Margot Robbie proves chrome nails are absolutely the trend of the summer—here's what to know

All of the inspiration you could possibly need

Zendaya wearing chrome nails at the Oscars 2022
(Image credit: Getty Images/Jeff Kravitz / Contributor)

I'll admit it, I've had a slow and steady obsession with chrome nails ever since Zendaya rocked a silver-chrome mani on the Oscars 2022 red carpet. Of all the nail trends our there, when it comes to spring/summer nail designs, it's chrome nails that speak to me the most. In fact, I have over 100 different chrome nail designs currently in my Instagram saved folder—and I'm not gatekeeping. 

Margot Robbie rocked a chrome-tipped mani this weekend and proved that chrome nails are without a doubt the nail trend of the summer. But don't just take her word for it. Google searches for chrome nails are up by 507%, according to SpaSeekers. Plus, with over 930 million TikTok views, we asked the experts how to recreate this look at home, as easy as possible. 

Chrome nails, might I add, are not to be confused with doughnut-glazed nails (which are Hailey Bieber's go-to, FYI). "Chrome nails are punchier than their glazed-doughnut nail counterpart. Chrome has more of a highly-pigmented mirror effect, while glazed-doughnut nails are softly iridescent. However, they are both similar in that they beautifully catch the light," says celebrity manicurist and Mylee ambassador, Tinu Bello.

It's also worth noting that chrome nails can work on gel nails, BIAB or polygel nails. The best bit? Chrome can be incorporated into any type of design—it can be used all-over as a classic manicure, added as a micro-French tip or even worked into your favourite nail art

How to do chrome nails at home

If you don't want to head to the salon, you can do chrome nails yourself at home. Here is Tinu's step-by-step:

  1. Prep your nails, as normal, with a base coat.
  2. Trying using a black polish before applying the chrome as it makes the chrome colour pop.
  3. Layer the chrome slowly and evenly for full coverage.
  4. Apply a no wipe top coat and cure.
  5. Buff in the chrome to the top coat.
  6. Add an extra top coat to really seal the chrome in.

Tinu's top tips

  • "The key, as with any long-lasting manicure, is ensuring your nails are free of lint/dirt so you are working with a good surface."
  • "Work on one nail at a time—the chrome buffs in easier when the nail is warm straight from the lamp."
  • "Try a Mylee Cushion Powder Pen."

18 chrome nail design ideas

1. Margot Robbie's Chrome skinny French

Margot Robbie's micro-french mani for her Barbie press tour was inspired by the 1992 Earring Magic Barbie. To get the look, nail tech Tom Bachik used his Tweezerman Nail Care Set and Aprés Nails Gel X Tips, nail extensions. 

The skinny French manicure still reigns supreme for Spring/Summer 2023, and this chrome design is top of team MC's hit list.

2. Pink chrome tips 

Imagine this design glistening in the summer sun. The silver stars are just perfection.

3. Chrome wavy French

The colour combination on this reinvented French manicure is exquisite, and we're head over heels for the wavy design.

4. Rainbow chrome tips

Chrome nails don't just have to come in one colour. If you can't decide on a shade why not go for them all?

5. Stiletto chrome stars

We're keeping this super-sharp mani design saved for any upcoming summer festivals.

6. Molten chrome

This design is definitely one to save for when you're seeing an expert nail artist, but if they can nail it (excuse the pun) the results will be worth it.

7. Celestial chrome accents

Thought chrome nail art couldn't be chic? This star design might make you think again.

8. Fiery chrome

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Fire-themed nail art is having a moment right now, and this pink chrome design is leading the way.

9. 3D chrome

When created with polygel, 3D chrome nails have team Marie Claire's hearts.

10. Extra-terrestrial chrome

Yet another design to save down for any festivals you might have coming up this summer.

11. Clear-tipped chrome 

This chrome blue manicure would be good enough if left alone, but when clear extensions are added it's even better.

12. Minimalist chrome

If you're not the sort of person who loves loud manicures, that's not to say you have to skip on chrome entirely. This understated design is perfect for those who like a more refined look.

13. Super-fine chrome accents 

Blink and you'll miss it. This design masters the art of super-fine chrome designs.

14. Black chrome

Yes, black chrome nails exist. The chrome finish delivers a wet-look result that's next-level glossy.

15. Golden chrome

Dua Lipa's golden chrome nails are the stuff that summer nail dreams are made of.

16. Green chrome

This is a classic example of how chrome can work on literally every colour. While the idea of a green nail in this shade might not appeal to you, the chrome finish makes it almost impossible to dislike.

17. Barbiecore chrome

A pink set of chrome nails that both Barbie and Margot would no doubt be proud of. 

18. Vanilla chrome

Vanilla chrome nails are having a moment, and this stunning manicure showcases the best of the best. We also love the vanilla chrome French tip designs we're seeing of late.

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Dionne Brighton

Dionne Brighton is a writer at Marie Claire UK, specialising in all things shopping, beauty and fashion. Born and raised in North London, she studied Literature at the University of East Anglia before taking the leap into journalism. These days, you can find her testing out the latest TikTok beauty trends or finding out what the next full Moon means.  

With contributions from