Create Ombré Nails With Just One Polish

After progressing from hair to fashion, the ombré trend has made its way to your manicure. The look is simple to recreate at home, and you don’t even have to track down five sequential shades. The secret: you only need color. To get a gorgeous gradient, just pick a single pretty hue and then create your own lighter and darker shades using white or black polishes. Here’s how to get the effect:

Step 1

Select your base polish. For this technique, a standard crème finish works best, so stay away from sheers, metallics, or jelly finishes. Bright polishes like these neons and pastels from Color Club are perfect for an eye-catching summer ombré.

Step 2

Grab a paper plate, a piece of foil, or an empty egg carton to use as your palette. You’ll also need a small paintbrush or makeup brush.

Step 3

Dab four drops of colored polish onto your work surface. Add drops of white polish to each pile on your palette, increasing the white as you go. Mix with a small paintbrush until you’ve achieved four distinct shades from light to dark. You can also experiment with black polish to deepen the polish. Warning: use black very sparingly—it only takes a tiny drop to completely change the shade!

Step 4

Now that you have four new shades, paint the nails on each hand from light to dark. We like having the darkest color on our thumb, but you can reverse it and apply the deepest hues to your pinkies. Regardless of the order you choose, apply the polish with a small paintbrush, or use your original polish brush and clean it between colors.

Step 5

Add a glossy top coat to for shine and protection. With endless color possibilities, we’ll be rocking this on-trend look all summer long.

No time for DIY polish mixing? You’re in luck. Try a set of pre-selected polishes in perfectly graduated shades like this one from The New Black.

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