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How to Do Blush Nails?

How to Do Blush Nails?

Just like the flush of color on your cheeks, blush nails look healthy and sophisticated. They aren’t the same as the ombré nail with colors that fade from the top or bottom. Instead, they are similar to aura nails and the opposite of a glazed donut manicure.

Blush nails have a gradient that starts from the center. So how do you get this look? Is it possible to replicate it at home?

Let’s talk about how to do blush nails at home. Following are the supplies you’ll need.

What You Need to Do Blush Nails with Nail Polish

How to Do Blush Nails?

You can do blush nails with nail lacquer, gel polish, and even real makeup blush. Our first tutorial describes how to do blush nails with nail polish. You’ll need:

  • Nail polish including either a sheer pink or clear base coat and a glossy clear top coat.
  • Makeup blush or a darker pink shade of nail polish.
  • Application tool for the dark color (i.e. a makeup sponge, finger, or small round brush).

If you’re not sure what to use, we’re fans of the LDS nail lacquers that are 9-free and safe for your nails. But if you already have a sheer pink and a deeper shade like magenta on hand, you have most of what you need to do blush nails. (Avoid using polish that is shimmery or glittery.)

However, you can also do blush nails with a clear or nude base coat, a dab of makeup blush, and a clear top coat. If you’re in a hurry, try a quick-drying top coat that sets in seconds. It penetrates through the other layers so that you don’t smudge your hard work.

Lastly, grab a clean makeup sponge or an extra brush. These tools will help you make the gradient pattern. They also prevent cross-contamination as you don't want polish in your makeup compact or makeup in your polish bottle.

How to Do Blush Nails with Nail Polish

How to Do Blush Nails?

It may seem a lot of work for an experiment, but always prep your nails by trimming, filing, and buffing the surface to remove the shine. Push back your cuticles, too.

Method 1 with a Sheer Base Coat and Makeup Blush

First, apply a base coat to a single finger. This can be either a clear coat or a sheer nude polish. Before it dries, use a brush, another finger, or a makeup sponge to tap blush in the center of the nail.

Move the tool very slightly to overlap circles so that the edges are a little blurry and lighter in color than the center. Once you’re satisfied (and the base coat has dried), apply the top coat.

Be aware that the makeup blush may cause the polish to crack in a day or two.

Method 2 with Polish Only

If you use polish only and not makeup blush, the technique is a little different. Apply the base coat and let it dry. Then paint a circle of the darker color on a makeup sponge and press that onto the center of the nail. You can also use a brush or even your finger to deposit the color. It’s not as easy to get a gradient look this way, but with practice it’s possible.

Lavis 023 Modern Renaissance

How to Do Blush Nails?


This creamy pink shade makes a beautiful base coat for blush nails.

Lavis 260 Love Hurts

How to Do Blush Nails?


This color is perfect for a subtle blush.

Lavis 175 Deep Pink

How to Do Blush Nails?


And this shade will make the blush pop!

The best part about doing blush nails with nail polish is that it’s inexpensive and easy to remove if you want to start over. The downside is that it won’t last as long as a gel manicure.

What You Need to Do Blush Nails With Gel Polish

You’ll need gel base and top coats plus colored polish. You can also experiment with makeup blush for color. Here are some suggestions:

LDS Gel Base & Top

How to Do Blush Nails?


This kit comes with a flexible base coat that prevents peeling and improves adhesion. There’s also the diamond top coat that enhances the color and prevents chipping for 21 days or longer.

LDS 006 I'm Blushing for You

How to Do Blush Nails?

This shade is perfect if you’d like to do a sheer pink underneath the darker blush. Like all the LDS gels, this one is odorless and easy to use. It cures to a glossy, wrinkle-free finish.

LDS 093 Highlight of My Life

How to Do Blush Nails?


Make it a bold blush with a rich shade like this.

Besides the polish, you’ll need a way to apply the blush color. We’ve had success with using a makeup sponge to get the gradient look.

Finally, you’ll need a nail lamp to cure the gels.

How to Do Blush Nails with Gels

To do blush nails with gels, prep the same as you would for any other manicure.

Next, brush on the first base coat and cure it. Then you’ll need to choose which path to take.

Method 1 with Colored Gels Only

If you use a sheer pink and a darker color for blush nails, follow these steps.

Apply one thin coat of the sheer shade and cure it. Brush on a second coat, but before curing, use a makeup sponge or brush to create a small circle with the darker polish in the center of the nail. (You can paint the polish in a circle on the sponge and press it into place.) Work on the gradient effect by feathering the color out from the center.

If you love the way it looks, cure both polishes. Once you brush on the top coat and cure it, you're done.

Method 2 with Makeup Blush

If you’d like to use actual blush, it may shorten the lifetime of the manicure, but you’ll get a perfect match with your face.

After the base coat, decide if you want to use a sheer nude coat or leave the natural color of your nail as it is.

For natural-colored nails, apply a thin layer of clear base coat but don’t cure it yet. Instead, use a sponge or extra makeup brush to tap the blush in the center of the nail. Once you’re satisfied, cure it and apply the top coat.

Otherwise, apply one or two thin coats of sheer color. For the second coat, don’t cure it until you dab on the blush. Finish with a top coat and you’re done!

Pro Tip for Doing Blush Nails

No matter which method you choose, here’s something important to remember. Keep the applicator tool (brush, sponge) clean and you’ll avoid clumps of color. Wipe it off between nails.


We hope you have fun doing blush nails! They are such a subtle yet gorgeous look!

Check out our new arrivals page to see what else is trending, too!