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Ombre Nail Tutorial by Anna Delores Photography

By April 19, 2012June 19th, 201523 Comments
Greetings, Julie Ann Art readers!  My name is Emily and I’m visiting from the Anna Delores blog.  The amazing (as you already know) Julie Ann agreed to let me share a fun nail trend that is also really, really easy to execute: ombre nails.
The ombre manicure made its appearance as a hot trend last summer, and it’s back and better than ever for 2012.  You can go matte, shimmer, glitter, or merge colors on one nail with sneaky makeup tool tricks — but I’m giving you the EASY version today, just to get you started.
When I first saw this trend, I thought I’d need five different polishes in the same color family, just lighter and darker versions of each other.  I knew I had enough polishes to make it happen (I think I have 15+ polishes just in pinks), but shades can vary so much — some are warm tones, some are cool tones, some are shimmery, some are matte, etc.  But THEN I realized: all you REALLY need is one dark polish and one white polish.  See where I’m going with this?
For my color inspiration, I decided on “Devious,” a midnight purple shade in a creamy matte (no shimmer) that I got from Ulta (whose eponymous nail polish is buy one, get one free right now!).  For white, I used Sephora by OPI in “A-ha! Moment,” a bright opaque white.
Perhaps this is obvious, but I recommend doing all your manicure prep before pouring and mixing colors, as once you measure out your polish, it (of course) starts to dry.  Because I got excited and poured my polish before applying my base coat (Nicole by OPI Base Coat Plus), the polish was a little thick and had already started to harden when I was ready to apply.  My end result wasn’t as tidy as it should’ve been, since I was negotiating with half-dry polish.  Yuck.
Measure out four dollops of your dark polish (I originally did five because I was thinking, five fingers, right?  But for the fifth one, you can use the original color out of the bottle, of course!  Duh, Emily). Add drops of white to each, one at a time — mix as you go so you can see if you need to go lighter or darker, and adjust the remaining “swatches” accordingly.  I had to fuss with mine a little to get the right gradient of colors.
And voilà!  You’ve got your ombre palette.  You can start at whichever end you like (your pinkie or your thumb) — I opted for starting dark on my pinkie and then working my way over, but you can do it the other direction, too, of course!  It’s up to you.
And that’s that!  I TOLD you it was easy.  Finish with your favorite top coat and some lacquer-drying drops (just 1-2 drops per nail) — I used OPI Top Coat and Nicole by OPI Drying Drops.
You can do this with pretty much any color as long as it’s dark enough to begin with; the darker the shade, the greater your flexibility in making the gradient as dramatic as you like!  I could’ve gone a lot lighter on my thumb color and thus had a more dramatic dark-to-light transition (as it is, the shades on my pinkie and ring finger look almost the same unless you’re examining them in bright sunlight!).  I like the subtlety of a tame gradient, but experiment with the colors and make it your own.
A few other color ideas to whet your whistle (and don’t you love that glitter?):
And this is a whole other level (I think this is the true 2012 reincarnation of the ombre nail, but I’m just not ready yet):

Enjoy, and let us know if you try this out!  And come say hello!

xo,
Emily

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