How To Make A Gradient Manicure

There are many ways to decorate your nails. Rhinestones, stamping, piercing, stickers, foil, glitter, paintings, and even three-dimensional figures are used to create spectacular manicures. There are many ways and means of nail colouring, among which the gradient manicure is very popular. Gradient manicure (ombré, degradé) – a special method of applying paint, based on – the smooth flow of one tone into another. This manicure is beautiful on long nails, but can also be used on short nails to catch the attention of others.

Gradient manicure


  • There’s plenty of room for experimentation;
  • Attractiveness, but not vulgarity;
  • A wide palette for any look;
  • The opportunity to realize your creative ideas;
  • Creativity.

The popularity of gradient manicures peaked in 2013, but is not fading out of style now. To make a gradient manicure at home is possible if you have patience, skill and the desire to achieve the cherished play of colours on the nails. For the design to turn out organically, you need to take advantage of the basic laws of colourism.

The Seven Colours Of The Rainbow: How To Choose A Combination?

There are several types of design creation:

  • Transition of light tone to darker or more saturated on each nail;
  • Transition from one contrasting colour to another;
  • Transition from light shade to dark shade from one nail to another.

Different types of gradient manicure

You can come up with your own version of degradation, as well as a combination of colours. It is possible to perform a gradient manicure with shellac. It is desirable to use no more than four lacquers, so that the transitions looked harmonious and stylish, but not ugly. The most popular colour combinations for gradient design:

  • Blue and blue;
  • Pink and white;
  • Black and silver;
  • Gold and Red;
  • Orange and yellow;
  • Green and Lettuce.

Ideas for colouring do not end there. You can combine both related and contrasting colors: honey and strawberry, purple and royal blue. Use the colour wheel to select the necessary tones. Depending on the choice of colours, you can perform a gradient manicure. Having mastered the basics of this difficult but impressive technique, you will be able to implement your ideas with shape and painting.

Gradient manicure

How To Make A Gradient Manicure Step By Step?


  • Nail file;
  • A container of water;
  • Varnishes of the chosen colours;
  • Sponge (preferably fine-pored) or sponge;
  • Varnish base (for base coat);
  • Bright white varnish (optional);
  • Cotton sticks;
  • Nail polish remover;
  • A piece of cardboard, film or foil;
  • Varnish for finishing (topcoat).

Gradient manicure

There are several types of varnish application:

  • The nail is coated with a clear base varnish. The selected nail polish is applied in strips to a sponge or sponge and quickly imprinted on the surface of the nail. This technique is most often used at home, so it will be discussed in detail below;
  • Another technique involves applying varnishes to film (such as a file) or a plastic lid. The stains of the colours must be placed so that they touch. At the borders of the spots, the lacquers are carefully mixed with a stick or toothpick, and then the result is transferred to the nail with a manicure base;
  • If you have chosen only two tones and the transition is from a darker shade at the moon to a lighter tip of the plate, apply the darker colour as a base. If you need to make the transition from the light shade at the moon to the dark tip of the plate, apply the lighter colour to the nail plate. After that, a second shade is applied to the sponge and the nail polish is imprinted on the top of the nail. The nail is covered with a finishing polish to complete the smooth transition.

Gradient manicure

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Prepare your nails and tools for manicure. To do this in advance you need to polish your nails, get rid of burrs, treat the cuticle and shape the nail plates. Do not forget to wash the sponge;
  • Apply a clear manicure base to your nails. After it has dried, you can apply a rich white polish to make the tone of the manicure look brighter. It is not necessary to do this;
  • Apply the lightest nail polish to the nail. Then take a piece of sponge or sponge pad, wet it a little and squeeze it out. The water will prevent the nail polish from absorbing too quickly;
  • Now it is necessary to make a mixture of varnishes. To prevent the layer from drying out, you need to do the shading quickly. You can do this on tape, an old disc, foil or a piece of cardboard. You can also mix colour patches directly on a sponge or sponge. You need to apply a strip of varnish of the tone from which you want to start the gradient. If you want to do from light to dark, then distribute lines of varnish on the surface of the object from lightest to darkest, etc. The stains should border each other;
  • Smudge the borders of the colours on the film with a toothpick, and then print the result on a sponge. Press the object onto the nail, smearing just a little to achieve a perfectly smooth transition. The more you press down, the richer the gradient manicure. Apply top coat to fix. It is important that the gradient layer is still wet;
  • Clean the skin around the nail plate with a nail polish remover. The skin around the nail can be cleaned with a cotton swab or a correction pencil.

Gradient manicure

How to make a gradient manicure gel lacquer step by step?

  • Prepare your nails. It is necessary to degrease the surface of the plate – this can be done with special wipes. Apply the gel lacquer base to the nail surface. Dry the nails (preferably using a UV lamp);
  • Prepare the gel polish (shellac), a soft small brush, a palette, water, brush cleaner and a liquid for removing the sticky layer, to clean the brush afterwards. Brush one of the desired shades on the entire nail. Dry the layer, then take the next shade and apply it to the part of the nail where the transition should begin. Next, lightly moisten the brush, dry a little on a napkin or cloth and confidently blend the shades;
  • After applying the desired number of coats, dry your nails and apply a top coat. Do not forget the moisturizing cuticle oil.

Manicure ombré

Practical Tips

To make it easy to remove the nail polish from your skin, use a greasy cream. It is imperative that it does not touch the nail, otherwise the varnish will not print off. Removing the varnish with a cotton swab will be easy after using the grease cream. You can use special products that come off the skin along with the nail polish. To roughly imagine the result of sponge imprinting, you can try out the action on paper or the same foil. The fine pores of the sponge will get rid of bubbles, as will many layers. The latter will help smooth out a gradient manicure when combining contrasting colours.

Gradient manicure with beige and white lacquers


You can use sequins as one of the “participants” in the degradation. The gradient manicure looks gorgeous with rhinestones, patterned paintings, slides, and appliques. It will look gorgeous with a gradient, the colours of which match the colour of any of your accessories.

Gradient manicure with red and black lacquers

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