With every new season—and the award shows that follow—our Instagram feeds and red carpets all boast a plethora of fresh beauty trends. Yes, our eyes tend to scan every makeup and hair moment that swans into our vision. But now, our attention is heading to the fingertips.

Enter: Mirror Manicures.

Thanks to the recent trip back to our beloved Y2K era—and it’s fascination with futurism—there’s a new nail trend rising to the surface. Known for its chrome-style finish, the look is essentially like a mirror on your nail beds and gives off a dystopian aura to any look.

Celebrities and Instagram It-girls—hello, Dua Lipa—have all donned the trend in whether it be through their social media grid or when attending award shows, and the manicure trend looks to be going nowhere any time soon.

For most, the mirror manicure could come across as daunting, but lo and behold, your nails won’t actually reflect an image. In fact, if you’re less keen on a full-nail coverage, your digits don’t have to be. The trend can be achieved in different ways, with iterations of the manicure ranging from a subtle chrome french tip to a ‘dipped’ mirror effect.

And there aren’t any rules on colour either, you can opt for metal-like silver tones or a rich and decadent gold hue. The best part? While the less confident manicure mavens can head straight to their closest nail technician, this trend can actually be done at home.


First, the most important step in any manicure routine is to prepare your nails. Essentially, prepping your nails includes trimming, filing and shaping the nails how you prefer them. But don’t forget to buff the nail bed back, since gel won’t stick to ‘shiny’ nails.

Next, apply your first coat of nail polish. For gel polish users, now is the time to apply your primer and set. Then, go in with your preferred base coat and cure with a UV or LED lamp until dry.

Once your polish is applied, here’s where the chrome comes in. To apply your chrome pigment, which is what gives your digits the mirror-like shine you’re after, reach for a brush, either the one the pigment came with or a firm eyeshadow brush you’re happy to part with. Then, press the brush into the chrome pigment and swipe from the base of the nail to the tip, avoiding the cuticle and skin as much as possible.

When the chrome pigment begins to reflect light à la a mirror, then the pigment has done its job. To finish off the look, apply your favourite top coat and let cure under your UV or LED lamp. Apply a nourishing nail oil to your cuticles and digits once dry, and voilà!

And as we said, if creating your own mirror manicure isn’t your strong suit, there’s no shame in heading to your local manicurist.


Gel Lab Pro - Nail Base Coat and Top Coat Set, Deborah Lippmann

Price: $59


80W UV LED Nail Lamp Machine, GreenLife®

Price: $25


Chrome Effects Powder in Mixed Metals, OPI

Price: $32

Still needing some visual inspiration? Below, we’ve rounded up the best mirror manicures to inspire your next trip to the salon.


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A post shared by Lois Samantha (@polishedbylolo)


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A post shared by JASMIN (@basecoatstories)


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A post shared by Deanna (@deannacoles_)

 This article originally appeared on ELLE Australia.

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