NAIL ART TUTORIAL: Ocean Nails With Gel Polish [2023]

ocean nail art design tutorial

Here is a step by step tutorial on how to do an ocean nail design with gel polish. Ocean nails can be done in so many different ways and you can also change this DIY ocean nail up a bit too to make it your own!

These DIY nails are perfect for beginners who want a bit of a challenge. You can even add some rose gold glitter accents for nails or waterslide nail decals to take the ocean theme up a notch.

Creating these gradient ocean inspired nails is easier than you think! With this step by step tutorial, you'll be able to create your own ocean nails that are perfect for you.

You can also use this tutorial for your press on nail business. We are always here to help you with ideas using gel polishes!

 ocean nail art design tutorial

To make this ocean nail art, take the time to smooth each layer before going onto the next one. Once you're happy with the way your sky and ocean gradient nails look, apply the top coats, cure and you're done!

📽 If you want to skip to the video tutorial, scroll down to the bottom of this post to watch how to do this gradient ocean nail art.

Ocean Nail Design Tutorial

Supplies For Ocean Nails

For this tutorial we used Melody Susie gel polish 24+4 collection. You can use what gel polish kits that have on hand but make sure you are using a high quality polish.

gel polish for ocean nail art

UV/LED lamp

A lamp is required for the curing process. If you have not used gel polish before and need a cure light, we have an article for the best cure lights for gel polish if you are just getting started with gels.

Fine line nail art brushes

Long full cover nail tips in your choice of shape. For this ocean inspired nail tutorial, the best tips to use are really long ones.

Base coat, glossy and matte no wipe top coat

Instructions: Ocean Nail Design

Step 1: Set aside the right sizes of full coverage nail tips for your fingers and have them ready for your manicure. That way you are not searching for the nails while you are in the middle of making the ocean nails.

Or if you are using this nail art tutorial for an idea for your press on nail business, you already know how important it is to have nail art supplies organized.

Step 2: With a 180 grit nail file, buff off the shine from each nail tip. Make sure all of the shine is buffed off of the nails. If there are shiny parts left on the nail it can cause lifting.

preparing nail for ocean design

If you know how to use an efile for nails, you can use that to buff off the shine.

Also a bonder for nails will work for this step as well. There are bonders that are made specifically for jelly nail tips.

Step 3: With a lint free wipe for nails, remove all of the dust from the nail tip. Use a bit of isopropyl alcohol for this step to make sure that there is no dust left on the nail.

Let the nail tip dry completely before going onto the next step.

Step 4: Apply one thin coat of the base coat making sure the whole nail is covered as well as the tip of the nail. Cure for 30 seconds.

applying base coat for ocean nails

It's very important that the base coat is a thin and even layer. If it's applied too thick, the whole design could peel off. Also when capping the nail, do not use too much or your edge will not have a crisp line.

Step 5: Take the orange color (428) and apply it to the nail starting at the area closest to the cuticle. Bring the color down 1/4 of the way. Then switch brushes and feather out the line so that there are no harsh lines. You will want a smooth transition for the next color. Cure for 30 seconds.

first coat gel polish for ocean nails

first coat of gel polish for ocean nail design

Step 6: While the nail is curing, prepare the next colors onto a mixing palette. Take a yellow color (255) and a light orange color (388) and put a little bit onto the palette. These are going to be the colors for the sun.

preparing gel colors for ocean nails

Step 7: Apply another coat of the orange color (428) onto the nail.

second coat of gel for ocean nails

Step 8: Take the orange color (388) with a fineliner brush and start to blend it to make the sun. Go back and forth with the orange and yellow to make the sun look like its shining through the sky. Keep blending until you get the look that you like.

making a sun for ocean nails

making the sun with gel polish

Step 9: Apply one small dot of white in the middle of the sun. This will really make it stand out more against the sky. Cure for 30 seconds.

making the sun with gel polish

Step 10: Prepare the three blue colors onto the mixing palette. You will need three blue colors ranging from light to dark blue. If you are using the Melody Susie set these are colors 971, 328 & 344.

preparing colors for ocean nails

Step 11: Apply the lightest blue in a wave. Make sure the polish is smoothed out. You can use a fineliner brush to get the transition line perfected before curing.

And cure for 30 seconds. Repeat with a second coat.

applying light blue gel polish for ocean waves

fixing transition line on ocean nails

Step 12: Apply the next blue color and repeat the steps above.

blue ocean waves for nail art

Step 13: Apply the final darker blue color and repeat the steps above.

dark blue color for ocean waves

The nail should now look like this.

gradient ocean waves nail art

Step 14: Apply a no wipe matte top coat onto the waves. Try your best to make sure that the matte top coat does not go into the sky part because that is going to be glossy.

applying a no wipe matte top coat

Step 15: Apply a glossy no wipe top coat onto the sky and with a fine liner brush, smooth the transition line between the matte and glossy. Do a final long cure of 60 seconds.

applying a no wipe glossy top coat to ocean nail

Is there anything more gorgeous than an ocean inspired nail? These nails would look absolutely stunning for your vacation or just to say hello to summer.

ocean nail design tutorial

Video: How to do an ocean nail art design

Here's the video tutorial with step by step instructions. Subscribe

Thanks for being here with us today! If you have any questions on this ocean nail inspired look, leave a comment on our YouTube channel. We love hearing from our fans!

If you would like to support our nail blog, feel free to share this ocean nail tutorial on your social media or link back to this article from your own blogs and websites.

You can even share on your Facebook groups if it's allowed. We would really appreciate that :)

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Here's a pin that we made for you to share on your nail art boards before you go so you can find us again :)

ocean nail art tutorial