Maybe Rome wasn’t built in a day. But it seems chrome was built in a summer. Chrome nails, that is.
Popularized by Hailey Bieber and her nail artist Zola, iridescent chrome manicures – or glazed donut nails – have been popping up on TikTok and Instagram feeds alike. You know, just like your “best friends” popped up in middle school as soon as they heard you had gum. Not for you, we don’t!
Bieber has seriously upped the trend’s visibility, as the style gains traction for being metallic and striking, yet dainty. We’ve tried to achieve that same vibe putting a tutu on a crowbar, but Zola was much more successful.
Although this trend started out with a whiteish, pink color, you can bolster many different hues with the ethereal effect. The chrome powder adds a futuristic glow to your favorite shades, shapes, and designs.
Here’s everything you need to know to get the trendy chrome nails at the salon or at home. And if you figure out how to get enough patience to do your nails at home, let us know!
How do you get chrome nails?
The two main things you need to create chrome nails are a polish base and a chrome powder on top. This will give you the sheen and dimension that’s so endearing on nails and glazed donuts alike.
Going to a manicurist and simply uttering the words “Hailey Bieber” might prompt them to whip out their Chrome Nails kit. But, there are still a few places that don’t have the supplies locked and loaded. If you come across such a place, you can ask for a few specific things.
For the classic glazed donut manicure, Zola uses the following:
- base coat
- top coat
- OPI Funny Bunny
- OPI Chrome effects in Tin Man Can
The Tin Man Can is only available for nail professionals, so if you want to try doing your own chrome nails, just look for another shimmery chrome nail powder. You can even use a shimmery white eyeshadow! Assuming you have some left over from your last time at Burning Man, that is.
With gel polish:
- Apply your gel base and one or two two coats of color, curing it with an LED light after each coat.
- Apply the chrome powder, and brush off any extra powder.
- Apply a final gel layer top coat, and seal it all into place with your LED light.
For traditional lacquer:
- Apply your base coat, one or two layers of your preferred color, then wait for it to dry.
- Apply another base coat. While it’s still wet, apply the chrome powder. You can do this with your fingers, an eyeshadow brush, or smaller powder brush. Do not try it with your toothbrush, no matter how much you want those “pearly” whites.
- Finish it off with a layer of top coat, top coat, and go show off!
Either way, experts say the chrome powder can be a pain to clean, so they recommend a protective layer of tape around your cuticles. This may be the one time when it’s not as ideal to paint outside the lines.
And now you know how to make your nails look like they just came off the Krispy Kreme assembly line! If you love the look, but want to spice it up a little bit, here are a few beautiful takes on chrome nails.
17 Ways to Make Chrome Nails
1. Smiley Faces On Shimmery Chrome Nails
We’d be smiling, too, with this sweet chrome effect.
2. Dark Chrome Water Droplets
Those droplets are tears because we were overwhelmed by the beauty of these nails.
3. Unicorn Purple Chrome Nails
If there was an official color for unicorns, it’d be this soft, shimmery purple. We’d bet it works for narwhals too.
4. Lightning Bolt Nails
When chrome isn’t eye-catching enough, just add some extra zing! Like this lightning bolt. Not Sriracha.
5. Soft Pink Chrome Nails
The white color and angelic effect has us thinking we ought to call these “ethereal and milk.” Yum.
6. Tiny Hearts
If pinks and reds are too bold for you on Valentine’s Day, try these tiny, pearly hearts instead. And we’ll be happy to take those roses off your hands.
7. Silver Chrome Tips
Soft but edgy. We’re confused, but also amazed. Usually, we’re just confused.
8. Green Chrome Nails
We know it’s not cool to talk about your Hogwarts house anymore, so we’ll just let these green nails bewitch you instead.
9. Pink Square Chrome Nails
We don’t show up for one party, and all of a sudden we’re square!
10. Bright and Bold Chrome Nails
This statement-making white and its shimmer put Chip Skylark and his shiny teeth to shame.
11. True Blue Chrome Nails
This color really blue us away. Yeah…we’re too busy gawking at them to make a better pun.
12. Black and Red Chrome Nails
Who knew comic book villains were so trendy?
13. Multi-Colored Dark Chrome Nails
This look is dark and brooding, but still shimmery and playful. And it’s reminding us that we need to stir our cauldron of witches brew.
14. Iridescent Lavender Nails
We can totally see ourselves with these nails. We can also see ourselves in these nails. Ugh…is that a poppyseed in our teeth?
15. Pink to Green Pastel Chrome Nails
This gradient is great-ient. Okay, okay, we’re done!
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