Ombre Nails

0 Posted by - August 10, 2012 - Hair & Beauty

Everyone’s into the ombre lately. Ombre hair, ombre jeans, ombre nails. And since I’m too scared to do anything to my hair or my jeans, I decided on the nails.

Images from The Nailasaurus

And, since I was headed to a Durham Bulls game later on in the evening (I love baseball. And baseball pants.), I decided to paint them Bulls team colors. Except I didn’t have Barf Orange in my collection. But Mango is close enough, right?

I did a base layer of mango, because it seemed like that was the thing to do. This nail polish is from Forever 21. I bought it because it’s the only thing from there I can wear that doesn’t make me look fat.

Also, it is scented. I think the scent is supposed to be mango, but it’s more like dear-God-turn-it-off, my-head-hurts-already-from-Diet-Coke-withdrawals, this-is-what-death-smells-like. Just in case you were wondering.

Looks nice, though.

Probably if I had not been in testing mode, I would have stopped here, with a nice happy orange base that turned out pretty well, actually. But I was determined to test this ombre thing and my head was already kind of swimmy from the fumes anyway, so I figured why the hell not.

I smeared some Vaseline on my cuticles to make clean-up easier, and also because I use Vaseline whenever possible in pin tests so that I can make off-color jokes about giant tubs of Vaseline, hurrhurrhurr.

The first nail actually went pretty well.

I was pleasantly surprised that it sort of resembled the tutorial.

Subsequent nails were less successful. Apparently, to make this work properly, you have to re-paint your sponge each time. This, in case you couldn’t guess, is a huge pain in the ass. But I tried it both ways, and you definitely need to reload the sponge for proper results. Also, it would probably be better if you used a new sponge for each subsequent nail.

Fuck that.

I did the best I could, considering the effort I was willing to expend. And that is an honest assessment of most of the stuff I do on this blog. Some things just aren’t worth that much effort, manicures being one of them.

Probably what would have been worth a little more effort would be trying not to get dog hair in the topcoat. Next time.


  • cyndivdb August 10, 2012 - 6:50 am Reply

    Doesn’t look half bad, actually!

  • Elisa Edkins Proctor August 10, 2012 - 7:35 am Reply

    I did this as a trial the other day as well on my toe nails, i just carefully sponged just the darker colour over the lighter base colour. Did not turn out too bad…just not as good as the original pin!

  • caseyinto August 10, 2012 - 9:00 am Reply

    My nails are ombre because I am on medication that has stained the tips black. Glad to know Im in style!! hahaha

  • KateGeorge August 10, 2012 - 9:45 am Reply

    But not bad, really. It could have been a lot worse, believe me. You do not want to let me get anywhere near nail polish. I’d be better off doing my hair in ombre.

  • KateGeorge August 10, 2012 - 9:50 am Reply

    Hmm, I wonder how that works… she goes to hunt through the year old hair die in the bathroom…

  • SPMDE August 10, 2012 - 9:55 am Reply

    This made me lol, very funny…and I think i will hold off on the Ombre nail thing, thanks for suffering for us all!

  • JW10 August 10, 2012 - 10:45 am Reply

    i’ve discovered that it works best if you don’t actually mix the colors, just put them right next to each other and they’ll mix when you sponge them on. it also depends on the nail polish, most of mine work out really well but one of my pinks completely f’ed it up (i don’t remember what brand), and a lot of them would take way too many coats for it to be worth it. then you also have to think about what color combos look good together. my favorite by far has been sunset colors using dark pink, orange, and yellow (with the yellow at the base of the nail, because otherwise your nails just kind of look fungus-y).

  • Katrina August 10, 2012 - 1:30 pm Reply

    This made me laugh! I was going to try this tutorial as well but now I’m not so sure… Thanks for the laughs!

  • inkgrrl August 10, 2012 - 3:35 pm Reply

    Not as bad as you think it is babe. IMNSHO the problem is more with the color range than your efforts. If you’d put a white/ivory sand-colored little bit between the two to keep the mangomango from being too diluted by the deep blue sea swishing down from your cuticles that might have granted a slightly cleaner set of colors. But for game nails? POIFECTO!Jeez, I must have tropical beach lounging on the brain or something, nu?

  • pprincess301 August 10, 2012 - 4:00 pm Reply

    Hahah too funny! I love your blog, and that you’re willing to make all the shit I don’t have time to make (but lust after while “working”) Also.. I had no idea you lived in Durham. Awesome 🙂 I’m in Raleigh. Hiding on pinterest to fight off the crackheads who ask for money everyday. Heh

  • Kelly Fox August 10, 2012 - 4:40 pm Reply

    All I could think about was the Friends Episode where Joey was the Cologne sprayer guy! LOL! “Ombre”

  • brigidkeely August 10, 2012 - 5:25 pm Reply

    Huh. Your nails kind of look like a board walk air brushed sunset t-shirt or something.Revlon had some scented nail polish last summer in some totally awesome colors. I picked one called “sea side” or something and oh my LORD it smelled like low tide. Like salt and rotting fish and sea gull crap. It was the WORST.

  • JoannaAngelBenson August 10, 2012 - 6:45 pm Reply

    You should also try the dip dye one… it totally works 😉 with the water and the nail polish… 😛

  • Truffles8761 August 10, 2012 - 9:45 pm Reply

    If I had any coordination whatsoever, I might try this but I suspect my right hand will look like hell in a handbasket.

  • Amanda August 10, 2012 - 11:30 pm Reply

    This actually works really well. Base coat clear, 1-2 coats white, 1 stripe each of your colors. Blot the sponge onto nail (the blotting helps to smudge the line). Clear top coat and done. I do this all the time now!

  • Ice August 11, 2012 - 11:20 am Reply

    I think it works better if you use colors int eh same family so they actually blend. 

  • ashwey562 August 11, 2012 - 4:25 pm Reply

    I agree with some of the previous comments. I love ombre nails and actually find it really easy. First, I would try a white base, rather than one of your ombre colors. Works so much better!

  • Whitney G August 11, 2012 - 6:30 pm Reply

    I love nail polish and nail art, and am not ashamed to admit that I have over 200 bottles of polish — many of which appear to be some variation of a color I like to call “whore red.” I am also horribly impatient. I believe the last time I tried an ombre manicure, I got done with about three nails before screaming “fuck it!” and reaching for the acetone. (I had a similar experience with the water marble manicure.) I respect your perseverance, and they really don’t look bad at all. NAILED IT.

  • Kelly August 11, 2012 - 8:55 pm Reply

    I love baseball, I love the Rays, I love your Durham Bull Reid Brignac and I love this post. Well done, many laughs.

  • ADD Housewife August 11, 2012 - 11:45 pm Reply

    Love this! Just found your blog and you are totally like the snopes for pinterest. I worship you <3

  • Valleygurlie916 August 12, 2012 - 1:45 am Reply

    I did this in red, white, and blue for fourth of July, I tried the water marble technique but that was an epic fail, so ombre it was, I noticed when I painted the colors on the sponge directly, the ombre effect was brighter and less muddy. It worked fine without a white base coat, i wasn’t in mood to waste anymore nail polish, so i skipped the base coat. Your nails look fine, I bet a purpley color would go well with that ombre.

  • MellyWasHere August 12, 2012 - 11:00 am Reply

    Not a bad job at all.  🙂

  • MelissaWarburton August 12, 2012 - 11:35 am Reply

    Not your worst result by far! 

  • alirae17 August 13, 2012 - 12:25 am Reply

    I think your problem is that you used opposite colors. (Excuse me while I get a bit technical, I’m a graphic designer) Blue and orange are opposites on the color wheel, when mixed together make (usually) brown or (theoretically) grey. If you had paired your mango with another warm color or your blue with another cool color, or either with a neutral, I think it would have worked better.

    • OhLemontine August 15, 2012 - 12:25 am Reply

      @alirae17 I was going to mention this also xD… Also, i will say, the vaseline on your cuticles may not have helped much either if any got on the makeup sponge, cuz it would make the polish not stick, so maybe try something else a different time?

  • ThePintester August 13, 2012 - 9:30 am Reply

    @tgtnails Thanks for the share. 🙂

  • heharte August 13, 2012 - 10:35 am Reply

    lol, love this. 10/10 for effort. Though I have to say the choice of colours makes your nails look like you are coveribg up bruises! 🙂

  • Norene August 13, 2012 - 1:40 pm Reply

    What always works for me is to: 1) Paint your nail a light (white or cream) base coat, 2) paint your polish directly on to a latex-free makeup sponge, 3) dab it on to your nails, then 4) finish with a clear top coat.  Any other method I’ve tried hasn’t worked for me yet.

  • annieannieannie August 13, 2012 - 7:05 pm Reply

    “I bought it because it’s the only thing from [Forever 21] I can wear that doesn’t make me look fat.”…LOL! That’s how I feel about that place too!

  • _TracyJo August 14, 2012 - 5:25 pm Reply

    I laugh every single time I read one of your posts. It’s how I make it through eight hours of work. But I actually don’t think these turned out bad!

  • nightstork August 15, 2012 - 5:20 am Reply

    oh btw….the ombré nail thing turned out a hundred times better than my Monet on crack results did……..even after firing ahead thirteen times and exhausting my cotton ball supply…meh

  • ariel August 17, 2012 - 7:46 pm Reply

    I think your problem is not only your contrasting color choices but that you need to sponge the color onto the ENDS of your nails, not the base. That makes it a lot easier to layer the color. Start with a light layer and then add more color thicker towards the ends. Don’t give up!! 

    • Shelly May 1, 2013 - 1:30 am Reply

      yeah i agree choose too similar tones… not purple and orange

  • TinaRickyLucy September 14, 2012 - 11:21 am Reply

    yeah…Forever 21.  I just commented to my bf while walking past there that the mannequins look ill, and their thighs are the size of my arms.  I can’t imagine their nail polish held up well…did it?  This doesn’t look like a fail to me – they look cute.  I tried the marbling nail treatment and that was a complete disaster.

  • AutumnVallette October 1, 2012 - 10:57 am Reply

    not lying, i didnt realize that forever 21 ran in mens sizes. and im a fat girl. i thought they were in my size….good thing i didnt buy them. i know your pain.

  • Cooking Spray Manicure Setter | Pintester November 16, 2012 - 3:16 pm Reply

    […] give it a go, so I started with a nice orange base and then left it like that instead of trying to ombre it or some […]

  • stephanie January 28, 2013 - 11:34 pm Reply

    if worried about the mess around the nail, tape it off with masking tape. ombre nails work better if using a makeup sponge….put the nail polish on paper (a buncha dots of it) and dip the sponge into the polish then sponge it on the nail.

  • Leave a reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.