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When an Ombre nails manicure is done, your nails will get a very beautiful color gradient effect, with a light color at the bottom of the nails blending into a darker color towards the tip of the nails. I always admire anyone I see with Ombre nails- and I am not alone. They are very pretty and if the colors are chosen wisely, the created gradient will become a magnetic attraction to virtually any eye. You can create a perfect Ombre effect with a little bit of practice. Here, I want to show you the easiest way to create beautiful Ombre nails at home. It will only take you five minutes and you do not need a lot of tools or to go to the nail salon.
These are the only things you will need: (Plus Links To Buy Them On Amazon)
- Nail clippers ==> Click Here to Buy Them On Amazon
- Nail file ====> Buy them on Amazon Click Here
- Cuticle pusher ===> Click Here and Buy this One On Amazon
- Base coat ==> Click Here and Buy this One On Amazon
- Top coat ==> Click Here and Buy this One On Amazon
- q-tip /Cotton Swab ==> Click Here to get these on Amazon
- Three contrasting nail polishes ==> Click here to check out The best nail polish for your skin tone and nail health.
- Top coat
- Small make-up sponge ==> You can these on Amazon, Click Here
- Paper plate, wax paper, or plastic sheet
- Fine-tip brush
- Nail polish remover or acetone ==> Click here to see and buy the one I use and Recommend – 100% Natural and safe
- Cotton swab (See Q-tips above)
- Petroleum Jelly (optional) ===> Click here to buy it on Amazon
You can create Ombre nails with sponge or without a sponge. However, most people do it with a sponge. So, here we are going to use the Ombre gradient sponge technique. I will also create a special post where I will show how to do this manicure without a sponge.
TIP: You will get perfect results if your carry out these steps on a clean flat surface such as a nail station. So you would choose clean, flat working manicure table where you can place the hand you are working on. And do it when seated in a comfortable posture/position. If you are not comfortable, you will not be able to create a nice Ombre effect.
- Start off by cleaning your nails so as to prepare them for this manicure. For a perfect Ombre gradient, your nails need to be free of any oils or contaminant as these will prevent the polish from sticking. Also for the polish not to chip or crack, thus lasting longer, your nails should be short. Therefore, in this step, you will need to soak your nails in soap water for few minutes. The soap will remove some oils on the nails and hands. Then dry your nails with an oil free material such as paper towel. You will then trim and file the nails with a nail clipper and electric nail file machine so as to shorten and give them a nice shape onto which the gradient effect will look appealing. Then using a cotton swab, put nail polish remover or acetone on it and wipe your nails even if there was not polish previously. This step helps to remove any remaining oil or polish from previous manicures. Let your nails dry completely.
- Trim the cuticles (Only if necessary) and push them back with a cuticle pusher (Metal pusher or orange stick or with thumb nail of your opposite hand).
- Apply basecoat to the entire surface of your nails to smoothen the surface so that the polish can adhere better to the nails. Base coat also protects your nail bed and improves the longevity of the actual color polish. First role the bottle between the thumbs of your hands or shake it only if your have no patience and then brush it over the entire surface of the nails in even strokes.
- Chose three contrasting colors that you are going to blend for the Ombre. Your choices for Ombre color combinations are limitless. You can create any effect you want with different color combinations. You are also not limited to only three colors, but I find that more than three clouds the nails. So sticking to three color combinations gives the best and prettiest manicure I have seen lots of Ombre effects: the ugly and the beautiful and it all depends on the color combinations you chose at this step: I usually use neon colors for this as they really pop/glow. Some color combinations you can use are: All three blue polishes (in varying color intensities of blue); hot pink, blue and lime green; hot pink, yellow, and lime green; blue, silver, and black; white, red, and pink. Metallic colors such as from OPI give nice Ombre effects. I also used the Kleancolor metallic nail polish for ombre nails. It gives great effect even though it tends to chip off easily. If it is ok for you to have a nice appearance for a few days, then I recommend them. Click here to check them out.
- Start with a Base color: Paint your nails with the base color. This should be the lightest of the three colors. For my neon colors, I usually use white base color (my favorite is Alpine snow from OPI) because it makes the neon pop/glow nicely and gets opaque with just two coats. Apply two coats of the base color, best applied as two thin coats of polish rather than one thick coat.
The cuticles are the concentrated parts where this color should be quite solid and opaque. Wait for it to completely dry before you apply the contrasting colors.
How to do the Ombre nails effect in two steps
Many people complicate the Ombre manicure. In fact, using a sponge, and blending the contrasting colors on the sponge before applying them on the nails, you can do this nail art in just two steps.
Here is how to do it:
After the white base color, get your sponge and cut it into a square so that it is the width and length of your nails and the sponge should be flat. You do not want too much of the sponge on your nails as it will spoil the gradient.
B. Line the nail and the painted sponge and start dabbing/padding it along the nail so that the colors are transferred from the sponge to the nails. You can repeat this step if necessary until you get the desired effect on the nail.
You will repeat steps A and B for each nail. The same sponge can be used through out (Just re-paint the sponge for each nail).
After you are done with all the nails. Remove any polish on the skin surrounding the nails by using a nail polish remover. Dip a Q-tip in the nail polish remover and use it to clean up all the edges of the nail.
Finish off with a Topcoat. Let the design dry completely and secure it by sealing with a topcoat on all the nails. The topcoat protects and prolongs the life of your nail polish. Plus it gives your manicure a shiny finish.
Here is a Video of her explaining that method.
- You can apply petroleum jelly on the skin surrounding the nail so that the polish wont stick to the skin when dabbing the sponge. However, make sure that the jelly does not tough the nails at it will prevent the polish from sticking to the nails.
- Alternatively, you can stick tape around the skin immediate to the nails. This way, instead of sticking to the skin, the polish will stick on the tape, which you can latter just peel off the skin.
Those two tips will save you from the cleaning step or use of nail polish remover.
Other ways to create Ombre nails
In the above text, we have seen that you can create the Ombre nails with sponge using nail polish. But you can also create the effect using sponge and acrylic paint instead of nail polish. You can find these acrylic paints for Ombre nails at Walmart or your local beauty/ drug store.
The steps a basically as above (A and B), but here, instead of the nail polish, you apply the contrasting acrylic paint colors on the sponge.
Ombre nails without sponge
Although the most popular technique is to use sponge, you can actually create Ombre nails without sponge.
Here is a video detailing four ways to do Ombre nails.
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