How to Do Ombré Nails with a Dip Powder Manicure

Ombré nails are an extremely popular style that adds some flair to a regular mani. The term ‘ombré’ is French for ‘shaded’, and refers to a transition between two colors, typically a light and dark shade for a dramatic effect. Can’t decide between colors? Ombré is great for the indecisive, as you can have two colors on one nail instead of choosing between them! It’s a great way to express yourself with nail art in a fairly subtle way. And with SNS Air Ombré, you can create this fun look in minutes.

The original technique for ombre nails involves using a makeup wedge or brush to apply the powder to only half of the nail. Our Air Ombre is a dip powder that is sprayed, a completely different approach to the ombre technique. Dip powder is an improved method because the fine powder allows the colors to blend seamlessly, creating a gorgeous gradient no matter the color.

This product is used by salon professionals to perfect the ombre in dozens of different looks. But it’s actually easy enough to do ombre nails at home. Note that our tutorial covers the steps using our Gelous Color dip powder system plus Air Ombre. If you’re using Air Ombre with a gel or lacquer manicure, watch for upcoming tutorials for those exact steps.

SNS Air Ombré Tutorial and Tips

For this tutorial, you will need:

  • One bottle of SNS Air Ombré
  • One container of SNS Gelous Color dip powder
  • SNS Natural Set sheer dip powder
  • SNS Gelous Base
  • SNS Sealer Dry
  • SNS Gel Top
  • SNS Vitamin Oil
  • A nail file or SNS e-file
  • A spoon
  • A French manicure dipping mold or other small, sanitized container
  • A makeup brush or other soft cosmetic brush (pros recommend size 7)

Here’s the step-by-step (you can also watch our video tutorial on Youtube):

  1. Always begin by sanitizing your tools. The key to a healthy and safe manicure is to keep your hands and workstation clean at all times.
  2. Apply your foundation layer: Spoon a small amount of the Natural Set sheer dip powder into your French mold. Brush on the Gelous Base and sprinkle the Natural Set powder onto the nail to create a thin foundation layer. Always do one nail at a time.
  3. Gently dust off the nails to remove any excess powder. Be sure to dust underneath the nails as well.
  4. Apply Air Ombre. Choose the color you want for the tip of the nails. Before using a new bottle of Air Ombré, turn the bottle upside down and roll it a few times to prime the pump, and then give it one good pump to be sure the bottle sprays fully and evenly. Hold the Air Ombré about an inch or less from the nail and spray repeatedly, working from one side of the nail to the other, until half of the nail is coated evenly.
  5. Apply your second color to the base of the nails. Again, brush on the Gelous Base to the back half of the nail. Wipe down the brush in between each nail to avoid cross contamination of products. Sprinkle the Gelous Color powder over the back half of the nail.
  6. Dust off the excess as above.
  7. The second coat of color should be applied in reverse. Apply another coat of Gelous Base and sprinkle Gelous Color powder first this time, using a makeup brush if needed.
  8. Dust off the excess completely.
  9. Spray the Air Ombré onto the tip of the nail, just as done in step 4.
  10. Apply another clear top coat layer: Brush on Gelous Base and sprinkle a layer of Natural Set clear powder. This will protect the colors to ensure a long-lasting, vibrant manicure.
  11. Apply a layer of Sealer Dry to seal the dip powder.
  12. File and shape the nail using a regular nail file or SNS e-file. Don’t file too harshly, and if using the e-file, keep it on a low-speed setting.
  13. Rinse hands and pat dry.  Do not use soap.  WATER ONLY.
  14. Finish binding the dip powder with one final, light layer of Sealer Dry.
  15. Apply two layers of Gel Top, allowing it to dry completely in between coats.
  16. To protect the cuticles and promote healthy nail growth, apply a layer of Vitamin Oil to the cuticles.

SNS Air Ombré can also be used with gel or acrylic manicures with similar steps. Get creative with your ombré: try a French ombré, add glitter, or go crazy with a multicolored mani!