There's nail polish, there's metallic nail polish, and then there's the chrome manicure. The heavy metal effect has been a constant trending topic across every nail-obsessed social media account, and for good reason. As InStyle Executive Editor Amy Synnott noted on her Today Show appearance last month, the mirror-like mani seemed to take off following the Met Gala, where Gigi Hadid wore a $2,000 set of chrome stiletto talons, but for versions that are friendlier on your wallet, Synnott recommended the Jamberry Nail Wraps ($15; jamberry.com) or Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel Lacquer ($9; walgreens.com). The two-piece chrome mani set by Born Pretty ($10; bornprettystore.com) went viral for a hot minute, but many users have noted that the effect starts to chip within a few days.
For a longer-lasting alternative, we recommend going for a gel version. Many nail salons that do creative designs similar to the version by NYC's Vanity Projects above should be able to create the look, but you can also DIY it if you're versed in the art of at-home gel manis. Start by lacquering up as you normally would—base, gel color, and top coat—then once you've cured the final layer, rub a generous amount of Wildflowes Chrome Pigment Powder ($24; wildflowers-academy.com) over the top with either a sponge applicator, or your finger until completely smooth. Seal in and cure with a final layer of top coat, then practice your best hand model angles for that Insta shot.