How To Get Mirror Chrome Nails At Home

blue chrome nails with a grey blanket on the background.

Giving your nails the ‘chrome effect’ at home can be tricky! You must know how to do it right, in order to make the most of your bold look. We tell you everything about mirror chrome nails to make it easy for you to get prepared to DIY your manicure at home in a few simple steps. Also, find tips to make the mirror-finish look last as long a possible.

Mirror chrome nails are the newest and the coolest manicure trend that has caught our eye. When the nails look like small silver mirrors, reflecting lights and catching everyone’s attention, it is tough not to fall in love with them!

If regular nail polish formulas fail to create the magic, the hot chromed style can make your nails look drool-worthy instantly. From dark-like-soul gunmetal to très chic ombre – the mirror chrome nail trend is here to create an awesome effect with zero cheesiness. These metallic, foiled-finish nails with a super shiny, mirrored look, may seem to be a pure salon affair but it can actually be achieved at home, easily.

pink reflective long nails

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So, are you already obsessed with the mirror chrome gel nails? We have got you covered.

Know how to get prepped for rocking such a ‘made-for-Instagram mani’, simple steps to DIY it with the best chrome polish, as well as many ways to maintain the true mirror finish on a budget.

What Are Mirror Chrome Nails?

Call it ‘chrome nails’, ‘mirror nails’, or ‘glass nails’, the craze is all about pulling off a futuristic, bold look. A look that boasts a mirror-like effect on the nails.

If you are bored with traditional nail polishes this chrome nail craze is perfect for you. It is much more than just a metallic polish and a step up from the gel nail polish formulas. You can either invest in a UV gel polish or stick to your regular non-UV gel polish based on your preference. Though both of them give a nice finish, a UV gel polish is much easier to work with.

close up of woman having a manicure

The mesmerising mirror shine is mostly created by buffing a sparkly metallic polymer pigmented powder over a layer of gel-manicure basecoat with a small sponge. The extremely fine powder fills the gap between the base layer, and the glassy protective top layer creates the exclusive party manicure look. The unique chrome nail look comes in several types and hues. While silver, copper, rose gold, and lilac white is the sassiest choices for this trend, you can also opt for black to make your nails pop the most. This shiny and spectacular finish suits almost everyone and every budget.

Moreover, when you use the gel manicure and the best chrome polish, the chrome nails last around three weeks without chipping. It also comes off easily with solvents like ethyl acetate or acetone.

How To Prep Your Nails For A Mirror Chrome Mani.

Woman applying base coat polish to her nails to prepare for mirror chrome polish

The secret to this gorgeous at-home mirror chrome manicure lies in its preparation.

Keep The Essentials Handy

Keeping the essentials handy makes the DIY mirror chrome manicure an easier and faster procedure. These include a buffer, a cuticle stick, cuticle oil, a gel polish, a basecoat, the required amount of loose chrome powder, a UV or LED nail lamp, a sponge-tip applicator, a soft brush, and a gel topcoat.

Clean and Buff Your Nails

Gel nail polish formulas will not stick to the chrome pigment if the nail beds are not clean and tidy. Make sure that you trim, file and shape up your nails after cleaning them well. Also, gently buff them with a buffer. Push the cuticles of the nail plates back with a cuticle stick, and apply some cuticle oil to them.

Use Glue or Liquid Latex

Cover the skin around as well as the very tips of the nails with some white school glue or liquid latex. It will make the post-manicure cleanup easier and prevent the polish from peeling. All you need to do is peel the dried layer of glue or latex off the fingers.

long, pointed, silver chrome nails, with matching silver rings.

Steps To DIY A Mirror Chrome Manicure At Home

The mirror chrome manicure is a simple process. The budget-DIY technique gives highly impressive results without causing a hole in the wallet.

We are breaking down the steps here.

Apply Layers Of Base Colour

When using a regular or non-UV nail lacquer, you have to start with a basecoat. Once it dries, apply two very thin coats of the gel polish, ensuring that it extends over the edges of the nails and gives an amazing shiny look. Though black and silver show up the maximum mirror power, you can pick any colour of your preference and play with bases.

Tip: A gel formula, exclusively used with a UV nail lamp, is considered as the best chrome polish. It can be painted directly onto the nails sans the base layer.

chrome nails whilst wearing lipstick rings.

Cure It Under Nail Lamp

Cure the gel nails for 30 seconds under the UV or LED manicure lamp to dry it up instantly. Then, repeat with the second coat of gel polish and cure it for another 15 seconds. Do not over-cure the nail surfaces as it will prevent the chrome powder from adhering to them.

Tip: No-light gel nail polish formulas or regular lacquers, with a special chrome finish, can dry fully without any light for creating mirror style.

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Apply A Layer of Topcoat

Cover the dried nail colour with a layer of clear, quick-dry gel topcoat and extend it down past the tips. Once you apply the non-wipe topcoat, control the urge of touching the manicure. Doing this will transfer oils from your skin and the chrome powder will not adhere properly in the next step.

So, wait patiently until it becomes dry and rubbery to touch or cure it under the nail lamp once more.

Buff on Chrome Powder

Pick loose chrome powder with the sponge-tip applicator and keep tapping it onto the UV-dried nails. Rub the ultra-fine pigment on the nail surfaces by using enough pressure. Making sure that it sticks to the gel and begins to reflect light.

Starting from cuticles, work your way down towards the tip by flicking the applicator gently.

Experimenting with the pressure will help you create several eye-catching effects. But avoid too much pressure to prevent the formation of dents.

prepping nails for adding chrome design.

Clean Up the Mess

As the liquid latex was put on before, just peel it off carefully. To get rid of any excess powder around the nails, gently sweep the surfaces with a soft, fluffy brush.

Tip: Alternatively, use sticky tape, a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol, or a polish corrector pen comprising ethyl acetate for cleaning up.

Seal the Chromed Look

Once you are happy with your chrome nails, seal the look. You can do so with another thin layer of clear gel top coat and finish off by curing it under the UV lamp for 30 seconds.

They should be barely sticky and look as shiny as the real mirror.

reflective chome nails

How To Make Your Mirror Chrome Nails Last Long.

Taking care of your mirror chrome manicure is crucial to its life. But strengthening the foundation of the nail art will let you enjoy long-lasting shine in a more effective way.

Invest in A Good Gel Polish

The UV or non-UV gel polish must be the best chrome polish ever. If the basecoat is not of good quality, the chrome powder will not stick to it properly, thereby ruining the final look of the nails.

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pink reflective nails

Let the Polish Dry Completely

Apply the first layer of topcoat over two layers of base colour and then, let the nails dry completely. This will not only make the nail surfaces shiny but also prevent the layers of the polish from showcasing any damage.

Pick Chrome Powder Wisely

Always opt for a first-rate chrome powder with ultra-fine texture (must be FDA-approved and of cosmetic-grade). This will adhere to all types of gel polish formulas as well as sealing, with a top-coat, in order to maintain a true chrome nail look. This will keep the look for a longer period of time. If you use cheaper versions, they will blend or bleed the powder and your nails will lose the desired mirror-effect over time.

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Choose the Right Topcoat

Make sure that you use a no-wipe topcoat to lock the chrome powder in place. It will make the manicure last longer without cracking, chipping, or peeling. Follow the steps carefully to get mirror chrome nails at home and give your nails a trendy makeover.

To learn more about how to do your own manicures at home, click here to read our article on DIY Home Manicures To Keep Your Polish Lasting Longer.

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