How To Use Chrome Powder For The Ultimate Glazed Donut Manicure

With all of the colorful and intricate nail trends popping up on social media, you might find yourself craving a palate-cleansing, classic-looking manicure every once in a while. If you want your nails to look pristine while still having a festive shine to them, chrome nails are the way to go. The sophisticated metallic gloss that this manicure brings has made it one of the most popular nail trends this year — and one that you can always fall back on for some subtle glamor.


For holiday gatherings where you don't want your nails to take attention away from your outfit or makeup, you won't go wrong with a glazed donut manicure that's been amped with chrome powder. Show off the beauty of your "natural-looking" nails topped with a pearlescent glaze. Whether you choose to have it done professionally or DIY it from the comfort of your home, having some chrome powder around is key to achieving this manicure. While there are chrome press-on nails and nail polishes that come complete with a chrome finish available in the market, learning how to use chrome powder will have you knowing how to level up the way your nails look, regardless of what color you use.

Select a milky neutral polish as your base color

Prepping your nails is always the first important step. Clean and file them to your desired shape and then push back your cuticles. Coat your nails with a protective base coat. In case your nails have vertical ridges, go with a ridge-filling clear nail polish. 


Since that milky sheen is the signature of every glazed donut manicure, finding the perfect base is key. If you already have a favorite neutral shade, whether it's cream, beige, a soft peach-pink, or light chocolate, follow Who What Wear's suggestion and combine it with a sheer white polish to add a milky undertone. Apply two coats of this combination on your well-prepped nails.

Mix your chrome powder with a clear top coat

Quality chrome powders usually come with a "professional use only" tag, so it's understandable if you're not sold on buying even just a small pot when you're not yet an expert on its application. BeautyTok has come to every DIY manicurist's rescue with the discovery of using metallic eyeshadow as a handy substitute. TikTok user AnahiVictoria (@avrnailswatches) demonstrated dipping a sponge in metallic eyeshadow and then lightly patting it onto your nails. For a quiet-luxury effect, pick a sparkly ivory- or champagne-colored shadow. A top coat will smoothen the powder later on.


Manicurist Leanne Woodley also shared her trick with Bustle: mixing pigment or chrome powder with a clear top coat then applying that over your base color. "Check the opacity as well, as you may need to adjust by adding more chrome powder or applying additional coats for the desired effect," she advised. Once everything is to your liking, seal it all in with a glossy top coat.

Try easier options for a quick mani session

Learning how to use different nail art tools is a confidence- and creativity-booster but they do require a lot of your time and effort to master. Whenever you need an instant shot of glamor on your nails but are pressed for time to even book a session with your manicurist, consider using chrome nail polish. With so many shades now available with a chromatic shine, you can skip the powder application while still getting that sleek metallic glaze you want.


Another beginner-friendly DIY option is using press-on chromatic nails. Aside from easing your worries about a messy polish application, they let you have the nail shape of your dreams (like the trendy almondetto). Plus, they're easy to remove and replace with a new manicure look. Per Bustle, simply mix warm water with dish soap and olive oil in a bowl and dip your nails in it to remove your press-on nails. You'll be left with clean nails and moisturized cuticles after.