Blind your enemies with some shiny metallic nail polish! Chrome nails have taken over the Internet with their glamorous high shine and futuristic vibe. The trend refers to either shiny base nail polish flecked with a metric ton of shimmer, for metallic nails, or a more uniformly shiny polish that gives mirror nails – nails so shiny and silvery that they look like little mirrors.
If you’re intrigued, we’ve got everything you need to know about chrome nail polish. We’ve collected the best metallic nail polish shades available online, for an eye-catching and long-lasting manicure. We then give the details on how you can achieve the perfect chrome nail manicure, along with some tips on how to pull it off.
Your Guide to Mirror Metallic Nails: Contents
- 15 Best Chrome Metallic Nail Polish Colors to Purchase
- How to Get Ultra-Shiny Chrome Mirror Nails
- How to Pull off Metallic Nails
Whether you’re aiming for mirror nails or a more textured metallic look, we’ve got you covered. These are the best metallic nail polishes on the market, with formulas that dry quickly and take ages to chip.
1. Nails Inc. Foiling In Love Chrome Nail Polish in Space Space Baby
This chrome nail polish is inspired by the cosmos. It is highly pigmented and extremely saturated, for total coverage in just two coats, and has a subtle lilac shift that is impossible to resist. The brush hugs the nail completely, for a quick application. Buy it from Sephora!
2. Essie Gorge-ous Geodes Metallic Nail Polish in Of-Quartz
If the idea of holographic nails strikes your fancy, this is a great metallic nail polish to buy. Of-Quartz is a blindingly shimmery metallic tone that leans towards gold with a pink and blue shift. As you move your hand in the light the color changes, making for a mesmerizing effect. The formula is long-wearing, with a thick brush that makes applications easy. You can get it at Ulta.
3. Christian Louboutin Beauty Metalinudes Nail Color in Irisa
This is guaranteed to be the most dramatic nail polish bottle you will have on your nightstand. The shade ‘Irisa’ is a metallic nail polish color that matches the stiletto-inspired cap of the polish perfectly, making for a memorable combination. The shade is glamorous, but note that it goes more silvery once applied to the nails. One swipe is all you need with this saturated formula. Order it from Net-a-Porter!
4. Essie Mirror Metallics Nail Polish in No Place Like Chrome
If you’re aiming for the mirror nails effect, this is the chrome nail polish to pick up. It’s a perfectly silver shade that goes on smooth for maximum reflectiveness. This polish is quick-drying and long-lasting, with a chip-resistant formula. Find it at Ulta!
5. Nails Inc. Sweet Almond Nail Polish Powered By Matcha in Mayfair Market
Warm metallic nails can feel more glamorous in some instances. Mayfair Market is a stunning rose gold perfect for Spring that is extra flattering for those with warm skin tones. The formula is chip-resistant and reinforced with matcha green tea and almond oil to strengthen and protect the nails. It is available at Sephora.
6. Orly Breathable Treatment + Color in Soul Sister
If your nails need TLC, this is the chrome nail polish to pick. It has a nail-fortifying formula that doesn’t require a base or top coat. It’s reinforced with argan oil and vitamins to fortify the nails while ensuring that they are not too constricted. The shade itself is a pinky metallic that has a mirrored effect in certain lights. Shop it at Ulta!
7. Smith & Cult Chrome Nail Polish in Ceremony of Secrets
This gorgeous, chip-resistant metallic nail polish combines vintage vibes with high-intensity shimmer. The shade is an antique rose flecked with micro-fine silver sparkles that feels timeless and feminine. The formula is very fuss-free, with amazing opacity. Purchase it online from Net-a-Porter!
8. Deborah Lippmann Leave A Light On Gel Lab Pro Polish in I Like It Like That
If you love the look of a gel polish, opt for this cream chrome nail polish formula. It’s an easy alternative that protects the nails and stays put for days on end. This shade, in particular, is an iridescent turquoise with a violet and pale blue shift for the days when you want to feel like a mermaid. It is quite sheer, so you can wear it alone or layered over a more saturated polish. Pick it up from Sephora!
9. Sally Hansen Color Therapy Metallic Nail Polish in Burnished Bronze
This ultra-nourishing metallic nail polish formula will reinforce your nails with a blend of strengthening oils and proteins. It is a non-fading polish in a gorgeous bronze shade that gives a warm and romantic effect. It is also a great choice for autumn manicures. It is sold at Ulta.
10. Ella + Mila Dream Nail Polish in Mirror Mirror
This vegan nail polish is free of a few of the often-vilified typical nail polish ingredients, so it’s great if you have sensitive skin or a preference for natural products. Mirror Mirror is the ideal shade for mirror nails, giving a smooth, silvery sheen, in which you can almost see your reflection. You can grab it from Ulta.
11. Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Polish in 110 Gatsby
This luxurious chrome nail polish from Marc Jacobs is a champagne metallic tone that exudes glamour. It’s the kind of metallic nail polish that would fly under the radar in more professional environments, while still offering the shimmer and intensity you crave. The shade retains a wet look even once dry, thanks to patented bonding agents. Get it at Sephora!
12. OPI Metallic Nail Polish in Worth a Pretty Penny
Of course, we had to include at least one OPI shade in here! This is the perfect copper color, as it looks just like a shiny, brand-new penny. It goes on soft, with a bit of a gold shift, so it’s great for romantic looks or for autumn. This chrome nail polish is nice in manicures that also include pinks or rose tones. Like all OPI formulas, it is chip-resistant and non-fading. Buy it from Ulta!
13. Essie Chrome Nail Polish in For the Twill of It
Feeling a little edgy? This is a dark chrome nail polish that makes the nails positively lethal. At first glance it looks like a gunmetal gray, but as you move it in the light it shifts to showcase green and purple tones. The formula is exceptional, going on the nail very opaque even in one coat, and lasting without chips for at least a few days. It’s available at Ulta.
14. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Game of Chromes
If you’re a sucker for pop-culture relevant nails then you have to pick up this metallic chrome nail polish. It is a neutral golden tone that really captures the shine and opulence of the metal, with a silver shift that’s hard to look away from. This best-selling polish has a gel-like formula that is very long-lasting. You can find it at Ulta.
15. China Glaze Nail Lacquer with Hardeners in Rainbow
If your nails are a little delicate, choose this chrome nail polish because it is infused with nail hardeners. Rainbow, in particular, is a sheer metallic shade that has a beautiful iridescence. Use it in your metallic manicures for a pearly vibe. It is quite chip-resistant, and would work well both as a top coat and on its own. It is sold at Ulta.
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.
• Once your hands are dry, file your nails into a shape that you like, and then brush away any nail powder.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• For a more long-lasting manicure, wrap the color around the nail by lightly coating the tip in chrome nail polish.
• Allow the nail polish to dry for two minutes, and then finish the look off with a high-shine top-coat.
• 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.
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, @beautsoup, @misskejtes