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Out of the many TikTok-fueled nail trends that flooded FYPs everywhere last year, chrome nails were among the most popular — and show no signs of slowing down in 2024. As with many beauty moments these days, metallic manis were partially put on the map by one Hailey Bieber, who debuted "vanilla chrome" nails last summer; the highly-coveted look soon became ubiquitous at salons, even inspiring this writer to rock a festive take on chrome nails over the holidays. But if you're looking to re-create the metallic moment at home (regular gel manis are an expensive habit, there I said it!), there are plenty of ways to DIY the trendy manicure. Below, shop a few of our favorite variations on a theme.
Vanilla chrome nails were a breakout summer trend, but, TBH, I think the milky metallic works year-round. Salon manicurists typically achieve the look by layering a pearly white powder over a warm pale beige base, but a scintillating cream shade (like the one pictured above) will achieve a similar result at home.
Perhaps the quintessential chrome hue is the classic metallic silver. Like molten metal, this mirror-like finish is chic, modern, and statement-making without being loud. Finding the right shade among glitter, shimmer, and metallic finishes may evoke a Devil Wears Prada "they're so different" vibe, but chrome is uniquely characterized by its shiny, bright properties and prismatic finish. (Anything too glittery loses its liquid-like effect, and anything too creamy won't give the luster we need.) This iconic OPI hue — aptly named Go Big Or Go Chrome — is a classic for a reason.
At this point, pink is basically a neutral; a rose gold chrome polish like Olive & June's Cosmic Pink (from the brand's collaboration with Beats) is perfect for a coquette take on the chrome nail trend.
Alexa, play "Golden" by Harry Styles! This foil-effect polish from Sally Hansen is perfect for a glam, gold interpretation of chrome nails – and best of all, it's under $10.
If none of the above options strike your fancy, then allow me to throw in a slightly unconventional take on chrome: A burnished, cool-toned champagne that I personally adore. (I think the name "Liquid Lightning" really says it all.) There's something understated about the hue, and the vintage, brass-like shade won't clash with silver or gold jewelry if you like to mix metals.