Five colors are better than one. 

By Erin Lukas
Updated Jan 07, 2020 @ 4:30 pm
Credit: thankyou_ok/Instagram

If you're the type of person who has to arrive at the nail salon 15 minutes early because you can't pick just one manicure color, then this nail art trend is for you.

Instead of choosing one shade from the salon's nail polish wall, gradient nails lets you pick five. "Accent nails were the first step into nail art," says Sarah Gibson Tuttle, founder/CEO of LA's Olive & June Salon. "Now people are excited to go bigger, bolder, and painting your nails different colors is a really fun way to change up your nail look."

Whatever approach you take, selecting the right nail polish colors for your manicure is key. Tuttle suggests to not worry about what's trendy right now, but instead picking colors that you're comfortable with. If you usually paint your nails in neutral shades, try a gradient effect with nudes or pinks. For a bolder look, experiment with mixing and matching your favorite bright polishes.

More ideas on how to wear this easy nail art trend, below.

VIDEO: How To Master The Fine Lines Manicure

Gradient Nails

Paint your nails five different shades in the same color family to create a cool left-to-right, light-to-dark gradient effect.

Mismatched Nails

Going full-on ROYGBIV is another option. Pick five complimentary shades or ones that contrast each other for a colorful rainbow manicure.

Color-Blocked Gradient Nails

Aside from the nail polish selection, this trend involves little skill aside from just knowing simply how to paint your nails. But, once you do master a gradient manicure or rainbow mismatched nails, you've still got options if you want to really get fancy. The next level is painting two (or more) contrasting colors on each nail. Bonus points if you can do graphic shapes.