Metallic chrome or mirror nails look ultra-futuristic, ready to instantly elevate even the simplest look. If you’re intrigued, we’ve got everything you need to know about chrome nail polish. We give the details on how you can achieve the perfect chrome nail manicure for an eye-catching and long-lasting manicure, along with some tips on how to pull it off.
In this article:
Mirror Nails Tutorial
These are the instructions for the smoothest, longest-lasting mirror nails.
First things first, wash your hands, and wipe away any old nail polish you were wearing with some nail polish remover.
- Shape Your Nails
Once your hands are dry, file your nails into a shape that you like, and then brush away any nail powder.
- Apply a Base Coat
Apply a clear base coat to your nails. Ridge-filling base coats are ideal, because mirror nail polish can sometimes highlight any unevenness in the nail. Allow at least 2 minutes for the base coat to dry.
- Apply a Metallic Polish
Next, apply your first coat of metallic nail polish. First, make sure there is just the right amount of polish on the brush by wiping off the excess on the lip of the nail polish bottle. Next, working in quick motions, swipe the first coat on starting as close to the cuticles as you can get without actually covering them in polish, and pull the brush upwards. You might want to do this in two parts, especially for the wide nail on the thumb. Don’t worry if the first coat isn’t totally opaque.
- Apply a Second Coat
Wait two minutes for the first coat to dry, and then apply a second coat in the same manner. This is also your chance to fill in any gaps and build up the opacity.
- Work on the Tips
For a more long-lasting manicure, wrap the color around the nail by lightly coating the tip in chrome nail polish.
- Apply a Top Coat
Allow the nail polish to dry for two minutes, and then finish the look off with a high-shine top-coat.
- Let It Dry
Give it at least 10 minutes to fully dry, and then find a light source so you can admire the complexity and sheen of your mirror nail polish!
Getting Chrome Nails Using Mirror Nail Powder
For the shiniest mirror nails, you can also use mirror nail powder instead of your regular chrome nail polish. If you choose this route, here are the steps to follow:
- Repeat the same first steps as outlined above, filing your nails and applying a base coat, waiting for it to completely dry.
- Now, apply the mirror nail powder either using a special applicator or a foam, eyeshadow brush. Tap the powder on your nails making sure to cover the nail bed entirely.
- Using the foam brush, buff the surface of the nail to remove any excess powder and make it all appear smoother.
- Dip a soft brush or a Q-tip into rubbing alcohol and gently remove any powder leftover from your nails with it.
- Seal things with a water-based top coat. A regular top coat isn’t recommended here, since many people complain it cracks.
- Once it’s completely dried, apply a regular top coat too to increase the longevity of your sparkling mirror nails.
How to Pull off Metallic Nails
Rocking metallic nails is 99% attitude. Eye-catching manicures are in, and you don’t need to worry about offending anyone with an unusual nail polish shade.
- The only time when you should stay away from chrome nail polish is when your work environment explicitly forbids it, like in certain corporate offices or in situations where you handle food and all nail polish is forbidden.
- The easiest and most noticeable route, of course, is to paint all of your nails in the same astounding chrome nail polish.
- If you would like something more playful, select an accent nail or two to color with a metallic nail polish, while painting the rest of your nails in a more restrained color.
- Mirror nail polish is great for adding a fun twist to a French manicure. You can use the metallic nail polish to paint the tips of your nails, or reverse it by having the base of your nail mirrored with white tips.
- You can use manicure tape to create all kinds of geometric metallic nail art looks, especially if you’d like something more futuristic.
- If you prefer to go in a more vintage route, consider using metallic nail polish and floral stamps over a shiny white base to mimic the metallic designs you can find on old porcelain dinner sets.
Photos via @itsstephtoms, Instagram