Metallic nail polish can add class and glamour to your outfit in an instant. Here is a guide on the best metallic polish brands, variants to choose from such as chrome, silver, mirror, gold metallic and other colors. Also, find out how to wear, designs where to buy metal nails such as Essie and OPI below.
What is Metallic Nail Polish?
Metallic nail polish is a type of nail enamel or varnish that exhibits properties of certain metals. It has shiny metallic finish and shade like golden, bronze, silver and gunmetal although other more colorful shades like pink, green, and blue are also available in the market.
Silver metallic nails and gold metallic nails are part of common runway trends for both summer and spring. Other metallic nail colors such as mirror and chrome are also popular designs and trends in manicure fashion.Metallic shades have been very in fashion over the last years in clothes and accessories and metallic nail shades are no exception.
With a metallic shade of nail polish, you can easily create a nice bling without really having to wear one. The polishes have a lustrous finish, with some of them creating a mirror effect, which is quite not common even with clear nail polish or other trends such as glitter nails or even magnetic nail lacquers.
You can choose from a wide range of metallic nail polishes, such as silver nail polish, gold nail polish, brass polish, black metallic, green polish and even plum. The shades can vary just as they do with normal nail polish colors. If you know how to wear metallic nail polish, you can easily make it your nail varnish staple. Before we list the best metallic nail polish brands, we will discuss the 4 main types of metallic nail enamel. Later, you will also learn how to wear metallic nails and where to buy metallic fingernail polish.
Gold, Silver & Mirror Metallic Nail Polish Colors /Shades & Types
Metallic hues apart from the general color families described above e.g gold or silver, are further divided into other shades and hues for a more distinct look that literally makes your nails pop.
Metallic fingernail polish colors can vary. Even hot feminine colors such as pink are available. You have a wide range to choose from, though your best choice will depend on your skin tone or complexion. Common as part of nail fashion trends are mirror metallic, chrome metallic, silver and gold.
Metallic Gold Nail Polish/Golden Metallic Shades
This type of polish has a golden hue. It can give you that expensive look, and a class of its own. Gold nail polishes can be matte if not finished with a shiny gloss, just like gold lipsticks. However, that differs from metallic gold which gives a shiny surface that reflects light
You will literally have nails that give a shiny effect, though different from that created by hologram nails. You can even get different shades here, such as rose gold mirror metallic polish. Following areGolden metallic shades/gold metallic nail polish:
This is a shade that closely resembles the natural shade of gold with a bit of greenish undertones. Examples of this shade: Burberry’s Antique Gold and Mac Immortal Gold.
Rose gold is a very fashionable and popular shade among beauty bloggers as it has a tint of rose pink that adds a girly touch to the shade without looking obvious. Examples of rose gold nail polish: Orly Rage and Mac Soiree.
This is one of the warmest shades of gold in the spectrum as it has subtle bronze brown undertones. Examples of bronze gold nail varnish: Barry M copper gold and Chanel in Delight.
This a multi-iridescent finish that blends two or three golden hues and micro-glitter for a truly impressive effect. Examples of this shade: Zoya Leia and Maybelline Color Show in Bold Gold.
Silver Metallic Nail Polish
Silver is a close competitor to gold. Some people imagine silver as a nude nail polish. No, it is not nude. If you apply it on your nails, it will show clearly because it reflects light and may appear shiny but not glossy.
Following are some shades of this polish
This a true silver shade with neutral cool undertones that are not too dark nor too light–glitters in this shade are very fine and subtle. Examples of this shade: China Glaze in Millennium and Essie in No Place like Chrome.
This as its name suggests is dark silver shade that closely resembles the shade of steel. Examples of this shade include: Revlon in steel her heart and Wet n Wild Fergie heels on steel.
A multidimensional shade of at least two hues e.g rainbow colors that looks extra vibrant under the light. Examples of this shade: INLP Mega, Chanel Holographic, and China Glaze OMG.
Another holographic/multidimensional shade of silver with blue undertones. Examples: Color club in Eternal Beauty and Zoya in Hazel.
Brands such as Stargazer Silver Metallic Nail Varnish have at least 5 different shades of metallic silver nail polish that you can choose from.
Metallic mirror nail polish/mirror Metallic nail polish
Metallic mirror nails have been a huge trend over the last few years as they go beyond the ordinary silver shades and add a touch of mirror reflection that looks quite impressive, especially in cool-toned skin tones.
The mirror effect is produced by most metallic nail varnishes with a glossy finish. Applied like gel nail lacquer, the finish of mirror nail polishes has to be very smooth and even like highly polished mirror surface.
Examples of this shade: Kikko in Νο: 616 (medium silver metallic with a frosty mirror finish and fine glitters), Dior in shade mirror (a true mirror/aluminum foil finish), and Born Pretty in shade mirror.
Metallic Bronze/Copper nail varnish:
Following are shades of metallic copper/br0nze
- Bronze brown: A true medium bronze shade with neutral brown undertones, perfect for olive and tanned skin tones. Examples of this shade: Bobbie Brown in Bronze Nail Polish and Cover Girl in seared bronze.
- Light bronze: As its name suggests, this a light and fade out bronze shade with typically gold or champagne undertones. Examples: Ulta 3 in Antique Copper,
- Bronze orange: This is probably the warmest shade of bronze in spectrum as it has subtle orange brown undertones. Examples of this shade: Milani Edited Bronze and OPI Brisbane Bronze.
Other Shades & Finishes of Metallic Nail Polish-Pink, Bronze, Chrome & High Shine
Metallic pink nail polish/pink metallic nail polish.
If you are fed up with ordinary metallic nail lacquer shades, a nice and girly twist would be to try metallic pink, which is a cool tone pink with metallic yet not glittery finish.
Not all brands carry this shade but you can try China Glaze’s emotion (medium to light frosty metallic pink) and Essie penny talk (light pink that is highly similar to a rose gold shade).
More colors in addition to pink are;
- Metallic green nail polish
- Metallic blue
- Metallic orange
- Metallic grey nail polish
Burberry metallic khaki nail polish is a good example of dark green metallic shade for the nails. If you want to try a dark grey metallic shade that almost looks like carbon but not exactly black some good options are Catrice Metal fusion and Butter London in shade posh bird.
Chrome Metallic Nail Polish
Chrome metallic shades are often confused with holographic shades but in reality chromes are one or two dimensional shades with a base shade e.g silver and micro-glitters of the same shade range that give it a frosty metallic finish. Examples of this shade range: Sally Hansen Color Foil in Rose Copper, and Color Club Sorry Not sorry.
Others include, No Place Like Chrome Metallic Silver Nail Polish, Nail Color & Nail Lacquer by Essie You can get chrome gold or chrome silver, all of which can produce a mirror effect.
High shine metallic nail polish
High shine metallic shades have an almost mirror-like finish but the only difference is that they contain more micro-glitters that give a frosty and high shine but less reflective result. Examples of such shades include: Zoya in Trixie, and American Apparel in silver and gold.
Best Metallic Nail Polish – Top Rated Brands
The good thing about sporting metallic nails is that all major nail polish brands carry metallic shades in their collection, even though some particular shades are only limited edition, which means you can get them only for one season if not restocked. Here are the best brands:
1. Opi metallic nail polish
Opi’s middle price range polishes features a nice collection of metallic as well such as Glitzerland ( alight golden metallic shade) Push and Shove (a nice muted down champagne gold/silver from Gwen Stefani’s collection), OPI Muppets (a deep bronze metallic shade with fine glitters).
Essie is also a good drugstore brand with good formulas that go opaque in just one or two strokes, depending on the shade. Essie’s most popular metallics are: Penny talk ( a fabulous bronze shade), Essie Blue Rhapsody ( a cool toned blue silver shade), and Getting Grooby (a true metallic gold shade)
3. Sally Hansen
Sally Hansen is a pretty affordable brand that has a nice range of metallic finishes in their shade collection.Sally Hansen Color Foils (a silver shade with an aluminum foil finish) and Sally hansen Insta-Dry in shade Bronze Ablaze (a nice bronze green/khaki shade).
4. Barry m magnetic nail polish review
For fans of metallic and at the same time magnetic shades, Barry M has launched a 5 shade metallic magnetic collection with a gold, a silver, a bronze, a green, and a silver blue shade. Nail polish reviewers seem to really like the formula as it applies easily and goes opaque with just a couple of coats. The magnets seem to work as directed and overall formula lasts on the nails for up to 10 days.
Although one of the most pricey brands of nail polish out there, chanel’s formulas are renowned for their smooth application and opaque results, even though they don’t particularly last that much compared to other brands. If you want something different than your typical gold, silver, or bronze metallics, you can try Chanel’s metallic vamp shade.
Maybelline’s Forever Strong and Color Show ranges also have a few metallic shades. Compared to other brands,many people say that some shades don’t go opaque as others so perhaps you may need to apply more than a couple of strokes for the shade to completely cover your nails. Some nice metallic shades of Maybelline are: Color Show the beauty of life, Color Show in Silver Linings, and Forever Strong in shade 830 (Put a medal on it–a rich khaki gold shade).
If you are on a budget yet look for a quality nail polish with a metallic finish, Sephora carries a few shades that fit the above requirements. Examples: Bling Bling, Sephora by Opi in Charge it! And Sephora by OPI (chestnuts about you).
Current Nars collection (as of early 2017) has three main metallic shades: pastorelle (a pink metallic shade), Amarapura (a true silver metallic with micro glitters), Milos (gold glitter metallic shade).
Other honorable mentions include;
- Minx Metallic Nail Polish
- Revlon: Revlon Gold Coin
- Zoya Amy (a foil metallic coral); Zoya Kimber
- Orly Foil FX (has a silver foil finish and purple undertones)
- Bobbi Brown Pink Pearl
- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Lacquer in Ripley (black silver shade)
- MAC Temperature Rising Nail Lacquer in Scorching Haute(for a sparkling pink)
- Nicole by OPI Polish in Scarlett (bright pink metallic nails – Serena Gomez’s)
- China Glaze Galactic Gray; China Glaze No Plain Jane
- Clinique A Different Nail Enamel in Strappy Sandals (a silver metallic shade)
- Deborah Lippmann Million Dollar Mermaid
- L.A Colors Purple
How to Wear Metallic Nails
In order to rock the metallic nail trend, you need first of all to learn how to choose the right polish for your skin tone and outfits. It might also be useful to know what works for certain occasions and what may not. Here is a simple guide on how to wear metal nail polishes.
- For office wear, go for clear shades, mauve metallic polishes, peach and pink shades. You may try the neutral metallic and shades of red if you are going to be in business environments. If your job involves a lot of creativity, you may choose from blue, green, yellow and purple colors of metallic lacquer.
- Choose a metallic polish depending on your skin tone or undertones. If you have cool undertones, the best metallic polishes to try are of blue shades. You can also go for shades like light pink, silver, fuchsia, true blue, lilac and rose red.
- For girls with warm skin undertones, the best match are bronze, orange, café au lait, melon and peach shades.
- Cream or silver polishes go well on women who have a dark skin tone. Darker shades will look great on fair skin tones.
Metallic Nail Designs and Ideas
Metallic shades are distinct shades on their own and for this reason no excessive nail art is necessary. In fact too much nail art can overpower your nails and take off from impressive the metallic finish. However, there are some metallic nail designs that anyone can pull off as long as no complex designs and colors are used. For example you can try:
- Metallic french nail tips with clear nail polish on the rest of your nails
- Metallics with white geometric designs.patterns
- One metallic nail color on each nail e.g gold, silver, bronze, pink, and green
- Gold or silver foil flakes over metallic bases for more dimension and shine
- Pear gemstones.
- Black crescent moon tips in the base of the nail
- Diagonal lines in all directions in black or white
Where to Buy Metallic Nail Polish
Beyonce, Berenice Marlohe and Kate Winslet are just but a few of the celebrities who have been spotted wearing the metallic nail trend. You too can look chic and sexy with mirror, chrome, gold and silver nails, but where do you buy metallic nail paint? Amazon has a long list of high-quality metallic nail varnishes. You can also get these in your local drug store, or in places such as CVS and Walgreens.