How-To: Easy, DIY Ombre Nails

Coach Coach

Love ombre nails, but  not sure how to achieve the look? There are a few guides out there that involve sponges and big messes, but we’d rather not have to do a heavy cleanup and risk staining our cuticles. So we’ve come up with a more simple, less messy way of getting that coveted ombre nail look at home.

What You’ll Need

3 varying shades of polish (We chose dark red, dark pink and light salmon for a subtle effect. For more dramatic ombre nails, use more contrasting colors, but always stay in the same primary color to prevent ugly shades. I.e don’t mix red and green unless you want a scary brown color)

Fast drying topcoat

Nail polish remover

Small glass

Foil (or other non-porous surface)

Paper towel

Disposable bristled lipstick brush

Cotton pad or sponge for cleanup/old polish removal



Place a strip of each color on a piece of foil. Only use enough for one nail, as you’ll want to repeat this process for each nail as the polish tends to dry up. Start with the darkest color at the bottom, the medium shade in the middle and the lightest shade on top. Important note: you must paint each nail and finish it with the topcoat one at a time so that the polish doesn’t dry too quickly and prevent the colors from mixing properly.

Using a disposable lipstick brush, apply the darkest shade at the bottom 1/3 of your nail. Dip the brush in the glass of polish remover to clean off remaining polish,  and then place the medium shade in the middle of your nail, clean the brush again, then apply the lightest shade at the top. Use the mixed colors on the edges of each polish strip to blend any harsh edges. Be sure to clean the brush in between each color to prevent the colors from mixing too much. Allow to dry slightly. Apply the clear top coat using sweeping strokes, blending the colors from the base of the nail upward. This will mix the edges and create the desired ombre effect. You’ll want to use a generous amount of fast drying topcoat to make sure the colors blend uniformly. Repeat for each nail.

The Finished Look

For a subtle effect use similar colors. For a dramatic effect use more contrasting colors.


Products You Might Like…

SHANY Cosmetics The Cosmopolitan Nail Polish Set (24 Pack), $29.99

Golden Rose Rich Color Nail Polish Lacquer (12 Pack), $19.99

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