while looking at nearby nail salon websites, i had a flashback to a time i saw ombre nails online. i decided it was time to try it. because i'm on a budget now (student loans DO come back to haunt you), i thought i'd save some cash and do it myself. after searching high and low, i couldn't find anything that didn't use loose glitter. i knew i had to give it a shot without the glitter and document my own method in case it worked. and well, it did! (thanks to a tip from from a friend, i learned the secret to DIY ombre is a makeup sponge.)
you will need two nail polish colors, top coat (and base coat if you desire), nail polish remover, a few q-tips, a makeup sponge and plenty of free time. i used essie's poor lil rich girl (blood red) and shifting power (gold). i like that they are thin, making it easy to blend the two. and the gold has a nice shimmery effect.
1. apply base coat and then the darker shade of polish. allow to dry for several minutes.
2. drip your next color onto a tray. (i used a thick ad page from a september magazine. it was a perfume ad, which conveniently helped to mask the nail polish scent.)
3. dipping your makeup sponge lightly into the nail polish, dab it onto the dry nail starting at the tip and moving inward. add more layers, each time starting closer to the tip of the nail until the it is completely covered. let each layer dry before doing the next.
(don't worry about making a mess on your skin around the nail or getting a bumpy effect on the nail.)
4. paint on a generous layer of topcoat to smooth over the bumps created by the sponge.
5. clean around the nail by dipping a q-tip in the polish remover and rubbing off the excess.
voila! ombre nails.