Chrome Nails Are Everywhere Right Now—15 Designs That Look So Chic

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If there's one thing I've learned in my time as a beauty editor, it's that when it comes to nail trends, most come and go in the blink of an eye, and very few stick around long enough to make a lasting impact or eventually become a classic in their own right. Of the many nail trends to feature in 2023—milk nails, velvet nails, and flower nails were just a few—only one has come to really define the past year, and I'm certain it will stick around into 2024, too.

Not to be confused with metallic nails, the chrome nail polish trend is essentially a subtly shimmery, high-shine, almost pearlescent finish. It initially took off when Hailey Bieber debuted her viral glazed donut manicure in summer 2022, and ever since then, chrome nails have been a popular request in salons according to professional nail artist Ashleigh Bamber. "After the pandemic, with people having spent months with bare nails, I noticed a huge increase in requests for statement nails—whether that was creative nail art, bright colours, or eye-catching finishes—people were far more open to trying something new and embracing the trends," she explains. "I think especially for people who are daunted by nail art or who don't want to spend a lot on their manicure, a chrome finish can be a really easy way to mix things up a little bit. It feels different, but isn't too experimental, time consuming, or expensive."

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(Image credit: @BAMBINAILSS)

This totally makes sense, and I can see why people are leaning more towards designs that are less about design and more about finish and texture, because we've seen the same trend within makeup and skincare. Glass skin, dolphin skin, glazed skin, call it what you will, the fact of the matter is that glowing, radiant skin is in, and matte is very firmly out. These days, serums, moisturisers, foundations, and primers all promise a dewy, shiny finish, and the same can be said of nails, where a chrome finish is fast becoming the most popular requested.

"A chrome finish is really versatile and wearable," Bamber adds. "It's pretty but not too bold, it can be applied over any colour, it can be paired with nail art, it can be incorporated into a French tip, and if worn over a nude shade, it doesn't look obvious as it grows out."

If you're thinking of requesting chrome nails at your next nail appointment, scroll down for inspiration.

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The best chrome nail polish designs:

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(Image credit: @BAMBINAILSS)

Lilac is a trending nail colour for 2023, but alone it can feel a little too spring-like. Add a chrome finish to give it a cool, modern twist.

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(Image credit: @ROSETUCKERSOUTHPORT)

Opt for soft, delicate shades with a chrome finish and a high shine top coat to really make your mani all about the texture.

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(Image credit: @HARRIETWESTMORELAND)

Natural-looking nails really hit the trends this year—adding a chrome finish to a nude base is a perfect way to elevate a minimal mani.

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(Image credit: @BAMBINAILSS)

Why opt for one colour when you could have five? And throw a chrome finish into the mix to jazz it up even more, because more is more, right?

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(Image credit: @DOLLPARTSMCR)

Definitely one to take to the salon rather than attempting to recreate at home. The cool-toned chrome finish and elaborate embellishments work so well together.

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(Image credit: @OLIVEANDJUNE)

This moody purple mani proves that a chrome finish looks just as good when layered over a darker shade as it does a light one.

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(Image credit: @ROSETUCKERSOUTHPORT)

Now this one is easy enough to DIY at home. A cool and delicate pink with a chrome finish is simple, beautiful, and works for every skin tone.

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(Image credit: @BAMBINAILSS)

If you decide to experiment with chrome powders, you'll discover that they're available in a wide range of shades. This one has a peachy shift which looks so pretty over a BIAB base.

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(Image credit: @PAINTBOXNAILS)

To make chrome really stand out, pair it with a matte finish in a simple, geometric nail art design like this one.

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(Image credit: @BAMBINAILSS)

A coloured French tip may be one way to jazz up this classic manicure design, but adding a chrome finish to the tip is even prettier.

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(Image credit: @DOLLPARTSMCR)

Chrome is the perfect way to lean into designs with a futuristic, spacey vibe—which is so big in nail art right now.

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(Image credit: @OLIVEANDJUNE)

Flower nail art designs aren't going anywhere—as this design (a perfect blend of the two trends) proves.

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(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)

With the right product and plenty of tactful layering (we'd recommend a silver base), you can create a truly holographic chrome finish. We're obsessed.

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(Image credit: @HOLLYFALCONENAILS)

Feeling festive already? These gold chrome French tips are perfect for party season.

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(Image credit: @BAMBINAILSS)

Icy blue nail polish with a chrome finish really is a match made in heaven. This look may be simple, but it simply oozes cool.

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(Image credit: @BAMBINAILSS)

These golden hour-inspired nails are exactly the kind of design we'll be bookmarking for our next pre-holiday manicure.

The best chrome nail products:

Next Up: Forget the Trends—These 8 Nail Colours Will Always Be Popular

Freelance Beauty Editor

Grace Day is a beauty editor and content creator. She has over 10 years of beauty-industry experience, spanning editorial, retail, and e-commerce, which gives her a unique understanding into how people shop for their beauty routines.

While studying for a history degree (specialising in the history of beauty) and working as a beauty adviser in department stores, Grace started writing her own beauty blog in order to share the products she discovered while dealing with acne. After graduating, she moved to Beauty Bay as beauty editor and content manager. Grace is currently a beauty contributor to Who What Wear. She has also written for Hypebae and PopSugar and works as a brand consultant and copywriter.