| Snail Vinyls

Tips and Tricks When Using Chrome and Holographic (HOLO) Nail Art Powders

Use these steps to achieve a fabulous shimmery chrome or holo powder effect on your manicure and look like you spent hours in the nail salon! 

Photos courtesy of @nailsandtowel and @gotnail

Step One- Paint a base color on your nails

The base can be Gel nail polish, Miracle Gel nail polish or a high quality nail polish, like Serendipity or Ella + Mila.  Any color is okay depending on the look you wish to achieve. We recommend black or another opaque dark color; it will really help you achieve a brilliant chromed finish.

For gel polish, place your nails under your UV/LED lamp until the gel is dry.

Step Two- Apply your top coat

We highly recommend a NO Wipe gel top coat if using a Gel nail polish for chrome powder, but a Wipe gel top coat for Holographic powder. Once applied, place your nails back under your UV/LED lamp until the top coat is 100% dry.

You can also use a Miracle Gel Top Coat (like Sally Hansen's) if you have used a Miracle Gel base color.

Other top coats that nail artist's have used with success include:

Sally Hansen "Super Shine"

Superchic Lacquer "Marvel Liquid Macro Top Coat

If not using a gel topcoat, you will want your top coat dry to the touch, but not rock hard dry.  This is so the chrome powder will adhere to the top coat.

Step Three- Apply your Chrome or Holo Powder

Choose a chrome powder that is very highly pigmented to achieve the best effect.  Our favorites are Mitty powders and that's why we now carry them on snailvinyls.com! They have the smallest micron size and the fewest fillers of any chrome powder on the market.  They also contain real silver, not aluminum like many other brands.  You can use a color applicator similar to an eyeshadow brush like the ones included with our Mitty Chrome Powders, or a nail art brush, or even your fingertip for this step.  

You may want to use nail tape or liquid latex like Mini Mani Moo's Mess No More! or Mitty's Flawless Finish to protect the skin around your nails as this can get a little messy!

Dip your DRY color applicator, finger or brush in your chrome powder, and then buff it onto your nail. Remember, less is more when it comes to chrome powder and a little goes a long way!  You will need to polish your nail until you achieve a shiny mirror-like effect. When you are beginning to achieve the look you want, flip your applicator or brush to its clean side, and buff for a little while longer. 

Step Four- Wipe away excess powder
Take a dry make-up brush, like Mitty's I'm Fan-tastic Brush fan brush, and wipe away the excess chrome powder left on your nails.

Step Five- Apply a top coat

For Gel nails: Apply a Gel top coat and cure it under the light. Again we highly recommend a No Wipe Gel top coat for chrome powder. Remove tacky layer and enjoy!

For non-gel nails: Apply a water based topcoat or a peel off base coat followed by your favorite topcoat.  These work well because they will not blend or bleed the powder.

Nail artists have had success with:

Unt Ready For Takeoff Peelable Base Coat

Here is a quick video to demonstrate the buffing action you should use when applying your Chrome or HOLO powder:

Want to try our new Mitty Chrome Powders today? Use Code: BUTTERFLY15 for a 15% discount, and we'll even throw in a sheet of Butterfly Nail Stencils for free!

Please leave any comments, tips you have picked up or suggestions below or email us at business@snailvinyls.com- we'd LOVE to hear from you!


Snail Vinyls


  • Posted by Karyn on

    I was having the problems noted above too. I found the answer. After you have applied a water based top coat (if you don’t use the gel) when it is completely dry you can then use any regular top coat to bring up the shine and it won’t peel off! Liking the powders much more now!

  • Posted by Lindsay on

    Can you use a basecoat (uv gel) in place of the top coat? Both are no wipe.

  • Posted by Julie Sblendorio on

    I have tried using different kinds of gel topcoats over the chrome powder (wipe and no wipe and regular clear polish) and it always turns the chrome polish sparkly. I contacted Sensationail but they said I was doing it correctly and had no answers for me. Has this happened to anyone else?

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