Did you see Lauren Conrad's pretty, purple manicure that went from dark to light from her pinkies to her thumbs? That's called an ombré manicure, and these manicures are all the rage for spring. Believe it or not, you can do one of these ombré manicures at home without any sort of special skills. You don't even need to buy five different shades of nail polish. Ombré manicures really aren't very much more difficult than regular, solid color manicures. As long as you're patient, you can give yourself an ombré that looks like it cost you a ton at your local nail salon.
To begin with, you should gather all of your supplies. Find an empty nail polish bottle and clean the brush with nail polish remover. The brush needs to be spotless for your manicure to look right, so make sure that you get the base of the brush completely clean. You'll also need a small, plastic tub to mix your polish in. Old, empty lip-gloss or eye shadow tubs work great. Just make sure, again, that the tub is clean and dry. Finally, you'll need a few toothpicks and a clean eyedropper.
Your most important decision to make when planning your ombré manicure is obviously your color. You need one bottle of white nail polish, like OPI's Alpine Snow. You'll also need one bottle of very dark polish. For some reason, colors with some depth or sparkle seem to work better than flat colors. Try a purple like OPI's Give Me Moor if you want your manicure to look just like Conrad's. Chanel's Black Pearl, OPI's An Affair in Red Square, and Butter's Big Smoke also look very cool in ombré.
Make sure that your hands are completely clean and dry and that your cuticles are trimmed before you get started. When it's time to paint, start by painting each of your pinky nails with the dark polish, right out of the bottle. Next, pour the dark polish into your plastic tub. You want the tub to be about halfway full. This way, you'll have enough polish to do your manicure, but you won't waste a ton of it.
Use the eyedropper to suck up a little bit of the white polish and drip one drop of white into the colored polish in your tub. Mix the polishes thoroughly with a toothpick. You need to mix them very carefully, otherwise, your manicure will be streaky and it won't look right. Once you are satisfied with your mix, use the clean brush and paint two coats of the mixed polish onto each of your ring fingers.
Clean the brush thoroughly again before you proceed. If you don't think you can clean the brush without messing up the nails you've already painted, wait until they dry. Once the brush is clean, drip another drop of white into the tub and mix again thoroughly with a new toothpick. When the polish is completely mixed, paint two coats onto each middle finger.
Repeat this process with your index fingers and thumbs, adding one drip of white polish to the mix before you paint your indexes and another drip before you paint your thumbs. You should end up with a cool, ombré manicure.