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How to Do Ombré Gel Polish Nails

Who doesn’t love an ombré manicure? With a subtle shift from one color to another, you can create a fun look in any color palette. You can even try a faded pink and white French manicure with the ombré nail method. And by doing an ombré in gel nail polish, you can create a look that will last perfectly for weeks.

The technique for creating ombré gel nails is simple—there are two different easy methods, one with a brush for pros and one with a sponge that’s easier to do at home. Whether you are looking to learn how to DIY your own ombré or are a nail tech perfecting your ombré technique, these methods will simplify the design process and help fade out transition lines. The hardest part is deciding which color spectrum you want to do! 

Here are our expert step-by-step guides of how to do ombré nails with gel polish:

Supplies Needed

- 2-3 shades of acrylic powder or gel nail polish in the same color family
Nail brush or sponge
Nail file
Protein Bond
UV/LED curing light 
Gel Top Coat
ManiQ Cleanser

    Method One: Ombre Nails with Gel Polish and Art Brush 

    For the ultimate precision when working with gel polish, especially when trying to create that ombré gradience, it’s best to use a nail art brush. This will keep the design process mess-free and bubble-free.

    1. Follow the above steps for prepping the nail and applying the Base Coat.

    2. Brush on one coat of your first gel polish color from the cuticle to halfway down the nail. Do not cure.

    3. Brush on the second color of gel polish starting at the free edge and brushing back to the edge of the first color.

    4. Using the ombré art brush, lightly brush horizontally across the nail, starting where the two colors join together. Work up and down the nail, blending the two colors until the transition smoothly. Cure for 60 seconds.

    5. Repeat steps 2-4 with a second coat of color.

    6. Apply ManiQ Top Coat and cure 60 seconds and remove the tacky finish with ManiQ Cleanse.

    Method Two: Ombre Nails with Gel Polish and a Sponge

    Ombré designs have the DIY stamp of approval thanks to the sponge application technique. This one is easier to try at home, if you don’t have time to go to the salon.

    1. To create the ombré nail design with a sponge, performing the prep steps remains the same as with the brush method. Once your nail plate is prepped and has an even layer of base coat and the neutral gel polish coat applied, you're ready to get crafty.

    2. Tap your sponge onto a piece of adhesive tape to remove any lingering particles, so they don’t get stuck on your nails.

    3. Wet the flat end of your sponge with an even, light layer of your first gel polish color.

    4. Dab the sponge onto the tip of the nail, even out the color on the nail, and work your way toward the middle.

    5. Cure the nail for 30 to 60 seconds.

    6. Perform steps 3-5 with the next gel polish color, working your way from the cuticle up to the mid-section of the nail. The tip of the sponge will help blend that ombré transition line without a hitch and a perfect fade.

    7. Add a healthy dose of top coat and a final cure for a DIY take on the ombré design via the sponge method. 

    Bonus Method 3: How To Create Ombré Nails with a Brush and Powder Coat

    For a quick and easy ombré, the brush and powder coat is a great option. Easy for nail enthusiasts and pro’s to get that beautiful blend without the technical precision.

    Prep the Nails

    1. Prep the nail plate for product application by pushing back grown-out cuticles and shape the nails to the desired length. 

    2. Hand-file the edges of the nail to finesse the perfect shape and gently remove the shine from the surface of the nail with a 150 grit file or efile file finish method.

    3. Cleanse the nail with Swipe and apply one coat of Protein Bond to the surface of the nail. This will help prevent chipping and peeling once the polish is cured, as well as granting a stickier surface for the base coat to adhere to. 

    Creating Your Ombré

    1. Paint the nail with one coat of ManiQ Base Coat and cure in the UV/LED light. After curing the Base, you can apply and cure a coat of colored gel polish, if desired, to enhance the look of the ombre. Keep in mind that a colored gel polish sets the foundation for the additional colors that follow.

    2. Align the colored acrylic powders that’ll represent the ombré design

    3. Work in sections to blend in color with the brush. Working in sections to create the ombré design makes the design process beginner-friendly.

    4. Dip your brush into the colored powder and dab the brush straight onto the area of the nail closest to the cuticle and continue pressing powder halfway down the nail plate, picking up more powder with the brush if needed.

    5. Wipe your brush clean.

    6. To add on the second shade, press in that final color powder from the free edge to the middle of the nail (wherever both tones meet and transition).

    7. Once the transition is met, dab and blend the shades with the tip of your brush and dust off any product off the surrounding skin. 

    Finish It Off

    1. Apply MQC Top Coat and cure under a UV/LED light for 1 minute. Your top coat is what prevents harsh transition lines and helps seamlessly blend the ombré colors together.

    2. Repeat steps 6-11. This process can be repeated twice or three more times depending on the brightness and density you want your ombré design to project.

    3. For a smooth finish, you may need to apply a second coat of ManiQ Top Coat and cure. Be sure to cleanse the surface of the cured top coat using ManinQ Cleanse to leave a high shine finish. 

    We can’t wait to see your very own take on the ombré gel nail look!