to change up the pattern on your nails, you will have to use another sponge.
  7. Wait until your nails are completely dry. The final step is to dip your Q-Tip into your make-up remover and clean up the areas around your nails.

Gradient Nail Design

The next style of ombre nail art is going to be a single design in the middle of your nail that is painted a gradient colour. This is a fairly unique trend but it is just as simple as the traditional way of painting a gradient on your nails. Since Valentine's Day is also coming up, this would be a great look to try!

What You Will Need For This Tutorial

  • Nail polish
  • Make-up sponge
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-Tip

Stencil Ombre Stars
Stencil Ombre Stars | Source
  1. Paint nails with a white or nude colour. Once again, white would be the best option as it will make your colours pop.
  2. Wait 5 minutes or until your nails are completely dry.
  3. Fold a thin piece of paper or tape in half. Using your scissors, cut out a half heart design. Open and check your design. It may not be perfect the first time, so keep working on it until you get a design that you like. Also, you do not have to use hearts. If you have any nail art stencils, feel free to use those.
  4. If you are using tape, place the non-stick side down onto your dried nails. Fold it around your nail and tape the ends together underneath.
  5. Paint your colours onto your make-up sponge. Remember to make them meet so that they will blend properly.
  6. Very gently, dab the sponge onto your nails. If you are using tape, be extremely careful as you may tear your design.
  7. Carefully remove tape and add it to any other nails that you wish to use.
  8. Paint nail with a few layers of top coat to further blend and smooth out colours.
  9. Reapply another coat of nail polish to your make-up sponge after every application.


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    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 2 years ago from India

      beautiful work and hub

    • profile image

      Valice Harris 2 years ago

      Look so professional i will be trying this out directions understsandable

    • Lubowa profile image

      Lubowa 2 years ago from Uganda

      Kasja, thank you for this informative article. I always admire anyone who adorns gradient nails. They look pretty if done very well. The way you wrote is clear and precise such that when I was searching for info to write an article for a client, with related keyword, your tutorial helped alot and he liked it and had it published at http://www.designsauthority.com/ombre-nails-art/

    • BuyMeBeauty profile image

      BuyMeBeauty 2 years ago

      I love the ombre nail trend but I never knew how to do it, so thanks for this tutorial! I bet it would look great with some Essie polishes.