about that mirror effect…

July 22nd, 2016 @ 3:30 pm

soooo everyone and their mama keeps posting about these mirror/chrome nails recently, and i can’t help but want to chime in, because of course, i am an avid fan of nail polish/trends (and i’m very good at DIY’ing them or routing ppl to the indie brand version of any mani/polish).

this one is a little tricky because it’s actually a powder/gel mani and i don’t think it’s easy to purchase yet. although, should you even do that? i think only professionals are supposed to be handling this one. this seems like a high maintenance mani, maybe you should just rethink and try these other options (and why).

i’m not a fan of gel manicures for a few reasons, but mainly a) i don’t want a mani on for that long, so it doesn’t seem worth it for me to do it and b) i don’t want to weaken my nails anymore than i already do, and gel manicures are well known nail quality killers…

you can google and find lots of articles, but you can also just read this teen vogue lil blurb (or the entire article) i pulled re: said issues.

“Your routine trip to the nail salon to get freshly coated color—gel or not—is weakening your nails. “The manicure process can lead to dehydration and thinning of the nail plate,” says Dr. Adigun. “I’ve seen my clients come in with peeling, thin, breaking, discolored nails and even painful nail beds,” explains Hipp.

But that fact is likely to deter salon regulars, or even at-home manicurists, who are never seen without a color adoring their fingers. Unfortunately, according to Dr. Adigun, by not looking at your natural nail at least every two weeks you won’t be able to properly assess its condition, plus you might even be missing infections and (more scarily) tumors. The thick, armor-like coating of polish also blocks nails from being able to transfer oxygen, explains Hipp.

One thing that’s pretty common among gel devotees is the picking process. When the color begins to lift, you may be tempted to remove it, almost like you would a scab. “As peeling and lifting begin, water can seep into the nail,” says Hipp. “This can harbor bacteria and possibly cause fungus. Once the peeling phase starts, it’s hard not to pick at your polish. If you rip it off, you’re probably taking some layers of your nail off with it. This kind of damage can take over six months to repair.”

although i do agree with a lot of that, i also will say that when i get regular manicures, i just cut/file/cuticles and have my nails painted. i don’t do silk wraps anymore nor do i have acrylic nails. my nails are always in great shape. since i make jewelry, my nails take a beating… so i change them up and leave polish off sometimes, but even when i do have my nails done, they’re never in BAAADDD shape. when your nails don’t have polish on them, care for them to ensure that they’re not dehydrated. it’s really just common sense stuff… i use oils and burt’s bees cuticle cream when i don’t have polish on.

anyways! onward to the other possible options and methods you have to achieve nails close to the chrome/mirror look without the whole gel/powder thing (from best to meh):

chrome wraps!

i mean, let’s cut right to the most mirrored look right here. these are going to be the closest that you’re going to get to that manicure without actually doing it. wraps are a great option, but they’re also kind of a pain in the buns to apply. like any other mani, you’ll get used to applying them with time, patience, and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!




buy them here.



GOLD // buy them here.

jamberry – – – the OG wraps

as far back as i can remember, jamberry and sally hansen were the first full nail wraps that were on the scene.  of course jamberry has the classic metallic wraps!


get them here.

PSA: i don’t know the quality difference between jamberry and the SoGloss wraps, they just look like strong contenders in the nail wrap game to the naked eye.

rad nails:

rad nails has awesome nail wraps and cut outs to throw on your nails as well.  i love love love them, and you should go shop them RIGHT THIS INSTANT!

holographic/metallic polish

(okay okay, it’s not mirror finish, but still very metallic and shiny!)


i’ve been using brucci products like, forever (it was probably my first back lipstick back in the 90’s, lol). i think you can only really buy them in rite aid. i can’t recall seeing them anywhere else, physically. of course you can buy them on amazon… this is one of my favorite brands ever. the quality is awesome, the brushes aren’t annoying quality, and this particular polish is one of my staple brucci nail polishes. it’s SOOOOOO pretty. i never rock solid nails without design, or some sort of dramatic top coat, but this polish – – – i often put it on and want to just leave it as is.


this isn’t my picture (photo cred), but that is usually what it looks like when i apply two coats.  i usually apply 3 coats, but it’s a matter of preference to get it as “opaque” as possible. i don’t like sheer metallics. i’m sure even over a base coat would be good, but i’ve never bothered.

buy it here or @ rite aid.


i am a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge fan of models own polish – i don’t think they sell it in the states yet in stores, i’ve always just ordered from their website (and had the privelage of my friend from the UK bring some over with her the last time she visited me). their irridescent nail polish is gorgeous, so i’m sure the chrome is amazing as well. i haven’t dabbled in it yet, but i don’t doubt that it’s great.  it looks like what 4/5 coats of the brucci polish above would possibly look like in what lucy says took 3 (photo cred).


buy from the color chrome line here.

sally hansen:

sally hansen is all over the place with their products, and you can indeed find a lot of their discontinued stuff online, but i’m pretty sure that the most up to date “metallic/chrome” polish that they have is the color foil line. they also have a line called “chrome nail makeup” but i’m pretty sure that’s an older product. honestly, it’s just a metallic polish – it’s not MIRROR effect, but it’s def really metallic and eye catching. i’ve never used this, but from pictures i’ve seen, it looks legit (photo cred).


buy it here.


this is just a last option under the metallic polishes, and i haven’t actually used this one. it does look great in pictures, and it’s probably very similar to the brucci/sally hansen options. i just wanted to include one last additional (unbiased) polish for good measure.

buy it here.

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