From chrome to holo nails, and metallic to mermaid manicures, effects pigment powders add a rich coating to the nails, transforming your base color shade into something totally trendy.

1. Prep the nail for gel-polish application. Begin by shaping the nail and pushing back your client’s cuticles. Trim your client’s cuticles and lightly buff the natural nail to remove shine. Cleanse the nail to remove any potential contaminants that could interfere with your application process. Apply a thin layer of gel-polish base coat and cure for 30 seconds in an LED lamp.

2. Next, apply a thin layer of black gel-polish and cure for 30 seconds in an LED lamp. Repeat with a second coat for full coverage.

3. This is one of your most important steps: Do not remove the inhibition layer after curing the black coats. Apply a thin layer of a tack-free top coat and cure for 30 seconds in an LED lamp. A non-wipe top coat leaves a tack-free surface that chrome pigment will adhere best to.

4. Using a sponge-tip applicator or a silicone brush, gently pick up a small amount of chrome pigment. A little goes a long way! Using firm pressure, begin to apply directly to the cured layer of top coat, working from cuticle to free edge, and along the sidewalls, to smooth out the pigment and reveal the mirror effect. Make sure to burnish (rub product in using a circular motion) the pigment to the nail for best wearability.

5. Finish the nails by applying another thin layer of non-wipe top coat and cure for 30 seconds in an LED lamp.

6. Do not cleanse the final top coat layer after curing, as this will result in a duller mirrored look.

Mike Dillon, Chrome, Tulsa, Okla. @nailtechdude

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