18 stylish and colourful ombre nail ideas to try this season - from statement pinks to subtle nudes

Tired of monochromatic manicures? These ombre nails combine our favourite hues for a chic, gradient effect...

A hand with oval, chrome ombre nails by nail artist Ombre nails by gel.bymegan/ in a pink , purple and watercolour template
(Image credit: @gel.bymegan)

For all the fun of nail art without the fuss, ombre nails are a surefire way to elevate your everyday manicure. Whether you're a lover of subtle neutrals or bright, statement shades, these chic designs work for every taste and occasion.

Have you ever found yourself sitting in the nail salon desperately trying to pick between two of your favourite colours? Or perhaps you're looking to subtly branch out from your go-to French tip nails? The solution could very well be a stylish ombre nail design, which typically combines two colours in a soft, diffused gradient - and can be as bold or as understated as you like.

The beauty of an ombre look is that it suits all nail shapes, particularly squared and Squoval nails (which topping the 2024 nail trends right now) and is surprisingly easy to recreate at home. So, for anyone seeking inspiration for a new, versatile and modern manicure, we've rounded up 18 of our favourite ombre nail designs to suit every nail shape and preference...

What are ombre nails?

For anyone not well versed in manicure lingo, an ombre nail look often sees two shades blended together either in the middle or at the tip of the nail, creating a soft, blurred gradient. Typically, two complimentary colours are used - one dark and one light - to create that seamless transition, but the design can work with any colour combination.

And while these manicures might look complicated, learning how to do ombre nails is surprisingly easy, especially if you have a nail sponge on hand...

Our ombre nail staples

18 subtle and statement ombre nail designs to inspire

Now that we've covered the method, let's skip straight onto the fun part, with our roundup of stylish ombre nail looks to recreate or request from your nail artist...

1. Natural ombre

Ease yourself into the ombre nails trend with this natural and muted style. Use a nude colour 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. While this look features swirls of gradient rainbow hues you can opt for an easier design. Try switching up the placement of your colours on each nail to add some edge to your look and test out your favourite ombre method. This colour palette in particular though, is perfect for spring and summer.

3. Summer sunset nails

If you've got a sun soaked getaway booked or just want to debut your love of summer, this neon-style sunset ombre look is perfect.  It incorporates a vibrant  orange, pink and purple in a seamless blend that looks so pretty on longer, almond and oval nail shapes.

4. Gold glitter ombre

Looking for something more glamorous? This gold glitter ombre manicure is impossibly chic and will look gorgeous when paired with matching gold jewellery. And the best part is you only need one nail polish colour. 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 (like this pink moment) by swapping the colour gradient on the tips of your nails. 

6. Embellished ombre

For those who prefer a neutral colour palette 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. Matte ombre

The matte finish on these ombre nails really makes the orange pop against the pastel yellow. If you already have colours 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.

8. Glazed ombre

If you want to take your French tip ombre manicure up a notch (or any of the other looks on this list, for that matter), adding a pearlescent chrome finish is a great option. The "Glazed" nail trend itself, is still very popular, so combining it with this subtle gradient moment is a no-brainer.  This look, in particular, suits shorter, natural nail shapes so well and instantly elevates - whilst remaining fairly subtle.

9. 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.

10. Aura ombre

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

11. Brown ombre nails

If you're a lover of dark brown nail looks, this ombre twist on a French mani is the perfect choice for you. Not only it is incredibly chic and minimalistic, but it's also easy to recreate and can be elevated with a wash of chrome powder - or a shimmery top coat.

12. Ombre pastel 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 pastel colours to get the ultimate seasonal French style.

13. Holographic ombre

Though stunning, holographic colours can sometimes be overwhelming to the eye when applied to the entire nail. This look, however, sees an iridescent shine added to the tips of the nails before gently diffusing into a normal, pink polish at the base of the nail.

14. Black ombre

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Prepare for the autumn/winter season with dark and vampy nail colours 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.

15. Nude ombre

For a your-nails-but-better-look, a neutral colour palette is the perfect option. You can either opt for a nude base colour that matches your skin tone and blend to a lighter hue - for a soft, French tip effect - or opt for a slightly darker tone at the top of your nail. It's minimal but still offers a stylish change from an ordinary, one-shade manicure.

16. Pink ombre nails

For a spring or summer option, we adore this pink ombre moment. You can opt for a soft pastel pink or a full-one fuchsia but we would recommend choosing two complimentary shades to create this subtle gradient.

17. Autumnal ombre nails

If you're a lover of autumnal colours (no matter the season) this coppery look is perfect for you. It's bold, but will still compliment your wardrobe easily and we just love how the ombre positioning changes slightly on every nail.

18. Barely-there ombre

This barely-there ombre style is universally adaptable and can be worn all year round. Blend out a colour similar to your natural nails 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.) If you want to elevate it slightly, add a glazed finish and a high-shine top coat.

Amelia Yeomans
Senior writer

Amelia joined woman&home in 2022 after graduating with an MA in Magazine Journalism from City University and she is now a senior fashion and beauty 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!, New!, and Notion on topics such as sustainable fashion and entertainment.

With contributions from