Chrome powder is a popular and exciting way to spruce up your otherwise dull manicure with just a few rubs of the special chrome dust. However, you might be a little stuck on your removal… how do you take off chrome nail powder?

Keep reading to learn more!

What is Chrome Powder?

Chrome (also sometimes called “mirror”) powder is made of various metals for that infamous metallic sheen, pigments, and potentially even ground-up glass. The powder will be sold as one color or as a collection with multiple other chrome colors for max mani variation.

One of the unique characteristics of chrome powder is that it requires a gel top coat in order to stick to the nail. No gel in your nail art collection? Don’t worry! Be sure to read our guide on doing chrome nails on regular nail polish.

How do I Apply Chrome Powder?

The process of applying chrome powder to your nails is actually a pretty simple one.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cuticle remover (optional)
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Nail scissors (optional)
  • Gel base coat
  • Gel nail polish
  • Gel no-wipe top coat
  • Sponge eyeshadow applicator
  • Chrome powder
  • UV/LED nail lamp


  1. Begin by preparing your nails by washing your hands, clipping your nails to your desired length, and filing off the shiny top layer. View our ultimate guide to preparing your nails for a more detailed explanation.
  2. Apply your gel base coat and cure for 30-60 seconds or whatever the instructions on the bottle say.
  3. Paint the first layer of your color gel polish and cure for 30-60 seconds. 
  4. Smooth the second layer of your color polish and cure once again. You need to have an opaque layer of color across each nail. If your polish is still translucent after two coats of color, your gel is very low-quality, and you should find a different brand.
  5. Then, paint on a layer of no-wipe gel glossy top coat. It is vital to use the no-wipe variety as the chrome powder will not properly stick to any other kind.
  6. Dip your sponge eyeshadow applicator into the chrome powder of your choice. Be sure to pick a color that nicely compliments your pigmented polish color.
  7. Begin to rub the applicator over each nail, applying enough pressure that the powder transfers to the top coat, but not hard enough that the dust flakes off and doesn’t stick.
  8. Once you are happy with the level of opacity and shine of your new beautiful chrome nails, apply a second layer of top coat to seal the powder in and cure.

How to Remove Chrome Powder

Removing chrome powder from nails

The process of removing mirror powder is similar to the process of removing nail dip powder, which you can also read about on our blog! However, if you applied the chrome powder over acrylics or dip powder and want to keep it intact, you can by following the below steps…

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Nail file/nail drill (preferred)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton ball/lint-free wipe/paper towel
  • Acetone (optional)


  1. Wash your hands to remove any obvious debris on top of your nails.
  2. Take your nail file or nail drill and remove the layer of gel top coat.
  3. Do NOT use acetone to take off the chrome layer if you want to keep your acrylic/dip nails intact. The acetone will break the bonds of the acrylic polymers, and your manicure will be ruined.
  4. Instead, gently buff off the chrome powder until you see the base nail and remove the nail dust with a bit of rubbing alcohol.
  5. If you want to remove the whole acrylic, follow this guide on removing acrylic nails.

What Can I Use Instead of Chrome Powder?

If you want to cut back on waste (those disposable eyeshadow applicators add up quickly), you should try out Fairy Glamor 2-in-1 dip and acrylic chrome powders for a shiny manicure that lasts 3-5 weeks with proper care and application. Our artisan-quality powders are sold right out from our family’s home base in Texas and are vegan, cruelty-free, and MMA-free.

Quick Recap

  • Chrome powder is a great way to upgrade your manicure in only a few extra steps to your gel polish routine.
  • Applying the powder is simple! Just follow the steps above for perfectly chrome nails.
  • Removing chrome is also pretty easy.
  • You can remove just the chrome powder and not the base acrylic nail underneath.
  • Fairy Glamor acrylic/dip powders are an excellent alternative to chrome powder.
October 17, 2021 — Fairy Glamor

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Fairy Glamor designs unique 3-in-1 dip and acrylic nail powders in Galveston, Texas. We're a 100% family owned business that was founded in 2020 and went from making handmaking powders in our spare bedroom to shipping out of a big warehouse. We believe in both quality and affordability--that's why our powders are used by both professional nail technicians and in homes. Our unique colors are hand-designed to give you gorgeous manicures that'll make your nails feel magical.