Saturday, 18 May 2013

Ombre nails... another success!

It's been almost 2 weeks since my first success with water marbling and it lasted beautifully for a full week without chipping! Unfortunately I was back on the wards for placement on Tuesday so I had to reluctantly remove it. However, I have until Tuesday to enjoy my nails again so last night I thought, riding on the success of my last nail art adventure, that I'd give ombre nails a go!

I've tried ombre nails before with zero success. This attempt was tricky but once I got the hang of it I managed to make it work! Like last time I want to give you some tips based on what I learnt from my experiences, so you can get it right first time without the hassle!

Intrigued? Find out more... :)

The colours that I used to create this look are:
  1. Rimmel Lycra Pro Professional Finish in '312 Ultra Violet' (the base)
  2. Rimmel I  Lasting Finish in 'Perfect Plum' (the shading)
  3. Miss Sporty Sparkle Touch Top Coat in 'Clear'
As always I used Rimmel's 5 in 1 Nail Treat base and top coat too :)

'312 Ultra Violet'

'Perfect Plum'

Now for my top 5 tips for creating this look without wanting to tear your hair out!

  1. Baby steps. As an ombre nails novice I found a need to make things as easy as possible. The best way to start doing this is by being careful what shades you pick to use. I originally tried a shimmery purple but as it was quite watery and usually takes a lot of layers to build up colour, using it for the ombre effect failed miserably. Now that's not to say it wouldn't have worked eventually, but as this was my first attempt I learnt very quickly that using better pigmented and creamy based shades would be better, so I swapped to 'Perfect Plum' This allowed for a better and quicker build up of colour whilst I got used to the method.
  2. Some shades are better than others. For a better graduated effect on your first attempt, pick two colours that aren't too far away from each other. The colours I picked probably could have been better matched as I struggled to get the nack of shading, and this has made it harder for the shades to blend into each other softly. Once you get to grips with your technique, allow yourself to be more daring with contrasting colours and even multiple shades!
  3. Go your own way. There are loads of tutorials out there on Youtube and various blogging sites showing you how to get this effect, and there seem to be numerous different ways of achieving it. Depending on your own abilities and proficiency with nail art, the shades you want to use, and the length of your nails, this will effect which technique will work best. Make sure you have a look around at the different methods, give each a go, and determine which one works best for you.
  4. Top coat, top coat, top coat. I don't think I've ever done anything that's required a top coat more than this! By the very nature of their method, ombre nails are messy and bumpy, and without a top coat actually look kinda crap! If you're not satisfied with the look of your nails, don't do anything until you've applied at least two layers of top coat. Then if you still don't like it feel free to start again. I wasn't particularly happy with the look of my nails even after the top coat but as I couldn't be bothered to start again I decided to try a coat of glitter on top and I found this was just what the look needed! I definitely recommend this if you feel like I did about your attempt.
  5. Ombre wasn't built in a day. Seriously this look took a ridiculous amount of time. Actually doing the nails might have taken about 45 minutes to an hour (nowhere near as long as water marbling), but the time it took for them to dry was insane. After my final layer of top coat I left about 2 hours before going to bed. I tested my nails for tackiness and they felt ok so I went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning I was horrified to find those pesky indentations from sleeping on my hands. This was the other reason I added the glitter coat. If you're going to attempt ombre nails, set aside an afternoon, make sure you have nothing to do that day that could risk damaging your work, and employ maximum amounts of patience! Give yourself time to mess up, to try different methods, and to let the polish dry as you will inevitably use a lot of polish which takes a while to set properly.

Overall my verdict for ombre nails is that once you get the hang of it, its a fairly simple, relatively quick, and quite fun nail art technique. It was a nice way to relax when I couldn't take any more of exam revision, and with what I learnt from my experience I hope to create an even better look next time!

I probably won't be able to dedicate any more time to nail art until mid-June when my exams finish. In the meantime though I'd love to see some of your attempts at ombre nails. Share your own tips and tricks in the comments section below :)


  1. these are amazinG! i definitely am not talented enough to even attempt this! great job! :)

    1. Thank you so much :D seriously it's really not as hard as it looks, just prepare to get a little bit messy and probably a little bit frustrated, but persevere and I'm sure you'll do a grand job :) I'm gutted I have to take it off tonight for work tomorrow :( Look out for something new on Friday :)