You will need: 3-4 gradient nail polish colors (dark to light and all in the tonal family), a clear top coat, a triangle makeup sponge, a cup of water, a piece of paper for blotting the polish, a paint brush + nail polish remover for clean up.
Unscrew the lids of your 3 or 4 gradient colors so they’re ready to go. Be careful not to knock them over! Here I used because I was feeling very mermaid inspired.
Get a little cup of water and soak your triangle makeup sponge. Squeeze the sponge out about 80% leaving it damp but not wet. This will keep the polish from soaking up too quickly.
Apply a single line of the darkest color toward the edge of your sponge. The first time, I went over the line twice so that there was enough polish to transfer to the nail.
Next, use the second darkest color and make another line above that one. Coat it twice also. Keep going until you build up your 3-4 colors. NOTE: you want to work somewhat quickly so the polish doesn’t dry out.
Dab your sponge on a piece of paper and you’ll see the colors together but not quite blended.
Bounce it up and down in the same spot a few times and you’ll see how the separation of colors disappears and they become blended!
Line the tip of the sponge up with the tip of your nail and when you’re ready, give it a med-firm press. Bounce it up and down a couple times in that spot. DON’T BE SCARED that you’re going to mess it up because you’re not. If you keep it in the same general spot it will be just fine. It doesn’t have to be exact. If it’s a little off each time you bounce it up and down that’s actually good because it blends the colors even more.
Re-apply a line of each polish color to the sponge for every nail. If you work quickly, you can probably re-apply polish to the sponge for every other nail.
Now you have pretty polish but a mess around your nails.
Take a little polish remover + a paint brush and clean up the sides and aroud the cuticles.
Apply a top coat once the ombre has dried completely. The top coat will also make it appear more blended.