As beauty trends come and go, it’s always fun to take note of which ones withstand the toils of time. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen a major revival in Y2K beauty trends, from thin and bleached brows to glittery eye makeup designs and eye-catching lip color combos. One of my personal favorite trends that have reappeared since the mid-2000s is ombré nails. Now, before you keep reading, do your best to forget the badly blended, smudged ombré nails of your youth. Today, we’re talking high-fashion yet wearable ombré nail designs that have completely won us over. If that idea piques your interest, keep scrolling to find out how Who What Wear’s fashionistas are taking on the nail trend (and which shades we’re shopping for to make them happen).
What Is Ombré and Why Is It Trending?
I had the opportunity to speak with nail technician Zelda Valenza of Tricoci Salon and Spa to get the inside scoop on the return of the ombré nail trend. “Ombré nails are making a comeback because again they are very versatile,” says Valenza. “[They’re] also a good way to ease someone into nail art who doesn’t necessarily wear it on the regular, something different for them to try.” For anyone unfamiliar with ombré nail trends of the past or present, she also explains what they are and why they’re so versatile. According to Valenza, ombré nail designs use two or more colors that are blended from light to dark; creating a gradient effect.
Before diving into how to create them, Valenza offers her insight on the shades requested for ombré nails by her clientele: powdery pinks, creamy whites, nudes, and neons are all colors flying off the shelves. That’s right: there are endless ombré nail designs that can work for neutral lovers and anti-minimal bold brights alike. Often one of the biggest nail designs Valenza sees during vacation seasons, ombré nails have never truly fallen out of style (they’ve just received high-fashion upgrades here and there). Glazed Donut nails, for example, can also be translated into an ombré design by blending chrome shades or a dusting of chrome powder.
For nail novices with a penchant for trying new designs, you’re in luck! They can be achieved by anyone with a few key supplies: a base coat, at least two color nail polishes of your choice, a makeup sponge for blending them together, and a topcoat. “It definitely takes patience to create an ombré. So to make the job easier I would start off with alike colors like white to nude,” Valenza adds. “Makeup sponges (wedges) will be your best tool when it comes to achieving ombré nails. Nail art brushes are great too, but I find them harder to work with when blending.” Alternately, if you’re heading to the salon, be sure to ask your technician if they’re able to do ombré nails and which colors they would recommend. Ready to try this trend out for yourself? Take a look at the four ombré nail designs for inspiration, and then shop the shades you can use to pull this trend off with style.
Neutral Ombré Nails
For all my neutral nail lovers out there, playing around with ombré nail designs are a great way to upgrade your everyday look. Pick two of your favorite shades (shimmery nude pink and white always look clean together) and blend away. If you decide to feature a white shade at the tips of your nails, congrats! You’ve created an upgraded version of the classic French. Check out our favorite neutral ombré nail looks below.