An Ombré French Manicure Is The Perfect Nail Art For Minimalists

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by Natasha Marsh
ombre nails

Ombré, the gradual transition from one color or tone to another, is a manicure style that has been popular season after season. A quick look on social media and you’ll see dozens of variations of it on the accounts of popular nail artists (not to mention hair, home decor, and clothing). And fortunately, it’s one of the easiest nail styles to recreate at-home. “An ombré nail art look, often know as gradient nails, fades one polish color into another on the nail, whether done vertically, horizontally, or radially,” says Rita Remark, nail artist for Essie. “The good thing is: vertical, horizontal, and radial ombré all essentially utilize the same tools (brush or makeup sponge) and technique.” But the easiest way to wear the trend is opting for a different shade within the same color family on each nail, for a seamless — and seriously pretty — transition that feels purposefully mismatched.

Playing with the contrast of colors, ombre nails are very versatile as you can be as subtle (minimalist and one hue) or bold (multicolored or accented nails) as you’d like. “Ombré nails are always a very popular choice because it allows a person to have a great nail look without necessarily committing to nail art,” shares Vanessa Sanchez McCullough, celebrity nail artist. “That’s why it’s a perfect summer nail look.” For inspiration at your next nail appointment, below, check out the ombré nail ideas that celebrity manicurists are loving. Plus, find nail shades and care tips that will help you recreate the look at home.

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Pastels Rule

Yes, pastels are generally associated with spring but this summer they are getting an update with an ombré fade. Simply select five of your favorite pastel shades in a complementary tone and top with a fast-drying top coat for extra shine.

French Tip Ombré

The resurgence of Y2K beauty trends has solidified the beloved French manicure as the go-to look for 2022. To achieve the ombré French manicure, dip a sponge into your desired shade and place it along your tips. You can also do this with a nail brush or dotting tool. This style is great for everyday or special occasions, and looks particularly striking in green tones.

Green With Envy

You’re sure to turn heads this summer with this green gradient mani (it is one of the top color trends of the year, after all). Incorporate the hot trend with sea foam, emerald, and avocado greens. When doing this at home, make sure to start with a clean palette, including filing and removal of cuticles for a fresh-out-the-salon look.

Orange Fusion

Bright nail colors are everywhere around summertime but why not slightly alter your bright summer manicure with pops of darker hues for a good contrast? Pair tangerine with terra cotta orange for a stunning seasonal ombré manicure.

Moody Gradient

Go against the grain this summer with a moody neutral palette, as seen here. Create a light-to-dark transition with glossy blacks that blend into slate gray and finish with an icy tone on the thumb.

In The Nude

If you’re not yet ready to fully embrace a bright five-color ombré mani, look to more minimalist colors for a subtle take on the trend. Opt for creamy baby pinks, light mochas, and taupes.

Popsicle Summer

For your next mani, think bright and embrace the warm temperatures that come with summer. This popsicle-inspired ombré manicure will perfectly complement your summertime wardrobe and create an overall sun-kissed vibe. Sanchez McCullough recommends using a striping art brush (she prefers Wildflower Nails Gold Brush) to blend the colors together.

Shimmer Away

Ombré nails don’t have to just be glossy or matte — step out of your comfort zone this summer with a glittery metallic finish. You can add a different shade to each nail to get the ombré effect or invest in a blended polish to get the look.

Pink Bliss

The perfect marriage of pink and pastels, this multicolored nail look is the chic summer manicure you need. According to Emily H. Rudman, CEO and founder of Emilie Heathe, it wears well with any nail shape but could be best on longer nails when adding a design as there is more real estate with which to play.