You’ve tried the glazed donut nail trend in all its shimmery, frosted goodness made famous by Mrs. Hailey Bieber. You’ve slicked your nails with shiny chrome for a cool metallic vibe and taken that shine one step further with patent leather-style nails. There isn’t a nail trend you won’t try, which makes the chrome dip manicure the perfect choice for your winter-to-spring nail art.
You might be wondering, what exactly is chrome drip? This buzzy new mani trend is exactly what it sounds like: drips and artfully arranged swirls of shiny metallic chrome as an accent to add edge and texture to any look, even the sweetest pastel pinks. You can go full industrial-punk Y2K with drizzles of silver or let the rain fall down (and wake your dreams) with 3D droplets. Even Guy Fieri-esque flames are fair game here. It’s that versatile—and extremely eye-catching.
The chrome drip manicure is the natural next step in nail art, uniting some of the biggest trends of the past year in one mani. “The chrome drip manicure brings together two popular nail art trends: chrome and 3D nail art,” explains Mazz Hanna, CEO of Nailing Hollywood. “I think people are drawn to it because it's a fun way to add dimension to the nail while remaining slightly understated.” It’s also an easy way to make your manicure stand out. “Since the product used to create the dimension on the nail can be painted in a variety of different designs, it's also a great way to do something unique,” says Hanna.
A trend isn’t a trend until it pops up on TikTok, and chrome drip manicures have started flooding the FYP. Some nail artists use the technique to add shiny drips of color to a French manicure, while others create a raindrop effect with monochromatic colors. The chrome drip technique looks equally cool on short nails, too, especially as the centerpiece of a minimal mani. Kylie Jenner, ever the trendsetter, was rocking chrome drip nails all the way back in 2021. Silver is the most prevalent color in this mirror-like mani, but you can get creative depending on the chrome powder colors your nail artist is working with.
How to Get the Look
Because the chrome drip technique requires chrome powder, which is only available to professionals, this is a trend best left to a nail tech. However, if you consider yourself an experienced DIY-er, you can give it a spin (or is it a drip?) at home—with the right tools, of course. “To create this look, you need a builder gel that is easy to work with or a mirror chrome, good quality nail art brushes, chrome powder, and patience,” says Hanna, who recommends Orly's Sculpting Gel ($40) or Mirror Chrome Studio Gel ($17), both of which can only be purchased by certified pros.
“After completing your gel manicure in the color of your choice, use the builder gel or mirror chrome gel to paint on the drip design with a nail art brush like the Mazz Hanna Medium Detail Brush,” she says. “If you use a clear builder gel, you will need to apply chrome powder on top to create the mirror effect.” (Here’s a great tutorial video to help you visualize the technique.)
Sound a little complicated? If you’re taking your chrome drip dreams to the nail salon instead of trying your hand at home, Hanna recommends bringing in lots of photos and inspiration videos so your nail artist can get a good grasp on what you’re envisioning. “There are often multiple names for nail art looks, so showing a photo ensures that you and your artist are on the same page,” she advises.
You know what they say: April showers bring May flowers, and the chrome drip manicure is the coolest way to make it rain this spring.