October 3, 2016


Nail enthusiasts like me have been drooling over pretty shiny things for years, personally I'm not a huge glitter girl but anything metallic, sign me up! The newest rage in the nail industry are these chrome powders which give you a mirror like finish on your nails. MIRROR FINISH. It wasn't possible before unless you used foils, and the closest thing you could get was metallic silver polish that looked like brushed stainless steel.

These powders on the other hand, allow you to get a mirror like shine and it looks freaking cool as hell! But here's a catch, its marketed to be used with gel nails only. I personally don't do gel nails so with a little digging and experimentation I found out that you can do this with regular nail polish! I did the experimentation so you didn't have to and with that I'll give you all the unlocked secrets to achieving a chrome finish on your nails without the need for curing!

The chrome powder I used in these photos is from Daily Charme (they also have a version called unicorn powder which is for holo nails too). I ordered #3, the finer ground powder because it gives off a more mirror like finish than #2. I am still waiting on some powders I ordered off Amazon, and will do an update post on those when I receive them.

IDEAL COMBO: (this is what worked for me!)

  1. Prep nails with base coat
  2. Apply two coats of desired base color, allow to dry fully
  3. Apply Essie Gel Topcoat a couple nails as a time. You need this layer to still be slightly tacky for the next step.
  4. Apply chrome powder with small rubbing motions with an eye shadow applicator. The Topcoat you just used has to be in this special sweet spot where it's still slightly tacky but not wet for the ideal application of the powder. If it's too dry the powder won't stick and you'll have a patchy finish. 
  5. Take a brush to dust off any excess chrome powder left on your nails
  6. If you did not cover all spots in Step 4, I recommend repeating step 3-5 though the finish of the chrome will have a slight glitter base too it. Ideally you would of completed a full chrome layer on the nail in the previous steps to have the perfect mirror finish.
  7. Seal off with two coats of a water-based topcoat. I recommend Piggy Paint Topcoat. I found that it dried faster and allowed for the next step without any problems, instead of cracking like the Picture Polish Revolution base-coat.
  8. Seal with a final quick dry topcoat, I used Seche Vite, so that it can protect the water-based topcoat from deteriorating when washing hands during clean up

You can see the imperfections up close, but from afar... its all chromed out :)
To note, the pinky and fourth finger used the double powder coat step as mentioned above and as you can tell it is slightly more "glittery" than say the middle finger which only had one powder coat on it. Also this hand used Seche Vite as Step 3 instead of the Essie, and I personally preferred the Essie but both do work. Just use the same method as listed above.

Things I learnt from experimentation:

  • A little messier than intended. The powder does get everywhere so be warned... you will be covered in silver dust
  • Buff your nails before painting. A mistake on my part as the mirror like finish is very unforgiving and shows all imperfections. By buffing your nails to remove ridges, it should give you a smooth enough surface to mimic a gel nail.
  • Top coat with a waterbased polish. Regular top coats will glitter-ize your chrome powders, unless this is the look you're going for, I highly recommend in getting a water-based polish to seal in the shine.
  • Rose Gold can be achieved! Be using a pink base layer, the chrome powder is sheer enough to let some of the color through creating a rose gold like finish. This can also be applied to other colors as well.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Clearly my nails are far from perfect as shown above but it is a new method of nail application with the powder which will take some getting use to to find that special sweet spot to get perfect chromed nails.

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