Ombré Black Tips Are The Dramatic Yet Fresh Nail Trend For Spring

Ombré, which in French means "to shade," is a classic design element that is characterized by the gradual fading of one color into another. The gradient effect has infiltrated everything from makeup to hair, manifesting in vampy lip looks and black ombré hairstyles.

It's also a well-known staple of nail art, with "baby boomer nails" originally being a 1940s look that puts a gradient twist on classic French tips. Since the initial rise of this fade effect, nail artists have taken the style in many different directions, using bold color combinations or subversive pattern placements. Recently, black ombré nails have seen their own modernization on fashion runways.

While it might be something you associate more with the cooler and darker months of fall and winter, these updated black gradient nails are actually set to be super popular this spring. To stay on trend, check out some of our favorite black ombré nail looks.

Modernized black tips

Recently, ombré nails received a modern update when professional nail artist Jin Soon Choi styled the look for the Proenza Schouler fashion show. In her rendition of the classic gradient effect, the black fade is concentrated at the tip of the nails, reminiscent of the French tip ombré. Short nail length and a matte finish also give the entire set a sleek, elevated feel.

This design is also relatively easy to recreate at home, with Choi telling Allure, "Take a small soft sponge and dab at the tips with the darker color, gradually fading [toward the cuticle]."

Silver lining grunge

Jin Soon Choi isn't the only professional who's been playing around with an updated version of black ombré nails this spring. Alicia Torello, NYC-based editorial nail artist, also posted a grunge-inspired gradient look to Instagram, adorning her tips with silver nail polish. This set is similarly created using a sponging technique, which provides it with an effortlessly messy look that brings all the grunge vibes.

When experimenting with your own ombré tips, don't be afraid to add your own details, like a sleek silver line, to really personalize the entire look.

Touch of sparkle

While we love the idea of a black ombré nail look for the season, this darker design won't sing spring to everyone. If this is the case for you, then we recommend adding some glitter to give your nails that extra pop of color and sparkle. An example of this comes from @stephie_nails, who features a nail look with holographic glitter that fades out with the black ombré tips. For your own set of nails, try playing around with the placement, size, and color of your glittering details.

Nail shape and finish

While the shorter length and matte finish of Jin Soon Choi's look really gives the black ombré an updated vibe, you can play around with these elements of your own nail set to fit your personal preferences and style. The length and shape of your manicure can really influence the gradient effect of ombré nails, so these are definitely aspects to consider in your own spring set.

For example, the post from @claceenails shows off long, square-shaped nails with a glossy finish, which provides the entire look with a lavish, glam vibe.

Smoky ombre effect

A smoky ombré effect is another way to put a modern spin on the well-known gradient design. While the wispy look of smoke tendrils is a little more difficult to DIY than the messy appearance of a sponge-created ombré, the result is super cool and dynamic. 

For some inspiration, we love the set from @lady.lucknails, which features black smoke coils on top of a clear polish. To recreate this look at home, break out your nail art brushes and acetone, or use some plastic wrap.