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Haven’t had any luck finding the perfect nail technician for your bi-weekly manicure? There’s no one that you can trust quite like yourself! Even with no prior nail-art experience, paint your own ombre nails with ease to achieve picture-perfect manicures all fall and winter long.

As we welcome cooler temperatures, it’s time to swap out your swimsuits for sweaters and put away those flip-flops for a while. But what exactly does this mean for your nails? It can be a challenge to find nail art that suits what you’re wearing in the chillier months, but we’re here to put some gorgeous manicure inspiration in your life. Upgrade your nail game with a versatile look that you could realistically apply from the comfort of your own home.

1. What are Ombre Nails? 

These nails transition from one color to another, giving your manicure a beautiful gradient look. You can use any colors you like for these nails, but we recommend picking two to three shades that complement each other nicely.

ombré nails

The best part about the ombre nail trend? It’s so easy to do! All you need is a makeup sponge and an opaque top coat (we recommend Sally Hansen Triple Strong Nail Strengthener). If you want to get creative and add some beautiful sparkle, add some embellishments like glitter or rhinestones on the tips of your fingers for an extra special touch!

They’re a great way to show off your creativity and add some color to your outfit! Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to bring these instagrammable ombre styles to life:

  • Basecoat
  • Three nail polish colors, ideally light, medium, and dark shades
  • Topcoat
  • Makeup sponge (we recommend wedge-shaped)
  • Scissors
  • Nail polish remover (because everyone makes mistakes!)
  • A cotton swab or cotton ball
  • Nail file (just in case for rough edges and nail shape)
  • Optional: nail glitter or other accessories

2. How to Apply Ombre Nails

Follow these easy steps to achieve ombre nails at home.

Step 1

The best nail polish application is first to apply a clear base coat, followed by your color of choice. Make sure you wait for it to dry completely before continuing the process. Attempting this technique on semi-wet nails will leave you with a big mess on your hands! Use a hairdryer to speed up this step if need be.

Step 2

While you’re waiting for your base coat to finish, choose three different polish colors. They don’t have to be from the same color family but opt for light to dark shades that create a natural gradient.

Step 3

Use your scissors and trim the flat end of your makeup sponge to mimic the size and shape of your nails.

Step 4

Apply the lightest shade in a thick horizontal line across the top of the sponge, followed by the medium shade in the middle and the darkest shade on the bottom. Feel free to rearrange the color order to create your desired effect. Tip: When applying the different polish colors to your sponge, ensure they overlap to avoid unwanted gaps. 

Step 5

Line the polish-filled sponge up with your nail and gently dab it until you achieve your aspired outcome. It might take you a couple of layers before you get the gradient you love.

Step 6

Finish with a strengthening top coat to keep your mani looking fresh for longer. Add glitter or accessories as you see fit.

3. Fall Colors for Seasonal Ombre Manicures

This season, saturated jewel tones are in! Think about ruby red, sapphire blue, emerald green, and amethyst purple when brainstorming the darkest shade in your color palette. This look works best when you stick to the same color family. Beauty experts suggest painting your nails with a base color coat of white or beige to make your subsequent shades more vibrant.

Neutral tones are always a safe bet once the temperature drops. The ombre trend works incredibly well with creams, pinks, browns, tans, and taupes, too.

PRMIT Beauty’s GELlusion nail lacquer line includes twelve shades named after each month of the year. Their September, October, November, and December shades definitely understood the assignment, with bright, bold hues to base your DIY ombre manicure around.

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OPI prides itself on supplying the market with premier nail polish, nail care, and nail art. The twelve shades in its most recent Journey to Downtown LA line do not disappoint! Browse through the collection here to get inspiration for your next nail look. We especially love the pops of color we see in OPI’s My Studio’s on Spring, Espresso Your Inner Self, Isn’t It Grand Avenue, and Violet Visionary options.

Pair one of the darker shades below with two lighter tones from the same color family to achieve your perfect gradient. If you want to try something different, experiment with metallic, pearl, or even matte finishes to elevate this look. You can even accessorize your manicure with nail glitter, embellishments, and other cute add-ons you can attach with glue.

4. Tips and Tricks for a Successful At-Home Manicure

ombré nails

Patience is vital when doing a task as tedious as painting your fingertips! Don’t be too afraid to make mistakes while you’re figuring out the technique. To best prepare for any minor incidents, have some cotton balls and nail polish remover on stand-by. Zoya’s Remove Plus 3-in-1 Nail Polish Remover is one of our favorites because it not only erases worn polish but preps and conditions your nails for your upcoming coat!

ombré nails

If you’re really looking to amp up your DIY manicure, invest in a cuticle treatment to keep your hands looking like you just walked out of the salon. Try Olive and June’s award-winning Cuticle Serum for added hydration with a convenient foam applicator.

ombré nails

We’re also obsessed with another Olive and June essential—the Clean-Up Brush! Don’t worry about coloring outside of the lines when this petite brush cleans away excess polish and creates crisp lines in seconds.

ombré nails

We know we told you how important patience is when polishing your nails, but sometimes that patience runs out faster than you’d think. Ciate London’s Plant Pots – Speed Coat Top Coat not only helps your nails dry more quickly but has a chip-resistant protective shield that will keep your manicure glistening for over a week.

Conclusion

Get rid of boring nails! Ombre nails are the hottest trend for the fall and winter seasons. We’ve spelled out all of the supplies that you need to complete this adorable nail look all on your own. Whether it’s a mani-pedi or just a basic manicure, we can help you create an ombré design that will match any outfit. So what are you waiting for? Get inspired by some of our favorite colors, and start painting today!

You’ll be giving everyone around you major #nailgoals envy all autumn long after trying this technique for yourself.

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