Tips & Tutorials

French Manicure Ombre Nail Tutorial

French Manicure Ombre Nail Tutorial

Time for a twist on the classic French manicure! Everyone loves a good French mani – they’re elegant, sophisticated and they make your nails look beautifully healthy. But doing a traditional French manicure yourself is more than a little tricky, and they can get a bit boring after a while. So in typical HQHair style, we’ve decided to change it up and go for an ombre version. It’s super simple to do so we’ve got a little nail tutorial for you as well…

Ombre nail art is so easy to do, but it looks really fancy, and you’re bound to get a few people asking you were you got your nails done! For this French manicure style, you’ll need just two nail polishes, a pale pink and a white. We’ve used these two from the Rita Ora by Rimmel collection: Lose Your Lingerie and White Hot Love. These polishes are perfect because they blend together really easily and they have a very subtle shimmer which helps hide any imperfections in your nails. Plus they have an amazing wide brush so they’re easy to use on their own as well!

French Manicure Gradient Nail Art 01

The secret ingredient for creating that beautifully blended ombre nail look is a makeup sponge! Any kind will do, as long as it’s flat and big enough to cover the surface of your nails.

Make Up Sponge

French Ombre Nail Art Tutorial

  1. Start off with clean, dry nails. Use a nail file to smooth any rough edges, and apply one layer of your favourite base coat - we like to use OPI Natural Nail Base Coat.

  2. Take your makeup sponge and paint your pink and white polishes directly on to the flat surface. Paint a large stripe of pink and then a narrower white stripe above it, as in the picture.

  3. Then press the sponge on to your nail, almost like a stamp. make sure you cover the whole nail with polish. Don’t worry if it seems really sheer, the colour will soon build up. Reapply the polish to the sponge and press it on to your next nail.

  4. Repeat the process on all your nails, and then go back and apply a second and third coat. Keep going until the colour is completely opaque and you are happy with the ombre effect. Leave to dry.

  5. Now it’s time to clean up! Use a small brush (like a concealer brush) dipped in acetone or strong nail polish remover, sweep it around your nails to remove any polish on your skin. You can use the brush to create a smooth line around the cuticle for a super-professional finish.

  6. Finish off with a generous layer of top coat to seal in your nail art and make it last longer – we recommend Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat. Apply some cuticle oil or balm to moisturise the skin, since the acetone will have dried it out – Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter is a great one. And you’re done!

This simple manicure would be perfect for so many occasions, from the office to an evening out – it would even be beautiful for a wedding! You could always mix and match the colours for something more exciting, or keep it classic with pink and white.




I'm often referred to as 'the nail girl' because I love nail art - I have over 200 bottles of nail polish at home! But I love all things beauty; especially anything neon bright or packed with glitter. Growing up, I was a bit of a nerdy kid, so playing with colourful makeup or wacky hairstyles became my creative outlet - so it's great that this has become my job! You'll spot me at the bar, probably wearing sequins, drinking a Singapore Sling.

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