8 Ombré Nail Looks to Copy ASAP

Updated 04/16/19
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One of the easiest and most versatile nail art designs is the ombré nail. Though it’s not a new trend, it's one that has stuck around and withstood the test of time. With an unlimited combination of colors and tons of different styles, this gorgeous gradient look is always sure to impress. We talked to Sarah Bland, beauty ambassador at Smith & Cult, for her best tips and tricks on how to get this coveted look from the comfort of our couch.

If you’re not a nail art aficionado, fear not. We love this look because it only requires a few tools we already have in our makeup bag. “The easiest way to create an ombré look at home is to use an eye shadow applicator or a disposable makeup sponge that you can tear in half,” says Bland. Done deal. Want to learn some more tricks and garner killer nail inspiration? Keep scrolling.

For a classic look, Bland suggests lightly sponging your polish of choice on top of a completely dry base color before repeating the sponging technique as the coats dry to achieve the desired effect. “This is what I call an ombré illusion," she explains.

If you’re looking to set yourself apart from the pack, try a horizontal ombré rather than the standard vertical variation. It’s just as easy to execute—just switch up the direction.

Having difficulty creating an ombré nail with a sponge? Try it with dots. Use the tip of a pen or toothpick as a dotting tool, making them more sparse as you make your way toward the cuticle. You might even try experimenting with different sizes of dots.

Ombré looks great in monochrome. We love this simple blue look, where a matte topcoat takes this bright color to the next level. Try Smith and Cult's Flat Top Coat ($18) to mattify any hue.

Create a unique look by playing with different textures. Pair metallics with mattes, sheers, or other shades for a downright polished look.

Bland suggests using darker shades while layering for contrast. Reds and blacks come together in the above look to create a vampy blend that's dramatic and edgy.

Glitter may be the toughest to remove from nails, but it's actually very forgiving when used in an ombré look. Concentrate the glitter at the tips of nails for a trickle-down effect that sparkles. Bland likes to create this look with Smith & Cult’s Shattered Souls ($18).

Ombré is a great way to modernize the French manicure and offer a fresh, new take. Bland suggests using Smith & Cult’s Nailed Lacquer in Ghost Edit and Regret the Moon (both $18) to re-create this classic.

Next up, check out the top Korean nail trends of 2017.

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