Digital Dozen week secretly sneaked up on me this month. I had no idea it was this week until last night. Then I had a dilemma. You see I had just received my chrome nail powder in the mail and I desperately wanted to play with it. That mean't I had to search the internet to find something remotely fashionable that was also chrome. Luckily I happened upon these Nike Area 72 Chrome Collection. Now I'm not sure if it was just the lighting in these photos that made the chrome look like pastel gradient chrome, or whether these shoes are simply that awesome, but either way, I took the interpretation literally and created a pastel gradient chrome mani.
Here they are together.
Ok, so these powdered chrome nails are everywhere right now, especially on instagram. I immediately ordered some of the silver chrome pigment from Daily Charme, and I've subsequently bought the gold and silver pigments from the Born Pretty store for way cheaper. I just have to wait for them to arrive now.
To say it was difficult for me to get the chrome look is a bit of an understatement. I think in the end I got there ok, but it was a trial.
I started with a peel of base coat and then a layer of white polish. Onto that I did a gradient using the Pipedream neons. I wanted something really bright to start with as I knew the colour was going to be really dulled out by the chrome finish. On top of the gradient I did a layer of gel top coat. I first used a layer of Dance Legend gel top coat, and while it cured perfectly and was super shiny, I wasn't able to rub in the pigment after I had wiped off the sticky layer. I also tried my Gelicious top coat and had the same problem.
Everything I've read online says that you get the best results with a 'no wipe' gel top coat. Of course I don't have one of those, and just used what I had. The other issue I had was with my eye makeup applicator. The only one I could find had spongy ends, but the plastic under the sponge was hard as a rock and make it really pointy and scratchy. In the end, what worked for me was using my finger to rub the chrome powder in. I was able to apply even and smooth pressure and got a much better result, although it also meant I had this silver glitter everywhere.
Speaking of which, this chrome powder is a bitch to clean up. I've not seen very many manis with this chrome powder where the cuticles looked clean, they usually are still sparkly and covered in stuff. I understand why!! I ended up using a scrubbing brush and soap to get most of mine off.
Finally, to finsih off this mani I did one coat of Dance Legend top coat. It worked perfectly and didn't dull the chrome effect at all. These also looked perfect at the end of the day too, which is pretty exciting.
I plan to do some comparisons when I get my Born Pretty powder, so see if the cheap stuff is as good as the expensive stuff, also to compare it to the chrome polishes. Plus, there is also a new holo version of this powder, but the want $40USD for a gram. I just don't think it's worth that, I'm holding out for the cheaper Chinese knock off.
This photo was taken without direct light and shows that the pastel finish was actually much less obvious compared to the photos taken under direct light.
My secret weapon when doing gel manis is my Picture Polish peel off glitter base. It works even better with gel polish because it's flexible and strong, which makes it so easy to peel off in one go.