You’ve heard about chrome nails, the manicure technique that gives nails a reflective shine or a glazed, frosted finish, but now it’s time for chrome lips to take center stage—and this shiny style is more than ready for its big moment in the spotlight.
It was only a matter of time before the chrome trend made its way to your lipstick drawer. The metallic, super-shiny vibe is very New Millennium, and given the resurgence of all things Y2K over the past few years, it’s no wonder makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts are now painting their lips to look like a Missy Elliott video or Backstreet Boys album cover circa 1999. In those days, we were frosting everything we owned in metallic finishes, from our lids to our lips to our laptops and flare jeans.
Chrome lips are the spiritual sister of frosted lips, though they’re less pastel and more otherworldly, almost editorial in tone depending on the colors you choose. Instead of feeling sugary sweet and shimmery, chrome lips veer more metallic than glazed and give your makeup look a futuristic vibe. They’re also closely related to duochrome eyeshadows and pigments, what with their multifaceted shine and layered, textured colors.
Given the popularity of frosted finishes in 2022, makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts are now moving on to the world of chrome. You’ve already conquered the TikTok-viral Danessa Myricks Infinite Chrome Flakes ($25) for your eyes and cheeks, so why wouldn’t you carry that shiny space-person vibe on for your lips?
The trend started to pick up steam towards the end of 2022; shine and shimmer does scream “holiday” and “New Year’s Eve,” so adding a metallic finish to makeup for such glam celebrations makes sense. Makeup artist Kali Kennedy gave Euphoria star Alexa Demie a metallic platinum and apricot lip for a recent shoot, transforming the actor into a modern day Marilyn with elements of ‘50s makeup, updated with that shiny lip.
Many brands have experimented with chrome formulas, especially in a liquid lipstick format; Anastasia Beverly Hills, Estée Lauder, NYX and Kylie Cosmetics have all tried their hand at metallic finishes for a chrome look. As the beauty industry continues to evolve and innovate, chrome finishes are more attainable and less likely to feel chalky or chunky, as though you fished them out of a ‘90s time capsule. Makeup brand Chaotic Cosmetics is launching a handful of Color Chrome Lipsticks with a creamy texture, matte finish and incredible depth and shine, not to mention transfixing color shift.
Others have DIYed their own chrome lips, using metallic finish eyeliners and shimmery eyeshadows to add a futuristic edge to their looks. TikToker Aofie paired a creamy yellow about-face Matte Fluid Eye Paint with a shimmery grey Victoria Beckham Satin Kajal Liner and a frosted silver eyeshadow for an otherworldly lip look. Others have applied chrome finish shadows directly to their lips for a galaxy of gorgeousness.
The fun thing about chrome lips is that you don’t need to time travel to 2073 to achieve it. If you have a sticky or tacky base and a chrome pigment or metallic eyeshadow hanging around in your makeup drawer, now’s the time to put it to work! Keep it matte or top with gloss and you’re basically Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.