Picking out five polishes in the same color family might seem like a simple task, but there is such a thing as toosubtle. “Don’t go for shades that are too close in color or else you won’t be as impactful,” says nail artist Betina Goldstein. For an added touch, Goldstein looks for a deeper or brighter color in the shade family to place on one finger (usually the pinky or thumb). “I love to add a color that makes the whole look pop,” she says. “In this look it was the muted mauve on the thumb.”
Stone emphasizes that there are no rules when it comes to this fun, multicolored trend — you can mix it up as you please. But to ensure you get the full gradient effect, it should have an order. “I normally like to order the polish from lightest to darkest, so the range feels seamless,” she says. If you’re looking to create this manicure at home, Stone suggests buying mini bottles of nail polish. That way you aren’t shelling out all the coins for a multi-mani.
Ultimately, nail artist Charlotte Wales says you don’t have to overthink it. You want to make sure that the color is gradually getting more vibrant or deeper. You can also step into similar shade families and still get a monochromatic vibe. “I went from peach to orange to pink, and it just works,” she says.
As the owner of the Be Beautyful nail salon, Wales doesn’t believe you should be charged more for the look since it’s not exactly nail art, and you’re still using the same amount of polish. “There’s no added extra cost, you’re just swapping bottles for each nail,” she says. But you can expect the price to vary salon to salon.