A Guide to Chrome Tip Nails, the Latest Spin on the French Manicure

A Guide to Chrome Tip Nails, the Latest Spin on the French Manicure featured image
imagenavi / Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but when I was first convincing my mom to let me get my nails done at the salon, the first thing on the forefront of my mind was always French tips. Back in the early 2000s, a simple nude nail with a white tip was the peak of quiet luxury before quiet luxury was even a thing. Nowadays, though, the nail trends of the 2020s have evolved to prioritize more experimental, edgy designs.

But that doesn’t mean French tips have been left in the dust. While the square-shaped white tips may not be the hottest nail trend right now, updated takes on French tips are continuing to gain popularity. Chrome tip nails, for example, have been seeing massive increases in search volume.

While chrome nails are nothing new—salons have been using chrome powder over gels to create a sci-fi-esque metallic finish for years—but the combination of French manis with chrome details are a relatively new phenomenon. If you’re not ready to let go of your classic French style but are looking for something with a little more edge, see what these nail experts have to say about all things chrome tip nails.

Featured Experts

  • Noodle Yess is a V Beauty Pure ducator
  • Julianna Dahbura is the founder of Deco Beauty

What Are Chrome Tip Nails?

“Chrome nail tips are a look designed to give your nail tips a sleek metallic or chrome like finish just at the ends, elevating your manicure in a bold futuristic way,” explains V Beauty Pure educator Noodle Yess. “The trend of chrome nail tips emerged after the introduction to chrome powders in the nail art industry some years ago. With experimentation and innovation, nail artists found ways to isolate chrome which created this viral trend we see today.” As Yess explains, chrome tip nails consist of a French-style manicure—typically with a nude or light pink base—but with a colorful, metallic chrome finish to the tips instead of a typical gel finish.

Image via V Beauty Pure on Instagram @vpurebeauty

How Do Chrome Nails Work?

If you haven’t experimented with chrome on your nails before, the process is relatively simple. After completing the base and color coats of your gel mani, a chrome powder is applied onto the nail, creating a striking chrome effect before going in with a top coat to seal it in.

How Do You Do Chrome Tip Nails At Home?

While plenty of brands nowadays sell affordable and effective kits for creating chrome gel manicures at home (don’t worry, product recommendations are to follow), there are ways to achieve these tips at home without the powder. “These nails are pretty self explanatory, but if you don’t want to fuss with gel and little pots of chrome powder, you should try a metallic nail polish instead,” says founder of Deco Beauty, Julianna Dahbura.

“We love using metallic White Perla ($10) on tips! Most metallic polishes can have some streaks when applied with a brush, so we recommend using a sponge application method instead. Paper towels work too if you’re in a pinch.”

TikTok: nazaninkavari

If you are interested in trying out chrome tips with chrome powder, the application process is still relatively simple. After applying your base and letting it dry, go in with whatever color polish you want for your tips (as Yess notes, chrome tip nails work with practically every color palette, so have fun with exploration!) and create the line of color around the tip of your nail. Then, take the powder pot and fine-tipped brush and push the chrome onto the tips. Seal with a top coat and voila!

TikTok: blanche.lifestyle

Chrome Tip French Nail Products

If you’re a DIY girlie like myself and so many others, here is a short, sweet and sure-fire list of products to help you get started on creating your chrome tip nails at home.

1 / 5

Le Mini Macaron Paris Gris Gel + Praline Gel Manicure Kit Bundle ($51)

A chrome tip nail look that lasts starts with an at-home gel manicure. Le Mini Macaron offers a wide array of affordable, at-home gel manicure kits that come with only exactly what you need to create gels at home: your choice of color, a mini curing lamp and gel-removal wraps. If you’re looking to play with chrome French tips, the Paris Gris + Praline Gel kit is a great option as it gives you two neutral base colors to work with.

BUY NOW – $51

2 / 5

OPI Do You Lilac It ($12)

As Yess noted, chrome tip nails can be really fun on different colors, and purples and pinks are a great way to liven up your French tips in a way that is experimental yet understated.

BUY NOW – $12

3 / 5

Sally Hansen Salon Pro Brush Kit ($8)

If you want to opt for Dahbura’s method and use metallic polishes instead of chrome powder, a good, fine nail brush will go a long way in creating a French tip that is sharp and easy to achieve.

BUY NOW – $8

4 / 5

PrettyDiva Pearl Nail Powder ($9)

Available in an array of colors from a simple white to shiny blues and greens, PrettyDiva’s Pearl Nail Powder will help create that iridescent shine to any French tip.

BUY NOW – $9

5 / 5

V Beauty Pure Liquid Silver ($20)

If you want to use a polish instead of a powder, V Beauty Pure’s Liquid Silver is a great option. Created to be used for nail art and details instead of full coverage, this thick, ultra-metallic polish creates the perfect chrome look.

BUY NOW – $20

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