Nail Tutorial: Two Tone Nail Trend

Hi Tory,

There was a big Spring/Summer 2013 trend on all the catwalks for Two Tone nails - replacing the ombre nails that were such a big hit in the seasons before. Whilst I'm not such a slave to trends, sometimes the smaller ones can be fun to introduce into your life for a quick, fresh hit of something au courant and funky and nails are a cheap and easy way to do that. (You can probably insert Miranda Priestley's speech from the Devil Wears Prada here - about how designers on the catwalf pick out the colours and shapes you'll end up wearing from the High Street a year later. I want her entire wardrobe!)

make sure they jar just a little bit for that designer clash effect

Instead of doing a gradient nail which gently bleeds from one toning colour along, two tone nails bleed two relatively clashing colours together, so I decided to go with a hot tomato red and the MUA blue I call "Wonder Woman Blue" (which also happens to be one of my favourite nail colours!) Stronger colours only take a coat, but you can layer sheer ones over a white base coat or build them up with several coats.


You can use any colours that you like, but make sure that they jar just a little bit for that designer clash effect, or you can offset a hot colour with a stark white or black. You're not going for subtle here! Think of hot pink and orange, or red and green, or you could even go with a neutral and a metallic for a chicer look. The possibilities are endless.

You can do the blend in either one of two ways: either blend both colours on the sponge, or just concentrate on one strong colour to feather out - either way, make sure that the sponge is damp, as that really is the trick to this technique. Have fun with it!


  • Base coat your nails with a clear polish to avoid staining
  • Paint half your nail in the first colour and let it dry - you don't have to be accurate with the halfway line, in fact the messier the better
  • Paint the second colour on the exposed half of your nail and let that dry - you can top it all with a clear base coat at this point to eliminate any halfway bumps or ridges
  • Using a damp makeup sponge dab the two colours on the halfway line to uzz them out. You'll need to do several coats of this to get the effect and make sure that they dry between coats. Don't press too hard and make sure that you're doing a dabbing motion.
  • Top it with a clear coat of polish to seal it and further blend the colours, and clean up the skin around your nails. Done!

Products Used

  • MUA Nail Polish in Shade 6
  • MUA Nail Polish in Shade 9
  • NYC In a New York Color Minute Polish in Grand Central Station
  • Damp makeup sponge
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,

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