Gradient nails are spring's hottest style right now, inspired by balayage and ombre hair trends. TNS
With a wall of rainbow-coloured nail polishes lining beauty salons from Edinburgh to Essex, choosing the right colour can be an overwhelming experience.
Especially when you’re faced with what looks like multiples of the same colour — crimson, scarlet, candy apple or vermilion anyone?
So, when a trend that allows your dithering side to really flourish comes along, you should grab it with both hands. Literally.
Enter: the gradient manicure.
The chicest way to wear all your favourite colours at once, this trend takes all the hassle out of choosing just one colour.
The trend involves painting each nail with a different tone of the same hue, creating a satisfying gradient of colour on your fingertips, much like dip-dye hair, a colour-coded closet, or chromatic Farrow and Ball paint chart.
But, what’s the best way to achieve this Instagram-ready look at home?
According to Krisztina Van der Boom, co-founder of luxury salon DryBy in London, the key is to use five different shades on each hand, creating a cohesive look from thumb to pinky.
“The best way to achieve the gradient manicure is to choose various shades of one colour so, shades of blue together, shades of pink together and shades of yellow, and use them across five fingers,” she tells The Independent.
However, Van der Boom warns that you should choose your polishes carefully.
“The key to getting the mix right is not to mix warm colours with cold colours, like steel blue with military green, because it will clash,” she explains.
Thea Green, founder and CEO of Nails Inc agrees, but says to remember the whole point of the gradient manicure is to experiment and have fun.
“Gradient nails are spring’s hottest trend right now, inspired by our favourite balayage and ombre hair trends,” Green tells The Independent.
“We saw this all over the spring/summer 2019 catwalks and, led by the likes of Kylie Jenner’s sugar pink gradient mani, it is now all over Instagram for daily inspiration.
“There is no wrong or right way to do this look, get creative — it’s the perfect opportunity to wear a colour you might not be confident wearing on every nail.”
That being said, perfectionists and eagle-eyed beauty fans are likely to require a little more guidance when it comes to mastering colour selection.
“The best way to achieve the gradient manicure is to choose various shades of one colour so, shades of blue together, shades of pink together and shades of yellow, and use them across five fingers
According to Boddy, the prevailing look when it comes to gradient manicures is pastels, but we’re not talking about the sickly-sweet kind.
Instead, the colour expert suggests a more contemporary take with tones that have more depth.
“There is less of a feminine feel to the tones, they are have more of gender neutral look even though this trend is primarily for girls,” Boddy tells The Independent.
For the new season, Boddy says colours are “optimistic and versatile like Cantaloupe, Mellow Yellow and Casis, but we also see within this hues with a futuristic edge like the Neo Mint and Purist Blue.
“These are basically pastels but with more edge.”
The evolution of WGSN’s colour trends over the years serves as serious mani-inspo for those of you who can’t decide on a hue, with purples ranging from pale orchid to bold violet, and subtle peach to bold orange.
If the idea of wearing lots of colour on your nails just isn’t your style, the good news is that this trend can be just as easily achieved using monochromatic hues.
“Create a dark-to-light spectrum by starting with glossy black (try our Black Taxi) on your pinky, blending into charcoal (Gloucester Crescent) and slate grey in the middle (Duke St) and ending in a soft dove shade (So Nude) at the thumb,” Green explains.
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