Ombre nails are a popular style option to turn a simple-looking manicure into something fabulous. As a nail professional, it is your job to provide the client with a gorgeous nail set that they love to wear. We will guide you through the steps to create a beautiful ombre nail set you’ll be proud to say you designed.
What Are Ombre Nails?
Ombre nails are a popular nail design requested by clients often. Ombre nails are created by graduating two or three colors into one another. This smoothly blended nail trend looks sleek and classy or bold and daring, depending on the client’s preference. Ombre looks fantastic on short and long nails alike.
Create ombre designs with glitter, metallic, or matte color gradients in gel, acrylic, dip powder, traditional nail lacquer, or gel polish. We will focus on gel ombre nails in this article.
Supplies Needed To Design an Ombre Nail Set
As a professional, you probably already have the supplies needed to design ombre nails. To create a long, beautiful gel ombre nail set, you will need:
- Valentino Beauty Pure Gel Kit
- E-file or nail file and nail buffer
- Cuticle pusher
- Cuticle nippers
- Cuticle oil
- Two different colored gels or glitter gels for the ombre design
- Nail brushes
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Gel Cleanser
How To Create Ombre Gel Nails: Step by Step
The approach to creating your ombre gel nail set is not difficult. Simply follow these step-by-step instructions. Begin with nail prep.
Prep the Nails
- Cleanse the nails with a gel cleanser and a cotton ball to wipe away oil and dirt from the nails.
- Push back the cuticles and dead cuticle skin using a cuticle pusher or orangewood stick. Pushing back the cuticles will expose more of the nail plate to achieve a uniform gel application.
- File and shape the nails with the nail file or e-file, leaving the free edge smooth and free of sharp edges. Squoval and round-shaped nails work best for gel nail applications if you are not applying a nail extension. Remove the natural shine from the nail plate with the nail buffer.
- Trim excess cuticle tissue, if necessary, with the cuticle nippers to provide a clean nail plate area for the gel application.
- Cleanse the nails again to remove the dust and debris. Gently push back the cuticles one last time if necessary. Finally, apply a nail prep dehydrator to each nail.
Apply the Nail Form Extension
To design a nail extension for your ombre nails, you must first apply the nail form. Align the nail form with the sidewalls of the natural nails. Adhere the nail form to the finger and pinch the extension along the sides to form the desired length.
Apply a thin layer of the bond primer to each nail and cure dry. Curing will cause the nails to become extra sticky for an excellent gel adhesion.
Build the Gel Nail Extension
In this step, you will build the gel nail extension. Building a solid gel extension is crucial for a long-lasting nail set.
- Dip your nail brush into the one-step gel and apply the gel to the foundation of the nail extension. Build the gel upward into the sidewalls of the natural nails, creating a cohesive flow between the nail form and the natural nail.
- Flash cure each nail after the builder gel is applied. Flash curing will allow you to solidify the gel enough to manipulate and shape the nail.
- After the flash cure, pinch each nail with the tweezers to form the shape. Pinch the area where the natural nail meets the extension and down through the length of the nail.
- Hold the pinch for a few seconds, then place the nails back into the UV or LED lamp for a complete cure.
- Remove the nail forms from each nail by gently pulling them away from the gel extension.
Apply the Base Gel Layer
For this step, you are creating a base layer of gel. This layer adds a protective coating over the nail plate. The gel makes it possible to return later and remove the gel color with an e-file without touching the natural nails.
- Apply a thin layer of one-step gel to the nail plate of each nail. Begin at the cuticle and drag it down the nail extension. Make sure to apply the gel in a smooth, even layer.
- Cure this layer of gel. You may also flash cure and pinch the nail instead if you need a more streamlined nail shape.
- File the sidewalls with a 180 grit nail file to taper, shape, and smooth each nail. Gently roughen the nail plate and around the cuticle with the file.
Create the Gel Ombre Effect
This step is where the fun begins! Choose your gel colors, and let’s get started.
- Apply a small bead of the darker gel color of your choice and brush it over the nail’s surface in an even layer. Cure the gel until it is completely dry.
- Next, you will begin applying hard gel to create the ombre effect. Apply the darker ombre color gel at the cuticle area and push it around and down the nail about halfway down the nail, stopping in the middle with a light feathering effect. Glitter gel works beautifully here. Wipe your nail brush clean.
- Apply your second lighter ombre color to the tip of the nail and push the gel around the tip of the nail, feathering it upward toward the previous color. Blend with your brush back and forth to create the ombre effect. Working with wet gel layers allows you to blend them easily. Cure the nails until they are dry.
- Build the apex of the nail using the one-step gel. Apply a slip layer of the one-step gel over the entire nail. Next, apply a dollop of the one-step gel where you want to build the apex. Start at the cuticle area and walk the gel down the center of the nail with your brush. Allow the gel to self-level.
- Cure the nails entirely until they are dry.
Finishing, File, and Top It Off
Complete the ombre gel nail set by polishing it with a finish, file, and top coat.
- Apply isopropyl alcohol to a cotton ball and wipe each nail in a downward motion.
- Carefully file/buff each nail from the sidewalls to the nail plate, making sure not to file into the color. You can use an e-file or hand file to do this. Double-check the shape of the nail, making sure it is symmetrical. Brush the residual dust away from the nail.
- Apply the gel top coat in a thin, even layer around each nail to encapsulate the color on each nail. Cure the nails until completely dry.
- Wipe each nail with a gel cleanser to remove any remaining dust.
- Apply cuticle oil to the cuticle around each nail and massage it into each nail with a cotton ball. Cuticle oil will hydrate the skin and leave the nails extra shiny.
How To Create Gel Polish Ombre
If your client wants to keep their natural nails without creating a nail extension, you can use gel polish to design the ombre effect. Gel polish is easy to work with as long as you have an ombre brush. You can trim the ends of your nail brush by snipping into the bristles to create fine, jagged edges. The uneven bristles make it easy to feather two gel colors together.
Feathering Gel Polish
After nail prep, apply the gel base coat and cure the nails. Then, follow these steps to create the ombre effect.
- Apply the lighter color of gel polish to the upper half of the nail, stopping midway down the nail. Do not cure.
- Next, apply the darker gel polish color to the other half of the nail.
- Using your ombre brush, carefully stipple the polish together where they meet and tap downward toward the free edge until the colors fade into each other completely. Wipe the brush clean.
- Use the same stippling technique to blend the colors upward toward the cuticle. The colors will begin to fade together until they form one color.
- Cure the nails until they are completely dry, then apply the gel top coat. Cure one final time.
Summing It Up
Ombre gel nails are a beautiful style that anyone can wear. Short and long-length nails, including nail extensions, flaunt the ombre design beautifully. You can create an ombre using hard and soft gels, acrylic, glitters, and gel polish.
The Valentino Beauty Pure gel nail kit contains everything you need to create beautiful gel nail sets for yourself and your clients. We also carry nail extensions, acrylics, and gel polish. Design beautiful ombre nails using Valentino Beauty Pure nail products for undeniably beautiful nails every time.