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Step By Step DIY Chrome Nails with Eyeshadow

Chrome Nails with Eyeshadow

It’s never been easier to enjoy DIY chrome nails with eyeshadow and nail polish. What’s more, you can get unique colors that aren’t available at your local salon. Although chrome powder has become more accessible and affordable, there are still only a handful of colors available. But there’s a whole rainbow of metallic eyeshadow ready for your next DIY chrome manicure. Let’s talk about what you need and how to get started.

Supplies Needed for Chrome Nails

The simplest way to do chrome nails is to use nail lacquer and eye shadow. Specifically, round up these items:

  • Base color – can be any shade you desire.
  • Glossy top coat to help with a mirror finish.
  • Eye shadow in a glitter or metallic shade.
  • brush or makeup applicator or a clean fingertip to apply the eye shadow to the nail.

It also helps if you have manicure tools and nail polish remover plus access to soap and water and cuticle oil.

Moreover, it’s possible to do chrome nails with eye shadow and gel polish. More on that in a moment. For now, let's focus on chrome nails with regular nail polish.

How to Do Chrome Nails with Nail Polish and Eye Shadow

Chrome Nails with Eyeshadow

To begin your at-home chrome nails transformation, start by applying a layer of your preferred nail polish color. As you let the polish dry, keep a close eye on its progress. You'll want it to be almost completely dry, but still slightly tacky to the touch.

This is the crucial moment to work your magic. Take a generous amount of eye shadow and rub it onto the tacky polish, ensuring it adheres seamlessly to the nail surface. In our own experiments, we found that the spongy eye shadow applicator worked better than a nail brush.

If the polish starts to smudge, stop and wait a little longer. Chrome nails are sleek, so a bumpy surface will make it harder to get a mirror finish.

The eye shadow will eventually create that mesmerizing chrome effect, but it will likely take multiple applications of makeup to achieve.

If the color isn't quite perfect on your first try, don't fret! Simply repeat the process until you've achieved the desired level of chromatic brilliance. If you find yourself getting frustrated, apply the clear top coat to smooth the surface. Let it partially dry and repeat the eye shadow application.

Once you've perfected your chrome nails, it's time to seal the deal with a shiny top coat. This will not only provide a protective layer for your new metallic masterpiece but will also enhance its shine and longevity. (We recommend a fast-drying top coat like Seche Vite that penetrates down through all the layers and provides a durable high-gloss finish.)

Most likely, the skin around your fingernail or toenail is now coated with makeup. Let the top coat dry completely then wash the digit and apply cuticle oil. Wrap up by snapping a photo of your stunning success!

How to Do Chrome Nails with Gel Polish and Eye Shadow

The process is basically the same if you’ll be using gel polish and eye shadow. First, apply a base coat then burnish the nails with the makeup until it attains the chrome-like metallic sheen.

Pro tip: it helps to have a nail lamp with a countdown timer. That’s because you’ll want to cut the base coat cure time a little short so that it feels a little sticky. But here’s the catch – if the polish starts to smudge when you begin applying makeup, it’s not cured well enough. That little bit of tackiness enables the slippery eye shadow powder to adhere to the polish.

We’ve also seen some folks saying to use a no-wipe gel that’s fully cured before applying the eye shadow. Unfortunately, this creates a very slippery surface. It’s too difficult for the makeup to stick where it needs to. Instead, it ends up glomming on the cuticles instead of evenly coating the nail plate.

But once you’re happy with how the nails look, cure the nails a few seconds longer to make sure the base coat is dry. Lastly, brush on a glossy top coat, cure it, and you’re done!

Troubleshooting DIY Chrome Nails

The biggest challenge we had when doing chrome nails with eye shadow was getting the makeup to cover the nail evenly. The other obstacle was dealing with the slightly smudged polish that kept us from getting a mirror finish. Here are the solutions we tried.

In the first place, we found that the eye shadow formed a thicker, more even coat when the nail lacquer was ever so slightly sticky. But this required a gentle touch to pack on the powder with the sponge makeup applicator without causing ripples on the surface. The sponge was less likely to smudge the polish than either a brush or a fingertip.

Truly, professional chrome powder for your nails is a lot easier to work with!

Set Chrome Classic Powder - 6 Colors

Set Chrome Classic Powder - 6 Colors


This set includes six shades including classics like gold, silver, and copper. However, each shade creates different effects depending on the base color of the polish. Plus, the finely-textured powder is easy to polish into a mirror finish on the nails.

Then, there was the difficulty of dealing with makeup discoloring the skin around the nail. Thankfully, it was easy to wash off with soap and water. And it made us glad that we had taken the time to properly prep the nails beforehand. This included pushing back the cuticles!

In the end, if you want the easiest way to get chrome nails, here’s the solution:

Chrome Liquid Kit

Chrome Liquid Kit


Now you can enjoy chrome nails in a rainbow of colors with minimal effort. This set of six chrome liquids doesn't even need a nail lamp to cure. They air dry! Moreover, they adapt to the color of the polish underneath to give you an even wider range of shades.


We hope you have fun with DIY chrome nails with eye shadow! If you love doing your nails at home, check out our deals to help you stock up on everything you need. Remember, we offer free shipping on orders over $100!