29 unique ombre nails ideas to try this season

Get inspired to switch up your manicure with our favorite ombre nail designs – from simple to statement

picture of ombre nails design on plain background
(Image credit: Getty)

For all the fun of nail art without the fuss, ombre nails are a surefire way to elevate your everyday manicure. Whether you are sticking to bright shades or easing your way into darker fall-inspired tones, these chic designs work for every taste and occasion.

Have you ever found yourself sitting in the nail salon desperately trying to pick between your two favorite colors? Or perhaps you want to try new nail designs in a subtle yet distinctive way? The solution could be ombre nails, which typically combine any two colors with a soft, blurred gradient finish. 

Squoval nails and square shapes are especially popular this year, with their tapered shape working perfectly for ombre designs that help to elongate the fingers. However, ombre styles work just as well as nail designs for short nails and natural styles, particularly when using trending colors like green and pink. As with equally on-trend marble nail designs, ombre nail designs are easiest to achieve in the salon, but you can learn how to do ombre nails at home too. Whichever you prefer, our favorite ombre looks are bound to get your nails noticed this season. 

29 ombre nail designs to inspire your next mani 

1. Natural ombre

Ease yourself into the ombre nails trend with this natural and muted style. Use a nude color to match your skin tone and white polish for a blurred French tip nails effect. This is a year-round look that works just as well for formal occasions as it does for every day. 

2. Alternating ombre

Stray from uniformity with this alternating ombre style. Switch up the placement of your colors on each nail to add some edge to your look and test out your favorite ombre method. This color palette is perfect for fall nail designs and colors, too.

3. Sunset ombre

Create this beautiful sunset-inspired look by selecting two warm orange and yellow tones to blend out from your neutral base color. Start with your darkest shade and work your way up to the lightest for the tips. 

4. Gold ombre

Looking for something more glamorous as we head into the holiday season? This gold ombre is impossibly chic and will look gorgeous when paired with gold jewelry. And the best part is you only need one nail polish color. Let your natural nail peek through at the bottom and finish with a shiny top coat. 

5. Vertical ombre

Who says ombre just has to be horizontal? Create fluidity across the hands by blending your polish sideways instead. If you are up for an extra challenge, you can create a contrasting french tip by swapping the color gradient on the tips of your nails. 

6. Embellished ombre

For those who prefer neutral color palettes but want to add some flare, details like gemstones are a simple addition that can totally transform your look. Paint your nails as normal and place the gemstones on your nails whilst the polish is still tacky. Finish with a shiny top coat to lock it all in. 

7. Rainbow ombre

Why stick to two colors when you can have the whole rainbow? Add some brightness to your nails by switching up your tip shade on each nail. The natural base color keeps things cohesive whilst the gradient pastel nails rainbow will catch the eye. 

8. Nail art ombre

The best part about ombre nails is that they can be as bold or as muted as you like. If you like intricate art on your nails, keep your ombre soft and light to create the perfect base for shapes and patterns. 

9. Round reverse ombre

Ombre nails typically get lighter towards the tips, however, this reversed deep blue style is beautifully sophisticated. On natural nails, a rounded shape also compliments the gradient whilst adding length. 

10. Matte ombre

The matte finish on these ombre nails really makes the vivid pink pop. If you already have colors at home that you would like to mattify, try applying a matte top coat after the ombre polish has dried to achieve this unique texture.

11. Editorial ombre nails

If you're looking for ombre nail designs that will totally stand out from the crowd, try an editorial-inspired mani. The silver border design layered over this colorful ombre adds an extra dimension to the look and, although it's probably best left to the pros, can be achieved by using a thin brush tool. 

12. Cat eye ombre

Known as 'cat eye' style, this diagonal ombre design with a bright center catches the light beautifully and would make a chic Halloween nail design. Use a chrome nail polish to really make that streak pop and finish with an extra glossy top coat. 

14. Glazed ombre

Glaze-finish nails have quickly grown in popularity due to their minimalist yet glamorous look. Take the style up a notch by combining it with a subtle ombre to make nails look plump and healthy. 

15. Glitter ombre

If glitter nail designs are usually your go-to, experiment with sparkly ombre by combining different tones and glitter sizes. Opt for a bright colorful base or keep things natural - either way, the sparkle will do the talking.

16. Aurora ombre

Aurora ombre, sometimes referred to as airbrush nails, creates a bright sphere in the center of the nail that gives a glowing effect. Apply polish with an ombre technique to get a perfectly blended halo. 

17. Ombre french tips

Though this style uses the typical ombre technique, starting the blend higher up the nail gives the illusion of a faded French tip. Try this style with classic white, or experiment with different colors to get the ultimate seasonal French style.

18. Gradient ombre

This design takes ombre nails to the next level by creating a gradient across the entire hand. Select a pastel rainbow of colors to fade into each other for the ultimate ombre-on-ombre look. 

19. Isolated ombre

For a more subtle nod to the ombre trend, these isolated patches of color look beautiful when layered with nail art. Go for contrasting colors or opt for a similar shade to your base color to keep things neutral. 

20. Ombre accents

Opt for ombre accent nails to really let the design pop. When framed by solid color, the gradient nails look extra punchy. Select like colors to keep the look cohesive, or use contrasting tones for more of a statement. 

21. Holographic ombre

Though stunning, holographic colors can sometimes be overwhelming on the eye when applied to the entire nail. Get the best of the rainbow shine whilst keeping some of your natural nails on show with this ombre style. 

22. Gelly ombre

Gelly nails, which are typically translucent gel extensions, have become increasingly popular this year. Combine two nail trends in one look with this gelly-style white ombre that allows the natural nail color to peek through. 

23. Chrome ombre

Chrome polishes are growing in popularity thanks to the 'glazed' nail trend, and these reflective colors look beautiful when ombre-d. Follow this design and go for a rainbow look, or opt for a single shade to fade into white or silver chrome. This ombre nail design particularly suits shorter, natural nail shapes. 

24. Negative space ombre

This negative space design is surprisingly easy to achieve with striping tape and the results are beautiful. Adaptable to any nail shape, length, or color, look no further for your elevated everyday look. 

25. Embellished ombre

Subtle embellishments are the perfect way to upgrade any nail design. Keep it subtle with bling on one nail, or scatter across both hands for extra sparkle. This style will be perfect for any holiday parties you have in the diary, too. 

26. Black ombre

Prepare for fall with dark and vampy nail colors that will match anything in your wardrobe. Solid black, despite its versatility, can sometimes feel too dark for nails. This ombre alternative gives you the best of both worlds by balancing light and dark.

27. Deep nude ombre

For a your-nails-but-better-look, a deep nude color palette is the perfect option. This style introduces the darkest tones very gradually, making for a perfect summer-into-winter natural nail style that can be easily replicated with your best nude shades. 

28. Watercolor ombre

Watercolor-style nails are a great way to add soft pops of color to your look. This style is best for those who prefer expressive and unique styles that you are unlikely to see on others and look great when blended into the natural nail. 

29. Barely-there ombre

This barely-there ombre style is universally adaptable and can be worn all year round. Blend out a color similar to your natural nail to enhance the look of short nails and keep them looking healthy (a little bit of nail care will go a long way here too.)

Amelia Yeomans
Senior writer

Amelia joined woman&home in 2022 after graduating with an MA in Magazine Journalism from City University and is now a senior writer. She began building her career as a lifestyle journalist after completing a fashion journalism course at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design in 2019, writing for a variety of titles including OK! magazine, New! magazine and Notion on topics such as sustainable fashion and entertainment. She specialises in fashion and beauty content, covering everything from product reviews and nail art trends to reporting on fashion weeks and the best-dressed celebrities at red carpet events. With a keen eye for lifestyle trends, she is always on the lookout for the latest products and brands to hit the market.