Ombre nail art is one of the easiest nail art ideas you can copy and even an absolute beginner can master this look on their first attempt. Ombre nail art often gets confused with gradient nail art, but they are separate styles. Unfortunately, quite a few people label their gradient nail artwork as being ombre, when it isn’t. Each fingernail is painted a different shade of the same colour to create an ombre effect. It really is that simple. There are a few ways of how to do ombre nail art and we will take a look at those later in the article.
Basic Ombre Nail Art
You can create ombre nail art in any colour you desire as long as you have five different shades of polish in that one colour or you are able to create your own. How to do ombre nails is by simply lining up your polishes from lightest to darkest and use one shade on each nail. You can start with the lightest on your pinky and work darker towards your thumb or vice versa. Try changing it up by using the lightest shade on your middle finger and work two different darknesses away from it. You could paint your middle finger a pale purple and then have darker blue based purples go towards your thumb and darker red based purples going towards your pinky or combine glitters and shimmers to spice things up.
Ombre Nail Art Step by Step
1. Pick out 5 nail polish shades of the same colour and line them up from the lightest shade to the darkest to do ombre nail art. For instance, pinks to reds or peaches to oranges.
2. Apply base coat to all of your nails and allow this to dry.
3. Start with your pinky or with your thumb and apply one to three coats of the lightest colour in your set. The amount of coats you will need will depend on how good the polish applies and that it looks as though there are no streaks.
4. Take the next darkest colour and apply it to the fingernail next to the one you started with. For example, if you started with the pinky finger then apply this shade to the ring finger. Again, use anywhere from one to three coats of this polish until it looks good.
5. You guessed it, take the middle shade colour and apply one to three coats on your middle finger.
6. Apply one to three coats of the second darkest colour to the finger next to your middle finger. You may find that the darker your polish gets, the less coats you need.
7. Apply your darkest shade to your last fingernail, either your thumb or your pinky depending on where you started. You will need to apply one to three coats for the best coverage.
8. Repeat this on your other hand either the same pattern or the opposite. If you started with the lightest shade on your pinky finger, then you can do the same on your other hand or start on the thumb to mix it up a little.
9. When all of your nails have been painted and the layers have dried, then finish with a top coat to keep your polish looking it’s best the longest.
10. Clean up any stray polish that may have gotten onto your skin accidentally.
There you have it, ombre nail art step by step that anyone can do. This is ombre nail art without sponge, in fact there really is no need to sponge at all when doing ombre nail art, although I suppose you could create art with it.
How to Use Ombre Nail Paints
The best way to create ombre nail art is to pick out 5 different shades of the same colour. You can buy pre-made sets as shown in the picture above. These have been put together by the nail polish manufacturers to make ombre nail art perfect. As you can see these have been lined up from lightest to darkest and even include a glitter polish for an accent. Simply paint each nail a new shade from your set, as explained in the step by step near the beginning of this article.
Another way to create ombre nail art is to mix your white polish with one of your nail polish colours. Make five different shades of the colour or use the white on the first nail and the plain colour on the last, then you only have to mix three polish shades. Place some white polish on your palette and mix in one drop of the coloured polish to create the second shade. Place two drops of the coloured polish into the next mixture and three into the third mix. Tinting your coloured polish with white in this way will give you your various shades of the same colour. If you use this method, I suggest you work quickly and only do one shade at a time as the polish will dry rather quickly on the palette surface as it is spread out and the air can get to it faster. Remember to make enough of the same shade to cover two fingernails, especially if you will want both hands to match perfectly.
The last option available for creating ombre nail art is to use a specially formulated top coat. To create this look, simply paint all your nails using the same colour of pale polish. Leave your first nail plain without using any of the ombre top coat over it. Use one coat of this top coat on your next nail. Use two coats over your third nail. Three coats over your fourth nail and four coats over your fifth nail. Allow them to dry thoroughly between layers. Apply your regular, non-ombre, top coat over your first nail to protect it, but not change the colour.
There are quite a few options for different nail art ideas using the ombre style. Ombre nail art without sponge, gradient with sponge, so if there is more than one colour sponged over one nail that is a gradient and not ombre nail art. Even a person that is painting their nails for the first time can create this ombre nail art with ease and have perfect results. This is an ideal nail art for those wanting to give nail art a try for the first time and simple for nail artists that want a quick and easy style to do.
Different Ideas for Ombre Nail Art
Fancy Gems Ombre Nail Art:
To add a bit of flare to your ombre nail try adding gems as they have with this beautiful blue ombre in the photograph above. For added fun, if you have a variety of gem colours you could use the opposite ombre gem effect and run the darkest gem on the lightest nail colour to the lightest gem on the darkest nail colour. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas out, that is what art is all about.
Shimmer Ombre Nail Art
There are all kinds of things you can do for ombre nail art designs, like using shimmering polishes as they have done in the picture above. This adds a touch of elegance to this ombre nail art.
Striping Tape style Ombre Nail Art
Ombre nail art ideas include using striping tape as demonstrated in the photo above. This is a beautiful ombre that goes from white through pink shades to red. The holographic striping tape is a cute addition that helps the nails to look longer, too, as it’s position at the bottom of the nails draws the eye downward along the nails. A cute trick if you want your nails to appear longer than they are.
Caviar Ombre Nail Art:
There are lots of clever ombre nail art ideas you can find online, including this one with the use of caviar beads. She has used black, white and two different shades of blue beading for this look. The pinky nail has been painted white and had mostly white beads mixed with a few light blue ones attached on top. The ring finger has been painted a pale blue and added mostly light blue beads with a few dark blue ones. The middle finger has the medium shade of blue nail polish with mostly dark blue beading and few light blue ones mixed in. The pointer finger is painted with the second darkest shade of blue with mostly dark blue beads and some black caviar blended in. Finally, the thumb nail has been painted with a midnight blue and has mostly black beads with a few dark blue ones on it.
Glitter Ombre Nail Art
This stylish ombre nail art has been created using different shades of glitter polish in gold tones, ranging from yellow gold to white gold in colour. This is a nice effect and would look great for a night out on the town or a special event.
A different look for glitter ombre nail art is to create an accent nail using glitter polish in with your ombre. Find a shade of glitter that you have that will go with the other shades of the same colour and include it in your polish line up. The picture above shows a mix of creme polishes, glitter and shimmer polishes to create this ombre nail art. Play around with your polishes to come up with a variety of ombre styles.
Ombre Newsprint Nails
Ombre nail art designs can be incorporated with other nail art ideas to create interesting looks. The nails in the photograph above have been painted from white to black with various shades of grey between and then had newsprint nail art done overtop. Newsprint is best done over pale shades to show up the best, but it has been used inventively here to emphasis the ombre effect.