Why settle for a single nail polish shade when you can elevate your look with an ombre nail design? “Ombre nails are a popular nail art style that transition seamlessly from one color to another from cuticle to tip, all within the small space on the nail bed,” says Emily H. Rudman, founder of nail brand Emilie Heathe. And what better way to welcome in 2022, than with some show-stopping red ombre nails?
From fire-engine red with subtle black accents to tone-on-tone oxblood to candy apple gradients, the color combinations are endless. Plus, the nail trend is season-less, working in the winter or summer — or anytime you want to make a dramatic beauty statement.
The best part? It’s extremely easy to recreate at-home. All you really need are your favorite polishes and a wedge sponge. “To create a red ombre, you will need [your preferred colors], a makeup sponge, and a polish base coat,” says celebrity manicurist Maria Salandra. “Apply two coats of red and let dry. Next, swipe desired polish color on the short end of the makeup sponge and then tap gently until you get your perfect color fade.”
Ahead, discover six expert-approved red ombre nail designs to serve as inspiration for your next winter manicure. Plus, shop the best products to help you execute the look at home.
We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Crimson Nude & Gold
Here, the red polish of your choice seamlessly transitions to a nude for a minimalist, but seriously pretty, nail look. “A nude-to-red ombre look is a subtle nod to the red French tips that gained popularity within the last few years,” says Rudman. For the nude base, try Just The Nip. And for added fun, pop on some gold fold accents.
Shockingly, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with a romantic pink to red nail moment? For a subtle pink base, try Macaron and LeChat Perfect Match Cherry Cosmo for the cherry splash. And always remember to finish with a top coat. Côte founder, Mary Lennon recommends Strengthening Base & Top to lock in the color and create a longer-lasting mani.
“The easiest way to achieve any ombre nail look at home with regular lacquer is with a wedge sponge,” Brittney Boyce, celebrity nail artist and founder of NAILS OF LA tells TZR. “Other methods don’t give as seamless of a look and that line of demarcation is usually more pronounced.” To recreate: Brush your shades onto a wedge sponge and blot onto the nail until evenly applied. For winter parties and events, add some rhinestones to liven up the look.
Black to red ombre is one of the most popular (and dramatic) manicure styles. Anastasia Totty, LeChat Nails educator, suggests using Perfect Match Dip Black Velvet and Perfect Match Dip Ombre Gel, because when you paint them on, they will instantly create an ombre effect with your red shade. Easy!
Wine down ombre nails feature a crimson red fading into a deep burgundy accent shade. You can opt for rich wine hues like Côte no. 37 and The Perfect Red for a not-so-basic nail art look. Make sure you clean up any lacquer that gets on to the cuticle and sides of your nails and finish with a top coat for a long-lasting manicure.
Opting for one accent red ombre nail is a great way to dip your toes into the style before fully committing. Plus, accent nails tend to jazz up any manicure with minimal effort. If you enjoy a glitter accent nail, Totty recommends you apply two coats of cream red lacquer and simply sprinkle a little bit of dry glitter on the tips. Finish by dusting off any excess glitter and applying a top coat.