Manicure Monday: Ombre Nails

Ombre is huge right now, whether it’s on your hair, your dress, or your nails.  But it’s not an easy look to get. I’ve tried doing an ombre manicure in the past, and I can never seem to pick the right colors.  China Glaze makes it easy for you with their Ombre kits!  They have three sets to choose from: Grape Expectations (purple), Sweet Sensations (pink), and Wait Teal You See (teal, obviously).  You get four full-sized China Glaze bottles for $14.99.  Beauty made easy! Read on to see the results I got with Grape Expectations.

manicure monday collaboreight grape expectations tutorial

The kit comes with four colors: Sweet Hook, Spontaneous, Grape Pop, and Crimson (don’t be fooled by the name – it’s totally purple and not red at all).  It also includes ten sponges – which I didn’t use! But we’ll get to that.

I started with Nail Tek – my nails have been pretty weak lately, so I’m needing the extra boost of strength – followed by two coats of China Glaze‘s Sweet Hook.  I used Sweet Hook (the palest purple) as a base because it’s easier to cover a light color with a dark color than vice versa.  It’s important to let your base color dry completely before moving on because otherwise the sponge could really ruin the rest of your manicure.  I stopped here and finished my manicure the next day because I’m impatient – but don’t tell anyone.

To create the ombre effect, you’ll need a sponge.  Like I said before, the kit comes with sponges, but I used makeup sponges – Swisspers Cosmetic Wedges, to be exact.  Apply a line of each nail polish color to the sponge, working quickly to make sure it doesn’t dry on the sponge, as displayed to the right.

Press the sponge onto your nail, making sure to press it into your nail all the way to your cuticles.  I can promise you’ll get polish all over your fingers, but you can always clean it up later.

Repeat this process on all of your nails.  The sponge will make it look rough and kind of messy, but once you apply your top coat (I always go back to Seche Vite), it will really smooth it all over and complete the look.

I’m not totally thrilled with the way it came out – the lines between the colors are sharper than I was hoping for.  Unless you’re up close, this looks totally ombre.  Up close, I’m not as impressed.

Next time, I’m going to try it again with their own sponges.  I’m also going to try to move the sponges a bit up and down to hopefully get more of the gradient effect.

All else aside, $15 for four full-sized China Glaze bottles is an amazing deal – so we’re still pleased. If you’ve tried China Glaze‘s Ombre kits before, let us know – did it work for you?

Check out more great manicure tutorials:

About Kathleen Tower

Kathleen is the style editor for The Collabor-eight. She's a 23-year-old true Jersey girl; big hair, bigger heart. Her passion for beauty and makeup started with an internship at Seventeen Magazine and has grown ever since. After graduating from Villanova, she turned her love for Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter into a full-time job as a social media coordinator! When she's not at work, she's browsing everywhere from the Internet to the streets for her own "Manicure Monday" inspiration. She believes that true style comes from a mix of high and low, designer and drugstore, expensive splurges and nearly steals!

10 comments on “Manicure Monday: Ombre Nails

  1. This is cool cause it gives you the coordinating colors in the set. Otherwise I have trouble picking which colors go together for “ombre” rather than just stripes. Even if you did stripes on purpose though it would look really put together.

  2. I want to do this for NYU graduation! Or like, purple to white.

    • That’s a great idea! You could totally do purple to white if you start with a white base coat and do ombre starting from white.

      Let me know if you want to borrow the polishes from the set for graduation! 🙂

  3. […] create the look, I used China Glaze’s Ombre Kit, which comes with four full-sized colors: Sweet Hook (lightest), Spontaneous, Grape Pop, and […]

  4. […] manicure, the better I get at it. I’m not trying to brag – practice makes perfect! My first attempt at ombre was pretty much a fail. I’ve made mistakes and learned how to adapt – so […]

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