Futuristic-looking chrome strobes are a new take on the mani.
The first time I got a chrome mani, I was wowed. I’m pretty sure I audibly gasped as my nail tech dabbed a tiny sponge dipped in silver powder onto my nails. Just a few taps coated my tips with an iridescent shimmer that danced in the light—it instantly became my go-to nail art. But recent Instagram scrolls have introduced me to a new iteration of the classic chrome mani where chrome—a reflective powder or gel—is used to top a solid or gradient base with metallic, web-like strobes—not a loose, dusted finish. Chrome nails aren't new by any means, but my old understanding of chrome leaned into disco ball-adjacent luminescence. The chrome manis that now fill my feed feel much more futuristic. And on the celebrity front, stars like Lizzo, Rosalia, and Sabrina Carpenter have given the trend a try.
Toronto-based nail artist Rebecca Ramsdale says that the difference between the dusted chrome manis that we typically see and the webbed chrome that has been flooding our feeds lies in opting for chrome-like gels in paint pods over traditional powder. "Clients are loving liquid chrome for many reasons," she tells Coveteur. "It’s super eye-catching and contrasts well with any base. It feels like a modern upgrade to glitter detailing and can be used in many different styles of sets from basic to over-the-top designs."
Both the feel and finish of powder and liquid chrome are different. "Liquid chrome is like painting with molten metal," Ramsdale explains. "It’s often used in both flowing line work as well as organic line work, and adds a modern feel to the set." Though powder can be used to achieve a similar finish, Ramsdale says that liquid chrome is more reliable for achieving clean lines and avoiding chips, which tend to pop up more frequently with powder chrome.
"These styles can usually be achieved with powder chrome, but it definitely takes a lot more work than just using a liquid chrome," she adds. "Liquid chrome minimizes quite a few steps, and is often a bit more dependable than the typical chip-prone powder chrome." Below, we’ve rounded up the chrome manis we'll be showing our nail techs at our next appointment.
No, you can never have too much shimmer. By topping off this sparkly, sheer purple polish with chrome strobes, Ramsdale created a mani that's literally out of this world.
Bold Black Mani
As a mani maximalist, Lizzo is living proof that black is the perfect base for a chrome topper that will pop. To create this look, her go-to nail tech Eri Ishizu outlined the nail with a silver-tone chrome.
Opting out of the traditional outlined look, this mani adds texture and dimension to this multicolored mani with silver chrome overlays.
Ramsdale topped off this orange-to-pink gradient mani with chrome flames to bring the heat.
To play with the contrast between cool and warm tones, webbed, gold overlay was added to this manicure to complement a blue ombré base.
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