Ombré nails (like ombré hair) are a style of manicure that creates a color gradient. A bright hue on the top of the nail fades into a darker color at the tip. It may take some time and effort to achieve the ideal ombré effect, but there is plenty of creativity to make your one-of-a-kind ombré effect nails. Here are 2 simple tutorials about how to do ombre nails at home.

What are ombre nails?

Ombre is a term derived from the French word “ombrer”. This is not the name of a certain color, but the concept of the change in shade, the intensity of a color, also known as a transition.

In the past few years, ombre color has returned in hairdressing, makeup and trending techniques. Then spread to the Nail field. This is the beginning of one of the most popular nail trends today.

Why are ombre nails becoming more trendy recently?

More than just a color transition from dark to light, the ombre pattern in the nail really brings top-notch art to the nails.

Creativity above all boundaries

Instead of just using a boring background color, nail technicians can break all the rules to unleash their creativity and mix colors.

Nail ombre gives the women a mysterious, enchanting and colorful look. Thanks to the unlimited color creativity, ombre nail styles are extremely diverse and constantly changing.

Diversity of customers

Nail ombre is suitable for all ages from young people to the elderly. Bright, eye-catching colors will be the perfect choice for young people.

As for the elderly, deep colors will be preferred.

Suitable for all situations

Thanks to the simple design, the ombre nail is easy to combine with different outfits and accessories.

Therefore, this nail style is often used by women in many different situations such as birthday parties, proms, weddings, etc.

How to do ombre nails by using a sponge

Step 1: Remove any extra cuticle.

To begin, in order to have the most beautiful nails, we must trim the extra skin surrounding the nails. This not only prevents the paint from smearing out, but also makes the nails neater and more attractive. To remove any skin from your nail plate, use a cuticle stick.

However, if you do it alone, it will be tough; you may ask someone else to assist you in cutting the cuticle, or if your hands do not have too much additional skin, you can avoid this step. When pressing and cutting it, take care not to bleed.

Step 2: Shape and file your nails

Decide how you want to shape your nails before cutting them. File the tip after trimming the usual nail style. Finally, smooth the nail surface with a polishing tool or nail file to complete the style. You may also make nails that are round, square, pointed, almond, or oval. Here is how to correctly file and shape your nails, according to our instructions.

Step 3: A clear base coat should be applied first. 

Apply a thin layer of clear base coat to all of your nails. A clear base coat protects your nails from staining from colored polishes and helps to extend the life of your manicure by reducing the occurrence of chips in your nail paint.

Step 4: Start by applying your base color polish.

The basic color for ombré nails is generally white polish or the lightest color you intend to use for the ombré effect. While a white polish will make colors appear more vivid, choosing the lightest of your intended ombré polishes will result in a softer, more delicate ombré look. Apply this color to all of your nails as a backdrop. Allow your nail base to dry completely for a few minutes before applying next layers.

  • Paint two coats of your base color to get an opaque base. Allow the first layer to thoroughly dry before applying the second.
  • It is preferable to apply two thin coats of lacquer to your nails rather than one thick and heavy layer of polish to assist them dry quickly.

Step 5: Using a makeup sponge, apply your ombré colors. 

Using a tiny makeup sponge, paint your ombré colors in straight, horizontal lines side by side. The area of the sponge that you paint with should be around the same width as your nail. Begin by drawing a line across the width of the sponge with the lightest nail polish color. Then, below the first color, paint with the next darkest color. Finally, apply the deepest polish color beneath the second line of polish. Make certain that all of the colors are painted adjacent to one other, with no visible sponge between them. For each color, apply a couple coats of polish on the sponge so that the polish is wet enough to print onto your nail.

  • The ombré effect is often created with two or three colors, but you may experiment with other colors and combinations to find what you like most.
  • It may help to wet the makeup sponge first before applying the colors. Fill the makeup sponge halfway with water. Wring out the sponge until about 80% of the water has been gone. Then, using the nail polish colors, paint on the nails.

Step 6: Apply the polish to your nails using a stamping technique.

Stamp the polish onto your nail by repeatedly pressing the sponge (with the polish side down) on top of your nail, taking the sponge away every couple of stamps to see if the ombré is dark enough and to your preference.

Step 7: Apply the nail polish on your nails. 

Roll the paint onto your nails by pressing the sponge’s side edge on the side of your nail. Gently slide the sponge (with the polish side down) across your nail to the opposite side. Repeat to deepen the polish colors and enhance the ombré effect.

  • This procedure will cause some nail paint to be transferred to the skin around your nails. To avoid this, apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly to the skin around your nails or apply tape to the skin around your nails. Otherwise, you can wipe the sides of your nails afterwards using nail paint remover.
  • There is a lot of flexibility in how you apply the color to your nail. To create your ombré effect unique and distinctive, modify the location of the sponge (stamping vertically on the length of your nail, tilting the sponge to particularly stamp on a specific hue).

Step 8: Fill the sponge with nail polish. 

After you’ve completed the ombré effect on one nail, refill the polish onto the sponge to keep the ombré colors moist and bright. Paint the nail polish colors in the same order as previously, starting with the lightest and working your way down to the darkest. Make sure that all of the polish colors are blending well with each other.

  • Keep in mind that if you try to ombré your nails with a sponge that isn’t sufficiently dampened with paint, the dry sponge will actually peel off your base color coat and damage your varnish.
  • If you stamp or roll your nails fast, you’ll probably only need to add polish to the sponge every other nail.

Step 9: Finish with a topcoat. 

After you’ve given all of your nails enough time to dry (approximately 10-15 minutes), apply a top layer of clear polish to them. Because sponging creates a stippled and rough appearance on your nails, you may want to apply two layers of top coat to smooth them out.

Step 10: Make sure the skin around your nails is clean. 

Swipe a tiny paintbrush or Q-Tip soaked in nail polish remover around your nails’ edges and cuticles.

  • The cotton on the Q-Tip will aid in the removal of polish from the skin, whilst the paintbrush will be more precise in removing extra nail polish.

How to do ombre nails by using a nail brush

The first 3 steps are the same as when you do ombre nails by using a sponge.

Step 4: Apply the 2 colors polish

If you’re going straight to your natural nails, start by applying and curing your base coat; if you’re using extensions, jump right to the color. Apply your first color shade from the base of your nail to about halfway up the nail. Then, take your lighter polish and apply it to the remaining half of the nail, carefully pushing the deep color up to meet the light polish.

Step 5: Blend the colors together

Take your nail brush with you. To get this look, use a brush with thin, wispy hairs to create the perfect faded appearance; ombré brushes are available for purchase for this reason. To begin blending the colors together, carefully tap the transition line between the two tones with the brush. Cure this layer with your UV or LED lamp. To get the ideal, gradual ombré look, repeat the previous process, applying your two colors and softly pressing your brush from side to side.

Step 6: Apply a transparent layer and top coat

Use a slightly more translucent paint to apply another layer on your nail. After applying and curing, paint the top coat to make sure that everything stays in place.

Frequently asked question about how to do ombre nails

Q: Can I do ombre nails with regular polish?

A: Of course! We recommend you use regular polish with the sponging technique but gel polish when using the nail brush.

Q: How can I remove the extra nail polish off my skin?

A: Once your nails are dried, wash it off. You may need to massage a little. You could also soak a q-tip in nail polish remover and wipe away the excess nail polish.

Q: Where can I get a sponge like the one in this article?

A: The sponge they’re using here is a cosmetics sponge (or cosmetic wedge), which you can find anywhere beauty products are sold. Some dollar/pound stores could have these too. You may use any sponge, although ones with air bubbles will provide a less smooth finish.


Going to a nail salon is comparable to doing ombre nails at home. You should have a pleasant time doing this if you have the right equipment and the patience to learn.

Because each of the steps we listed is essential, you should finish them all without skipping any of them. If getting your ombre nails done is too difficult, you can come to Rachel’s Nails for it. We apply ombre nails with professional polish and specific equipment, and then apply a nail treatment coating on top of your nails. Rachel’s Nails offers not only manicures but also pedicures and cosmetic treatments.

Every time you visit our nail salon, you will be served by expert nail technicians. We want to make sure that when consumers visit Rachel’s Nails salon, they get the best experience possible. Everyone can afford our prices. Aside from that, we provide high-quality products and services. We are located at 12a Norcot Road, Reading, UK. Here is our website and you can read our blogs to get more information about nails.

We hope that you find this article helpful and you can follow the tutorial about how to do ombre nails at home quick and easy.

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