Introduction: Create an Easy Ombre Manicure at Home!

Are you loving the ombre trend that's so hot right now? Do you find yourself longingly gazing at gradients and wishing you could get them on your nails? Is your wallet feeling a bit faint at the idea of getting ombre nails at the salon?

You've definitely clicked the right instructable. You've probably got everything you need to do a gorgeous gradient manicure right now! Keep clicking to see how to achieve this!

Step 1: Supplies

If you like doing your nails at home, you probably already have everything you need to do this. If not, you definitely don't need to break the bank. You can get almost everything you need for a 2 color gradient at your local dollar store with money left over for a Taco Bell burrito! (Don't blame me if you're up all night with indigestion, though... )

Base coat
White nail polish
Nail polishes for the gradient in the colors of your choice
Top coat
A cosmetic sponge

You can use any polishes you like for this, but keep in mind that you're going to be applying a very thin layer of the gradient colors. Opaque polishes tend to work a bit better for this than sheer polishes.

The white nail polish isn't exactly a requirement, but it definitely makes the gradient colors show up better.

As for the sponge? You can use pretty much any kind of sponge you want, as long as it's clean and doesn't melt if you put nail polish on it. If you aren't using a cosmetics sponge, you might want to test it by putting your nail polish onto it and stamping it a few times onto paper to see if it holds up. If it does? You're good to go!

Step 2: Let's Get to the Good Stuff... Make My Nails Look Pretty!

I know, if you're like me, you want to get past all the preliminary stuff and get to painting! First, put on your base coat. It helps keep your polish on longer, and helps protect your nails from staining. Always use a base coat!

Once that's dry, then it's time for the good stuff! Instead of me trying to figure out how to write the gradient steps, it's probably easier if you just watch me do it. Luckily, I have a video showing just that!

Step 3: What Next?

Now that you've got your nails gorgeous with that smooth gradient, be sure to add a top coat. This helps seal everything in, and really makes the gradient look smoother.

To clean up around the sponged areas, you can use a cotton swab with nail polish remover. However, I like using a paintbrush and acetone. Don't worry, I've got an instructable coming soon on that too!

And that's it... But you don't have to stop there. A gradient makes a beautiful background for nail art. You can add animal print on top, or stamp designs on. You can add dots or stripes or glitter or...

Yea. I get excited a bit too easily. Still, you have LOTS of options! My next instructable will show how to get the zebra stripes you've seen in my photos. So leave a comment if I haven't added it yet. I'm easily distracted!


SilaC1 made it!(author)2016-12-13

This gradient is so wonderful

CandyF1 made it!(author)2016-12-11

Nice tutorial. I was looking for several ombre designs around the Internet. I like yours idea and . I think it would be funny to do bright ombre nails.

perzoejackson made it!(author)2015-11-08

The video dosn't even show up on mine!! But the pic's are cute

perzoejackson made it!(author)2015-11-08

if this one seems mean then i'm sorry...

perzoejackson made it!(author)2015-11-08

it looks easy so i will try it w/out the video! lets hope for the best! AND THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS!!

--Peace&Love-- Zoe

bb_nails made it!(author)2015-07-23

Hi! I found this very helpful except okay this might be a stupid question, but in the video you used a fake nail to apply the colours to, will it only work on fake nails or can you apply the polish from the sponge to your real nails?

mslaynie made it!(author)2015-07-23

Nope, it's not a stupid question! I work on fake nails because it's easier for me to manage, and so I can work on several projects at one time. However, this will work on anything you can paint with nail polish- nails, jewelry, some plastics... the main limit is your imagination!

daviesshelby made it!(author)2015-05-16

Hey! I want to try this, but I have a question first... Do you need to reapply the polish to the sponge for every nail, or for every two or three nails or like, for each hand? What do you find works best?

mslaynie made it!(author)2015-05-16

It definitely works better when you reapply the polish for each nail. It can take a lot of polish and make quite a mess, but it's so pretty once you're done!

Take pictures if you do this, I'd love to see your results!

username1601 made it!(author)2014-10-11

I don't have a base coat. will it still work? or can I use a top coat for the base.

mslaynie made it!(author)2014-10-11

Top coat doesn't work well as a base coat. Since it tends to be really shiny, polish doesn't stick well to it.

However, you can do this technique without a base coat. A base coat will help protect your nails from staining, and it can help your polish last longer. Still, it's not totally necessary. =)

michael63 made it!(author)2013-10-07

Wow, i never thought you could do it that way. Great job. I would love to try that.

ThisIsAUsername made it!(author)2012-07-20

Really cute but it didn't work for me. :(

mslaynie made it!(author)2012-07-20

Hmmm, did you let the base polish dry fully first? Did you apply the polish thickly to the sponge? Did you reapply polish to the sponge for each nail?

Those are all things you need to do to make it work. Plus, it can take a few applications to make the gradient really show up.

ThisIsAUsername made it!(author)2012-08-10

YAY! I tried it and it came out really cute and bright! Thanks!

mslaynie made it!(author)2012-08-10

Yay!! I'm so glad to hear it! What was the problem?

ThisIsAUsername made it!(author)2012-08-10

I guess I didn't let the base dry enough before I sponged on the polish. I let it dry longer and it worked great!

mslaynie made it!(author)2012-08-10

Yep, that can do it. The base does need to be dry first, so the gradient can stick! :D I'm glad you got it to work!

ThisIsAUsername made it!(author)2012-07-21

Maybe I didn't lat the base dry long enough. Thanks!

mslaynie made it!(author)2012-07-21

You're welcome! I hope you can get it to work, because it's a really fun look!

emilyvanleemput made it!(author)2012-08-05

I just tried this and it turned out great I'll post a pic soon if you like

malibini made it!(author)2012-07-26

That is SO CUTE! i've always wanted to know how to do that! now i know how! thanks for the tutorial!

mslaynie made it!(author)2012-07-26

You're very welcome!

teddybear101 made it!(author)2012-04-08

I can't wait to try that! I love it :)

teddybear101 made it!(author)2012-07-03

So I tried this, and totally loved it! I am so excited :P

morlin made it!(author)2012-04-10

Awesome! I'm going out for some make up sponges right now! Thanks for the great 'structable

mslaynie made it!(author)2012-04-10

You're welcome! It's a really fun technique, I think.

Mrballeng made it!(author)2012-04-08

Really cool!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a wife, a mom, a health activist, an artist. I want to learn how to do everything, basically, even though I know I ... More »
More by mslaynie:Laser print nail art: creating beautiful, intricate, colorful nail art the easy wayRemove stubborn polish easily!Create an easy ombre manicure at home!
Add instructable to: