When Hailey Bieber arrived at last year’s Met Gala and debuted her “glazed donut” manicure, it took over our social feeds and ignited a trend. It started off with recreations of the model’s neutral chromatic look before giving way to an explosion of different chrome nail designs. Think: shimmer in an endless array of colors and finishes. Plus, all kinds of accents and patterns.
“Chromes come in many finishes — from white chromes that add a metallic sheen to multi chromes, which make for more of a [more dimensional] finish,” says nail artist Galdina Jimenez, adding that chrome nails “can be a challenge at home since chrome powders work best on gel color.” However, tons of brands like OPI and Londontown make regular polishes with a built-in chrome effect.
meet the expert
To get the chrome nail design of your dreams, scroll through 25 inspirational looks below.
Nail artist Sonia Sanchez created this beautiful look using the shade Fairy Winkle from Aprés Nail topped with Drive Me Glazy from Nail Bunny. Although simple, the icy baby blue really stands out and is perfect for winter. The color is applied over the Sculpted Stiletto Medium gel tips from Aprés. “Chrome can be incorporated into many 3D designs or used to add an elegant touch by applying chrome over the nails,” says Sanchez.
Chromatic French Tips
Sanchez elevated classic French tips with the Drive Me Glazy chrome powder from Nail Bunny for a bridal look. The tip design was executed on the Sculpted Almond Long gel tips from Aprés Nail.
This astrological look uses the Star Galaxy Prism gel polish in shade 1404 from Ice Gel for the tips and the Lele Sadoughi x Deco Beauty Zodiac Nail Stickers for accents. Together, they create a mesmerizing look.
For that classic glazed donut look, which was created by nail artist and OPI Global Ambassador Zola Ganzorigt, Jimenez layered OPI’s Gemini and I over sweet pale pink Bubble Bath.
Cotton Candy Chrome
Using all four shades from the Londontown Candy Dreams Nail Polish Set, this set screams cotton candy. The pale shades of pink, white, and blue chrome are pretty and play beautifully with the chunky glitter in the purple shade.
Sanchez used the sheer white shade Baby’s Breath from Aprés Nail as the base of this look. Then, she topped it off with an edgy silver chrome tip, extending it into a fine line design running down the nail.
Nothing shines brighter than a star, so adorning a manicure with starry chrome accents is the perfect move. The base — a milky nude with a hot pink center — is simple enough to really let the embellishments shine.
Jimenez created this celestial look by layering #VirgoGoals from OPI over the brand’s Black Onyx, which is the perfect basic black. The two shades together truly make each nail look like a galaxy of its own.
Swirls and Pearls
French tips, white swirls, pearl decals, and a silvery chrome topper came together to create this epic look by Sanchez. By keeping the colors light, the otherwise intricate look comes off more understated.
Metallics will always pack a punch, but when done in a minimal design like tips, they can be really subtle. Sanchez created this look on top of the Sculpted Stiletto Medium nails from Aprés Nail.
This super pretty, coppery chrome is Moon Cat’s Flight of the Monarchs, an orangey hue with purple and blue undertones. Because the shade has so much warmth, it almost looks like a neutral on this skin tone.
Like a Mirror
This look by Sanchez is so reflective that each nail looks like a little mirror. It was created by the pro using a chrome finish atop the Sculpted Almond Medium gel tips from Aprés Nail.
This beautiful set uses a trio of shades from Cirque Color’s Mxmtoon Collection Set. The three hues each have blue undertones, so they look really pretty and cohesive while still standing out.
If you could melt down a pearl and coat your nail with the liquid, you would get this stunning look. It’s super reflective and sure to catch your gaze multiple times throughout the day.
Pop of Chrome
In this manicure, chrome serves as an accent, which features a pop of icy blue metallic underneath a dotted design. Even though it’s subtle, it still packs a perfect punch.
If you’re still living for Barbiecore, this manicure is perfect for you. It uses the hot pink shade Let’s Have Some Little Fun from Nail Reserve LA as the base and is topped with the Sun-Set Glow chrome powder from Ice Gel.
Swirls of pink, green, blue, and purple pastel chrome make this beautiful and ethereal marbled design. Each nail is accented by a tiny pearl, serving as the perfect cherry on top of an already gorgeous look.
Liquid Metal Chrome
What makes this mani so cool? It emulates the liquid form that metal takes when heated. The silver chrome polish looks like it was melted on, and the addition of silver and white pearls makes it extra impactful.
Jimenez created this look with two coats of #VirgoGoals from OPI. It’s a bronzy pearl shade that features small flecks of green glitter that stuns with simplicity.
The chrome finish on this nude polish takes a simple look to the next level. And the addition of the gold feather decal adds a gorgeous gilded touch.
This design uses two chrome shades — Close Call and Lost Treasure — from OPI’s Great Escape Collection. Close Call is the primary shade used on three nails, and then it’s swirled with Lost Treasure on a neutral base as an accent on two fingers.
Jimenez created this manicure using OPI’s Feelin’ Capricorn-y, a sage green shimmer. The hue is enhanced with flecks of pink and blue, giving this a super dimensional look.