Milk's Spray-On Nail Polish Makes an Ombré Manicure Surprisingly Easy to Do

And it's less illegal than street graffiti, so win-win!
Publish date:
May 9, 2016
manicures, ombre nails, nail polish, Milk Makeup, Spray-on Nail Polish

I'm a 21st-century girl, but there are generally a few futuristic conveniences I pass on because ain't nobody got time for that. Hoverboards? Stop pretending you're not just Segways without handles. Makeup-applying apps? You're leaving my IRL face hanging, yo. Apple Wallet? Nice try, robbers.

I'm not against innovation, but sometimes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Which is why I didn't immediately jump at the concept of spray-on nail polish. It sounded messy and more complicated than need be.

But then Milk Makeup Spray Nail found its way into my possession and I thought, "Why not waste an afternoon making my fingers look like the tin man version of Lorde's Grammy-mani (Grani)?"

I had three colors to play with: an iridescent frosty white called Throwie, a bronze called Burner, and a silver named Dubs.

One big requirement spray-on nail polish has that the regular painty kind doesn't: a drop-cloth of some sort. You don't want to mess up your desk/bed/carpet/lap with this very chemically-scented spray zone.

First, apply a clear base-coat and let it dry; it'll help the spray polish stick to your nail bed better this way. Then, shake up that can of spray polish a lot. I find that the less shaken, the more straight alcohol you get and less pigment, so make sure you shake before every spritz.

I laid down a sheer layer of Throwie, which, in all honesty, I wish was a highlighter because look how angelic it looks! I'm not masochistic enough to spray this on my cheekbones since it'll likely blind me, but it would look so good... just saying. Keeping it at least six inches away is imperative for getting a good even layer of color and not just torpedoing pigment around in wet cold blasts (again, I learned this firsthand as anyone who tries this probably will).

I spot-sprayed some nails with Burner, and — possibly high off fumes or inspired by the shear ease of it — spot-sprayed over that with Dubs.

Overly pleased with my ambitious results, I immediately cracked a window. The cool thing about spraying on these really light layers is that the polish dries so much more quickly this way. I popped on a clear top coat and hung out admiring my metallic fingies.

Hanging out with my metallic fingers was a pretty cool look, IMO. I mean, this should be the entire point of spray-on nail polish, honestly. But, you know, it's probably not awesome to have that sitting on my skin semi-permanently, so once my top coat was dry, I washed my hands as instructed with warm water and soap to remove the excess from my skin.

This, as you can imagine, was not as easy and fast and simple as implied. I tried regular hand soap and an oil cleanser which took some hand-wringing to get the polish to budge. Then I got the bright idea to just use a cotton swab dipped in polish remover around my cuticles, which helped a lot to loosen the polish (hot tip: should've done this before it dried completely on my skin) and then after that, the rest of the polish came off much more easily with another wash.

Look how cool they came out! The ombre effect is pretty hazy and abstract, which is what I was going for, and I really love the near-iridescent effect of mixing these metallics (good options if you're going to have just three colors, though I would've appreciated a black or gunmetal). I loved it so much, it inspired me to match my eye makeup to my nails — a do if there ever was a do.

I'm into the ease of these spray-on nail polishes (though perhaps not the prep because you can't really do these everywhere) if for no reason than the fact they make my fingers look cooler in general. And considering the addition of tiny stencils, the possibilities for instant nail art are endless.

  • Why don't all beauty products come in spray form? I could get on board with that.
  • How savvy are y'all when it comes to convenience-for-convenience-sake beauty innovations?
  • Can anyone tip me off to a spray on highlighter? I'm waiting...