How to DIY the Vanilla Chrome Nail Trend

May 10, 2023
Reece Andavolgyi
By: Reece Andavolgyi | by L'Oréal
reece showing off her vanilla chrome manicure

Chrome nail polish and nail art show no sign of slowing down anytime soon, and if you need proof, check out social media’s latest iteration of the trend: a sweet, dessert-inspired mani dubbed vanilla chrome nails. You can think of this look as a mix between the ever-popular milky nails and glazed donut nails. It’s neutral, looks good on all nail shapes and lengths and is perfect for summer. Read on to learn more about vanilla chrome nails, including how to get the look at home and some of our favorite vanilla chrome nail ideas to save as inspo for your next trip to the salon. 

What Are Vanilla Chrome Nails?

As demonstrated by TikTok creator @heygreatnails, vanilla chrome nails typically consist of an off-white base, similar in color to a scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with a layer of white chrome powder or shimmery nail polish. The creamy base looks great on all skin tones, and with a layer of light-reflecting shimmer, it’s a nice option for those that like neutral nails and trendy nail art alike.

How to Get Vanilla Chrome Nails at Home in 3 Steps

If you pick the right shade of nail polish, vanilla chrome nails can be achieved at home in three simple steps. 

Step 1: Prep Your Nails

Prepping your nails is key to ensuring your nail polish lasts. Start by shaping your nails with a file and lightly buffing the surface. Then, apply a base coat, like the Essie Here to Stay Base Coat.
essie stay to base topcoat

Step 2: Apply Your Polish

For the perfect vanilla chrome shade with subtle yellow undertones, we love Essie Going Steady, an ivory hue with iridescent shimmer. For sheer vanilla chrome nails, apply one coat. For opaque vanilla chrome nails, apply two to three coats.
essie going steady nail polish

Step 3: Finish With Top Coat

Since vanilla chrome nails are known for their glossy finish, don’t forget to apply top coat. Lock your mani in place with the Essie Good to Go Top Coat. The high-gloss formula seals your nail polish with a shiny, long-lasting finish.
essie good to go topcoat

Vanilla Chrome Nail Ideas to Try

Classic Vanilla Chrome

If you love neutral nails, we think you’ll love vanilla chrome in its simplest form. While the result is similar to milky nails, a layer of all-over chrome helps to elevate the look with a glossy, metallic finish.

Negative Space Vanilla Chrome 

For a subtle nail design, pair your vanilla chrome mani with some barely-there, negative-space nail art. If you’re a summer bride, perhaps this simple mani can be a contender for your big day.

Vanilla Chrome French

Update the classic French manicure with vanilla chrome polish. Sport every nail with the timeless arched design or use it as an accent on a few nails for simple art.

Vanilla Chrome Drips

Like a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream on a hot day, the drip design with vanilla chrome feels just right for summer.

Vanilla Chrome Aura Nails

Use a vanilla-like hue as a base for your aura or blush nail art and finish with a layer of white chrome powder or a shimmery polish, like Essie Imported Bubbly. This energetic design looks good with a variety of different colors and a vanilla chrome variation is no different.

3D Vanilla Chrome Swirls

This mani is giving vanilla soft-serve ice cream with an iridescent finish, and we’re very into it. With a swirled 3D design and bright vanilla chrome, it sports two buzzy nail trends simultaneously, resulting in a maximalist manicure that is sure to bring compliments.

Ombré Vanilla Chrome

Neutrals are anything but boring when you opt for this nude-meets-vanilla-chrome gradient design.

Starry Night With Sheer Vanilla Chrome

For a dreamy mani with an emphasis on metallic accents and finishes, use a sheer layer of vanilla chrome nail polish as a base for golden starburst nail art. To keep things minimal, use the stars as an accent for a few nails.

Photographer: Reece Andavolgyi Design: Juliana Campisi

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