Nail art is a fun way to incorporate a splash of color into your daily look. Depending on the design you go with, you can make your hands look polished and professional or fun and spirited.
Ombre nails are a gorgeous type of nail art where the nail becomes a gradient from one color to another. Although the look may seem complicated to replicate, it isn’t too hard to achieve the look from home. All you need is a little practice and patience. With enough practice, it can become a part of your self-care routine!
Let’s take a look at the basic technique of how to achieve ombre nails and then admire some truly inspiring designs to give yourself ideas on the look you want to achieve.
The Basics on How to Paint Ombre Nails at Home
While you may be thinking “there’s no way I can paint my own ombre nails,” the ombre effect isn’t impossible to achieve on your own.
To get started, you need:
- Two nail polish colors
When getting ready to try out the ombre look, the most important part is picking your two nail colors. They should complement each other so they look good in a gradient. For the best results, choose one color that is lighter than the other.
Here’s how you achieve the ombre look on your own:
- Choose the lighter color. Paint your nails and wait for them to dry.
- Once they’re dry, take your two colors and pour a bit of each onto the plastic sheet.
- Take your toothpick and swirl the designs however you want them to appear on the nail. You can go with a traditional gradient, or you can get more creative and make intricate designs to blend them.
- Take the sponge and lightly press it against the design. Dab the sponge onto your nail. Don’t cover your whole nail with the design, as the lighter color should still appear on the top or bottom of your nail.
- Continue to dab each nail until you achieve the blending you’re looking for. Let them dry.
If you need more help or learn best visually, there are countless tutorials online that can walk you through the process step by step.
25 Inspiring Ombre Nail Designs
Now that you know the basics on how to achieve the ombre look, here are some gorgeous ombre designs to get you inspired!
1. Subtle, Simple, Elegant
If you’re not looking for something too complex, this swirling pink and purple by @nata_nails_vilnius is the perfect place to start. It looks great, but you don’t have to get too complicated too fast.
2. Sparkly Autumn
If you want something that fits with a fall vibe but you want to add your own flair to it, this sparkly masterpiece by @atx.nails definitely fits!
3. Simple Vines
If you want to take your look up a notch, you can use a stamping plate like @nailed.it14 did to achieve this vine look over the ombre design.
4. Rainbow Sparkles
Who says all your nails need to have the same gradient? This creative use of glitter polish makes @nailsbykatiedutra’s hands look like a gorgeous rainbow.
5. Green and Black Nails
These gradient nails with a dark green and black polish make @catherina_kety’s black ombre look seem positively witchy and fabulous.
6. Witchy in Purple Ombre Nails
These purple ombre nails from @ricekittynails have amazing detail added with celestial designs over the purple and black base.
7. Cotton Candy Sky
@Ricekittynails nails it again with a very different look: pink and white ombre nails that have dreamy clouds painted on top. She really succeeds in the layer technique, especially with pink ombre nail designs.
8. Tricolor Ombre
@Dorotapalicka uses the extra length given by her nail shape to do a gradient with more than two dreamy colors.
9. Flower Power Nails
@Mbeauty_x has an 80s, retro sun child vibe with her pink and orange ombre gradient, and she finishes the look with little flowers added on top.
10. Subtle and Cute
@Darlingbeautyco proves that you don’t need to go over the top to get a gorgeous look. The blend between the purple and blue ombre nails is subtle and they finished it off with tiny decals on top.
11. Sparkly Pink Ombre Nails
On the other hand, @studioonenailartistry proves that you can never go wrong with bold colored nails and sparkly nail polish. They totally killed it with these glitter ombre nails. With so many different nail styles out there, there’s definitely a look for everyone!
12. Deep Blue Celestial
If you want something out of this world, @sonailz gives you some great inspiration with their celestial, deep blue ombre nail design.
13. A Different Blue Starry Sky
While @nikki.nailedit has a similar blue gradient, they have different celestial designs layered on top, and it’s just as striking and beautiful.
14. Geometric in Blue Ombre Nails
@Banhmi.nails uses another blue gradient ombre style for their nails, but they used a geometric line design on top to give it a different look.
15. Pretty in Pink with Pearls
@Kimycouture has a unique spin on the pink and white ombre nails look. They added small pearls and sparkly accents to make the french ombre nails pop.
16. Matchy Matchy
@Nailstyle_official shows that pink ombre nail designs don’t have to be complicated. The beauty in this design is that the nails match perfectly with the lipstick application. This is such a creative way to get a cohesive look!
17. Creatively Elegant Ombre Nails
@Trinanailart has a truly decadent look with their take on a french manicure. They use the ombre effect to give their nails depth, and then they finished them off with ornate jewel applications.
18. Delicate Art Deco
@Nailstyle_official succeeds in another ombre look, using multiple colors to blend the look into a more tye-dye style blend than a traditional gradient. They finish it off with line designs and gold flakes, making every nail completely unique and cohesive at the same time.
19. Rose Gold Ombre
If you like things sparkly, then @tamlynartistry definitely has the rose gold look for you!
20. Ombre Coffin Nails
@Essence_nail_spa took the term “coffin nails” literally! They use the coffin nail shape to add spooky designs on top of different ombre gradients. A perfect Halloween look!
21. Spooky Blood Red Ombre Nails
@Glamme_nailsandspa uses the ombre look to give their red nails a vampiric vibe. For an added flair, they made one of their nails black with a golden spider web on top.
22. Subtle Flower Nails
@Kataleja_skien used a beautiful white and pink ombre as the backdrop to some cute, simple floral designs.
23. Middle Gradient Ombre Nails
Instead of going from dark to light, @blanc_nailbeauty had the lightest part of the gradient diagonally across the center of the nail.
24. Orange with Witchy Decals
In addition to the gorgeous designs added in black on top, @glamme_nailsandspa uses the gradient of the two nail polish colors in a different way across each nail.
25. Simply Blue
At the end of the day, there’s no need to get overly complicated. @Elifyildiznail proves that just a simple gradient from blue to white is beautiful.
If You’re Not an Artist, Store Bought Is Fine
If you’re obsessed with these looks but don’t want to shell out a bunch of money at a salon and don’t have the patience to make the looks yourself, try press on ombré nails! Etsy has a whole bunch of press on ombré nails to choose from in practically every style. You can also check out Amazon for more options.
If you’re a working woman on the go and you want an awesome look but don’t have the time to achieve it, these ombré nail press on options are certain to do the trick. Don’t let these nail trends pass you by!Published in
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.