This simple, chic and feel-good manicure elevated my dopamine levels in an instant

And it's pretty easy to do at home

woman holding her hands up to the sun
(Image credit: Getty Images / royalty-free)

Nail trends come and go so quickly these days that it's hard to keep up—even as a beauty editor. Some I love, others not so much but others evoke such a sense of joy that it's hard to ignore them. Case in point: the sunset manicure. A beautiful, playful and summery manicure. Because if there's one thing everyone in the UK needs more of it's the warmth and joy of summer.

The manicure is exactly as it sounds: vibrant orange and yellows painted in an ombré effect. The best thing about it thought is that there are tons of ways to interpret the trend from chrome effects to airbrushing—some you can try at home and others to take to the salon. So before choosing your holiday nails, take a look through these manicures for inspiration.

1. Classic ombré

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It doesn't get more sunset, holiday vibes than a classic ombré design. With some patience and the right tools, you can try this one at home. Aside from your orange and red nail polish (can you also use yellow and orange—whatever floats your boat). Since this design can get a little messy, I recommend getting a cuticle guard to avoid lots of cleanup. You'll also need a make-up or nail art sponge. You can either use a nail-specific one like this Mylee one or use those basic angled make-up sponges, which work just as well (some people even find them easier).

2. Chrome sunset aura

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Now this is one to take to your nail tech because it's a little more complicated than the others. To get this chrome aura effect, it requires both an airbrush machine and chrome powder, which unless you're trained, can be difficult to do at home (not to mention expensive).

3. Sunset French manicure

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If you're devoted to wearing a French manicure, this is the ideal way to combine the two trends. Although this one requires more skill than the regular ombré manicure, it's not impossible to do at home. The easiest way to do this trend is to ombré the entire nail, as you would with the first inspo design, but then use acetone and a fine liner brush to remove the base colours of polish and leave only the tip and a sharp edge. Finally, seal with a top coat and you're left with a perfect sunset French manicure.

4. Summer sunset nails

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I can't get enough of these vivid summer sunset nails. They're joyful, bright and perfectly blend pink orange and yellow together; working particularly well on long almond-shaped nails.

5. Eyeshadow sunsets

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Yep, this set was created using eyeshadow rather than an airbrush machine. This is a great way to jump aboard the airbrush trend without buying the machine and figuring out how to use it. This method uses vibrant eyeshadows in orange, yellow, red and pink pigment dusted with a shadow brush over the top of a base coat or base colour. Then it's all sealed with a top coat. You can wear the eyeshadow aura effect on its own or top it off with mirror effect accents like this manicure.

6. Oil-slick sunset nails

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If you want something completely different, try an oil-slick design like this one. It takes the shades of sunset nails but in this swirled, slightly psychedelic finish thanks to a chrome powder. Since it's not the easiest design in the roundup, I recommend visiting your salon to try this one. Be sure to send them inspo photos ahead of time, that way they can let you know whether it's a design they can do for you or not.

7. Angled ombré French sunset manicure

This design takes the colours of the sunset manicure trend and pairs it with an ombré French manicure for a slightly more subtle finish. Although you can use any shades you like, for this, I love the shades Mai Tai and Aperol Spritz from 14 Day Manicure. You'll also need a fine nail art brush to get those gradient strokes perfect.

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.