I'll admit it, I've had a slow and steady obsession with chrome nails ever since Zendaya rocked a silver-chrome mani on the Oscars 2022 red carpet. Of all the nail trends our there, when it comes to spring/summer nail designs, it's chrome nails that speak to me the most. In fact, I have over 100 different chrome nail designs currently in my Instagram saved folder-and I'm not gatekeeping.
Chrome nails, might I add, are not to be confused with doughnut-glazed nails (which are Hailey Bieber's go-to, FYI). "Chrome nails are punchier than their glazed-doughnut nail counterpart. Chrome has more of a highly-pigmented mirror effect, while glazed-doughnut nails are softly iridescent. However, they are both similar in that they beautifully catch the light," says celebrity manicurist and Mylee ambassador, Tinu Bello.
It's also worth noting that chrome nails can work on gel nails, BIAB or polygel nails. The best bit? Chrome can be incorporated into any type of design-it can be used all-over as a classic manicure, added as a micro-French tip or even worked into your favourite nail art.
If you don't want to head to the salon, you can do chrome nails yourself at home. Here is Tinu's step-by-step:
"The pens come with a cushion applicator and a pressed-pigment powder in the lid. Once the pen is dipped into the lid it will pick up the chrome-effect pigment on the cushion tip, giving you complete control and precision over the design. The cushion powder can be applied directly onto your nails, or you can get super creative by using a nail art brush to come up with some nail art designs."
Imagine this design glistening in the summer sun. The silver stars are just perfection.
The skinny French manicure still reigns supreme for Spring/Summer 2023, and this chrome design is top of team MC's hit list.
The colour combination on this reinvented French manicure is exquisite, and we're head over heels for the wavy design.
Chrome nails don't just have to come in one colour. If you can't decide on a shade why not go for them all?
We're keeping this super-sharp mani design saved for any upcoming summer festivals.
This design is definitely one to save for when you're seeing an expert nail artist, but if they can nail it (excuse the pun) the results will be worth it.
Thought chrome nail art couldn't be chic? This star design might make you think again.
Fire-themed nail art is having a moment right now, and this pink chrome design is leading the way.
When created with polygel, 3D chrome nails have team Marie Claire's hearts.
Yet another design to save down for any festivals you might have coming up this summer.
This chrome blue manicure would be good enough if left alone, but when clear extensions are added it's even better.
If you're not the sort of person who loves loud manicures, that's not to say you have to skip on chrome entirely. This understated design is perfect for those who like a more refined look.
Blink and you'll miss it. This design masters the art of super-fine chrome designs.
Yes, black chrome nails exist. The chrome finish delivers a wet-look result that's next-level glossy.
Dua Lipa's golden chrome nails are the stuff that summer nail dreams are made of.
This is a classic example of how chrome can work on literally every colour. While the idea of a green nail in this shade might not appeal to you, the chrome finish makes it almost impossible to dislike.
A pink set of chrome nails that both Barbie and Margot would no doubt be proud of.
Vanilla chrome nails are having a moment, and this stunning manicure showcases the best of the best. We also love the vanilla chrome French tip designs we're seeing of late.
A high shine silver with itss own application brush for ease that's less than a fiver? Count me in.
Remember to use a black coat before using these, as per Tinu's tips above.
If you don't want to go full-out chrome just yet, this top coat gives a subtle but gorgeous glimmer.
If you're not ready to fully commit to the chrome look just yet, try these press-on nails to start with.