Learning the correct approach for creating ombre nail art can mean the difference between nails looking stylish and looking unkempt. Though ombre nail art may seem like it’s just for the professionals, learning to do your own nails in ombre style is easier than you may think, and it makes nail maintenance achievable for long-lasting, pretty polish.

Step 1

Wash hands and dry them thoroughly with a towel.

Step 2

Lay one hand down on a sturdy, flat surface. Sweep base coat onto nails in gentle strokes from cuticle to tip, repeating until the entire nail is covered.

Step 3

Repeat application process for the other hand, then wait five minutes for the base coat to dry.

Step 4

Apply light nail polish to the entire nail, sweeping it in even strokes from cuticle to tip until the entire nail is covered.

Step 5

Repeat the light nail polish application process for the other hand, then wait five minutes for that coat to dry before proceeding.

Step 6

Paint an ample amount of the dark polish and the light polish right next to one another on a piece of flattened plastic wrap with colors slightly touching.

Step 7

Use a toothpick to swirl the two polish colors together in a thin line along the edge where they meet.

Step 8

Dab the edge of a damp makeup sponge firmly in the combined polish colors.

Step 9

Apply the makeup sponge straight down on your entire nail, pressing down evenly. Repeat the application if necessary, moving slightly up and down the nail to thoroughly blend colors.

Step 10

Repeat the dark and light polish mixing process, swirling, dabbing and sponge application for each fingernail. Use a new makeup sponge for applications when the polish on the original sponge dries.

Step 11

Wait 10 minutes for each set of nails to dry thoroughly.

Step 12

Apply a top coat with gentle strokes from cuticle to tip on all 10 fingernails.

Step 13

Wait five minutes for the top coat to dry.

Step 14

Dip a Q-tip in nail polish remover and rub the excess polish from your fingers. Wet a thin, pointed nail brush in nail polish remover, then drag it gently around the very edge of nails near the cuticle to further remove the polish.