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Ombre is the way to go when you want to elevate your manicure from basic to brilliant.

There are plenty of ombre designs around, but they mostly sport a downward gradient. It’s time to switch things up with a new trend that’s taking over: “aura nails”.

What are “aura nails”?


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“Aura nails” are a kind of ombre that has one colour starting out from the centre and a soft, circular gradient pattern that travels outwards.

Like all ombre nails, this manicure is not easily achieved at home. However, if you’re up for a challenge, you can try using a nail sponge like the manicurist in the video.

She takes a nail sponge and dabs the centre colour of choice onto the base colour. We love the vibrancy of the colours and the smooth contrast that the “aura nails” have.

To get you inspired for your next mani-pedi session, we’ve rounded up a few stunning looks ahead.

“Aura nails” inspiration

Vibrant “aura nails”

Photo source: @ArMe · Nail Art/Xiao Hong Shu

The stark contrast between the baby yellow and the neon pink of this “aura nail” looks so unique. We love how this Xiao Hong Shu user paired two warm colours together and chose to put the lighter tone in the middle to make it look like the vibrant energy is blooming outwards.

You too can play around with two warm colours like red, yellow, orange, or pink to get the same vibrancy.

Bejewelled “aura nails”

Photo source: @张宇涵w/Xiao Hong Shu

Adding a little bling to your nails is a great way to give your manicure a little pizzazz. This style still features the classic circular ombre just with added nail jewels adorning the corners of the nail bed.

The grandeur of the blood red that blends out into the clear polish is perfectly complemented by the glimmering stones that these nails are decorated with.

Ocean “aura nails”

Photo source: @是慧慧子呀~/Xiao Hong Shu

Blending two shades of the same colour gives a more natural and softer gradient compared to using two totally different colours.

Choosing two shades of blue for this nail look is a perfect choice since it reminds us of the gentle waves of a clear ocean.

Play around with a blue ombre and leave it as it is or add some streaks of silver polish here and there for a more detailed look.

Cloudy “aura nails”

Photo source @ArMe · Nail Art/Xiao Hong Shu

By now, you probably have a good sense of what “aura nails” should look like. The central colour is usually dabbed onto the nail to form a uniformed oval. This look, however, doesn’t have a smooth gradient like the others.

Instead, it looks like the centre polish is swirled like a cloud on top of the base colour.

Achieve this look by plopping one drop of the centre colour on top of your base. Then, take a toothpick to swirl and blend the colours with each other.

Try to keep your swirled motions in small circles to maintain a centre circle for the “aura” effect.

Peach macchiato “aura nails”

Photo source: @拿搓条的美甲师 笑笑/Xiao Hong Shu

The smooth blend of these two sweet colours reminds us of a refreshing cup of peach macchiato. The peachy centre gives your nails a sweet vibe as it softly diffuses out.

This manicure will go perfectly with almost any outfit because of its white base. Having white as the base colour allows your nails to complement any outfit you’re donning for any occasion.

Small “aura nails”

Photo source: @一只顾GuZ/Xiao Hong Shu

We’ve been looking at “aura nail” looks with big and round centres so far. Now, we’re going to take a peek at one look with smaller centres.

Since the centres are tinier, the blend between the two colours looks less apparent and the shape takes on a more apparent, abstract form. So if abstract designs aren’t for you, you might want to give this a miss.

However, we feel that a blend like this is ultra cute for a more “bubble pop” vibe that gives the wearer a more youthful and cute feel.

Strawberry mochi “aura nails”

Photo source: @拿搓条的美甲师 笑笑/Xiao Hong Shu

Don’t these nails remind you of sweet treats? The matte finish and pink hues look so delectable, just like a bouncy strawberry mochi.

You may think that taking away the usual shine dulls the entire look down but when you look at the entire nail look together, you will see that the matte finish complements the pink gradient perfectly.

Seal the colours in with a matte polish to make the gradient look smooth and complete.

Wine “aura nails”

Photo source: @狗蛋儿/Xiao Hong Shu

Sophisticated and elegant, the wine red dabbed in the centre of the nail beds makes for a very mature manicure.

Wine red polish screams regal, so this nail look is great if you want something more serious yet still on the trendy side.

Coffee jelly “aura nails”

Photo source: @拿搓条的美甲师 笑笑/Xiao Hong Shu

Those who keep up with nail trends may be familiar with “coffee jelly nails”. “Jelly nails” are often categorised by their sheer polish that gives the nails that candy-like appearance.

Create your own either by mixing a clear polish with two drops of brown opaque nail polish. Afterwards, dab on as you would for the “aura nails” effect.

Bandung “aura nails”

Photo source: @沛沛/Xiao Hong Shu

This manicure look may look like your standard “aura nails”, but it actually features three colours instead of two.

We start off at the tip with a baby pink one, followed by the round rose-coloured centre, and lastly the light pink at the nail base.

With the addition of the baby pink at the nail tip, this “aura” blend reminds us of the gradient that our favourite beverages, Bandung, usually has before it gets mixed in.

What you need to create “aura nails”

HAMA NAIL 1 pcs Sponge Nail Art Brush

Other than the usual polish, you really only need one thing to try out this manicure trend.

We recommend you get a nail sponge that has been designed to create ombre patterns, such as this tool from HAMA NAIL.

It’s one of the best-selling nail sponges on Shopee, and many customers have raved about its good quality.

HAMA NAIL 1 pcs Sponge Nail Art Brush retails for S$4.11, available at Shopee.