Do you ever finish a manicure, look down and think this just doesn’t do it for me?
I’ve been there way too much in the past year, and I think I’ve finally found the fix. Toppers, y’all! There’s flakes, glitter, stamping, chrome, and finally, my beloved holographic chrome. I have a treasure trove of the stuff, and I have to say it really does the trick when you’re trying to take a drab mani to something beautiful. Colors too dark? Add some light-reflecting flakes. Got the single color blues? GLITTER. My favorite and most aggressive transformation has got to be the chrome. It has the ability to pull in multiple different colors, and to change the intensity and richness of the color depending on what you layer it over. For instance, I have here my beautiful Zooty Jou Jou Dust no.1 chromed over both black (Revel Barbara) and a rich blurple (Zooty Mojo Jojo).
Do you see how the color is sharper and more intense over black? They both have highly pigmented, fine particles that catch the light as either purple or green in a pretty laminar fashion, but over blurple you get a more subtle look with more reflective purple.
Chromes are science. I like science. If you like science and want to learn a snippet about how the chrome effect is achieved via tiny, mirror-like particles, this article in The Atlantic was pretty enlightening, and left me with so many more questions! Like did you know that mermaid chrome is the same mirrored particle, but covered with a pearlescent mica? *gasp* shock *awe*
For the featured look, I used holographic chrome from Zooty, called Doobie Dust. The powders are also Zooty, from the recent (beautiful!!!) holiday release, called All Aboard and Bite Me Frosty. As always, they’re just gorgeous and easy to use. Bite Me Frosty is a flake with sequins that needs to get pat down a little, and a good file after activator. I recommend topping with clear to get the smoothest dip possible since some of the pieces like to stick up a little. It’s not difficult to work with, though, so don’t get intimidated!
What you’ll need:
1. Gel base and top coat. Any kind will work, and I use cheapie Ameili in this video.
2. Holographic chrome and either a sponge or a sponge-type eyeshadow applicator.
3. Curing light. I have this LED/UV one that was decently inexpensive for starting out.
1. Dip as you normally would, and activate. Let the activator dry a few minutes before continuing.
2. Use your gel base coat and cap the edges. Clean up any that may have gotten on your skin before curing. Cure fully, but it will remain tacky. I normally do 60 seconds for my base coat.
3. Apply a coat of gel top coat in a thin, even layer. This is the layer that you’ll cure over, so you’ll need to only partially cure it. This step can be finicky to get right, so make sure you try it on a swatch first! Your timing will depend on the wattage of your lamp and the liquids you use. I typically cure for 25-30 seconds.
4. Using your sponge or brush, pick up a little of the chrome and brush in circular motions, starting at the tip and moving slowly upward until you’re satisfied. You can always dab a little above the line to smooth out any harshness.
5. Apply your last layer of gel top coat and cure fully, 60 to 90 seconds. Depending on what kind of top coat you use, you may need to use a swipe of alcohol to get rid of any tackiness. That’s it!
Before we get to this video, I have to know- is everyone else as thankful for dip nails as I am? I seriously almost chopped part of my finger off while finely dicing aromatics for soup this week, but the dip saved me!! It took a chunk out of the dip and hurt like heck but I came through unscathed. I’ve been clumsy all my life (who else can say they’ve broken their hand falling up the stairs), and I need to give a shout out to my dip for this save. Hallelujer.