12 Ways To Wear Zendaya-Approved Chrome Nails

Shiny manis FTW.

Originally Published: 
Chrome nail ideas to try for a high-gloss manicure.
Getty Images/Lionel Hahn / Contributor

Chrome manicures are having a major moment, having been spotted on the Oscars and Grammys red carpets via A-listers like nail-art-queen Dua Lipa Zendaya, Saweetie, and Lourdes Leon — and that’s just in the past month. Otherwise, you’ve certainly seen the mesmerizing mani on your favorite celebs, as the iridescent aesthetic is also a go-to look for style icons like Lizzo, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and even Gigi Hadid, the last of whom sported the design to the 2016 Met Gala.

Clearly, chrome nails aren’t going anywhere soon — but why are they having such a strong resurgence right now? “Chrome nail art is clean and simple,” Los Angeles-based nail artist Chyna Stevens tells Bustle, noting she’s particularly seeing gold and silver chrome manicures everywhere (which she says go with any outfit or occasion). Her take is that this nail style is incredibly versatile, making it an easy choice for an eye-catching manicure. As for what chrome actually is? According to Stevens, what you know as “chrome” is actually a micro-powder you can apply to any nail polish or gel to give it high shine and a mirror effect. Therefore, it’s essentially a kind of top coat, so it’s perfect for anyone looking to heighten nail polishes they already know and love. “Chrome nails also look really nice with jewelry,” Stevens adds, meaning chrome is an ideal option for dressing up and red-carpet events. No wonder.

Want to try the look yourself? Read on for 12 chrome nail ideas to inspire your next manicure.


Dua Lipa’s Golden Grammys Mani

No list of chrome manis would be complete without Dua Lipa’s golden tips from the Grammys. This look, created by celebrity nail artist Kim Truong, was done by using a mix of OPI’s Black Onyx and Chrome Effects Mirror Shine in shade ‘Gold Digger.’


Luxe Silver

Getty/Frazer Harrison / Staff

At the Oscars after party, Zendaya’s fingertips stood out: The dark silver chrome nails popped against the star’s black suit, and works as a classic way to rock the mani trend.


Creamy Pink

This delightful take on chrome is ideal for anyone looking to dip their toe (or fingernails?) into the chrome-mani water. A light pink is discrete enough to maintain a minimal aesthetic, yet striking enough to certainly make a statement.


Gold Stripes

Another option is to construct a golden chrome pattern over a light polish or even to your natural nails. To achieve this look, Stevens suggests painting the lines with a clear coat (that usually comes with the chrome product), then sprinkling the chrome powder atop the pattern. Cure it in a UV light and dust off the excess powder, and you’re good to go(ld).


Silver Swirls

The application for this sleek silver look is the same as for the gold, but they’re both too good to choose just one.


Metallic Tips

Quite like chrome, French manicures are everywhere this year. So why not combine the two nail trends? Elevate your standard French mani with dazzling chrome tips in the shade of your choosing.


Ombré Gold

Love gold nails, but don’t want to dive headfirst into a full gold look (à la Dua Lipa)? Gold ombré nails are a perfect in-between. To achieve this style, Stevens advises starting with a sheer shade that matches your skin tone, then blending it with gold as you reach the end of the nail.


Pearlescent Rainbow

You don’t have to choose just one color: Recreate this rainbow manicure by painting each nail a different candy-colored shade and adding a chrome finish to each.


Silver On Pink

Recreate this Y2K-inspired style with any two colors: Simply paint the base a shade of your choosing, draw the design with the chrome’s clear base, and sprinkle on the chrome to make it really shine.


Chrome Hearts

For a more minimalist mani, either paint your nails a sheer baby pink and paint small chrome heart designs or adorn them with chrome accessories. Either way, these hearts are adorable.


Polychrome Lines

Elevate your chrome patterns by painting each nail with a different shade of chrome polish. The process of adding the chrome is exactly the same for each, yet the finished look appears much fancier than that.


Floral Accents

This floral manicure is perfect for springtime. Simply paint flower petals atop your base and then apply the chrome to create the floral look, and jazz it up accordingly with accessories and/or gems.

This article was originally published on