One of the most popular types of nail art is the gradient (also know as the dip-dye and ombre). You can see it almost anywhere with all different types of women rocking the look for all different sorts of occasions. The popularity of gradient nails has endured because they tend to be fairly simple and yet the end result is a fashionable and modern manicure that can fit just about event.

Seeing as you’ve ended up here I must presume you’d like to know how to get your own gradient look, or you’re after some inspiration for a gradient mani. Well fear not! Follow some of the tutorials below and you’ll have the perfect gradient nails in no time, or skip down to the gradient images for some ideas.

Gradient Nail Art Tutorials

In order to get your gradient nails looking perfect you’re going to need to invest in a few simple tools. Well in truth only one really – a sponge! Yep, any sponge will do. Although make-up sponges are usually the best for creating a gradient effect do try all different types to find out what works best for you.
You might also want to grab a wooden stick, toothpick or something you can use to stir two polishes together as some methods for gradients require this.

  • Cut your sponge up into pieces making sure that one side of them is flat. Also make sure it’s wider than your nail as it’s what you will be using to apply the gradient.
  • For a gradient effect to work you will need at least 2 colors, but you can use more.
  • Optional: You can apply a base coat first but this isn’t necessary. Just remember that if you don’t then the color you want as your base will need to to be the first color on your sponge.
  • You can choose whether to paint your choice of colors directly onto the sponge or put them on a piece of plastic before blending and mixing them
  • (Skip to the next step if you applied straight onto the sponge) Gently mix and blend your colors together if you applied them to plastic first, then dab your sponge onto the colors until you have enough on there.
  • Gently apply the sponge to your nails until they have blended to your liking.
  • Clean up around the cuticles in whichever way you find the most effective

A few extra tips:

  • You need to have colors that aren’t going to clash. Also remember that mixing two colors that really don’t go has a good chance of ending up with a nasty brown or grey sludgy color.
  • When applying with a sponge dab in an up and down motion.
  • Once you’ve got your gradient finished you can then stamp, dot or apply any nail art over them for a new look.

If you’re more of a visual person then have a look at some of the image tutorials below (click on them to enlarge):





If you want some inspiration for some gradient ideas then check out the gradient nail art and designs below (click on them to enlarge):





gradient nail art 5



gradient nail art 8


gradient nail art 10


Sources: Beaute Maniere,,

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