whimsical stickers or wraps, glossy, fast-setting topcoats, patience (loads and loads of patience), high-quality formulas… All of the above can be key ingredients when you’re concocting a recipe for a professional-grade manicure at home. That said, I have another sneaky little trick up my sleeve when my fingers need to look put-together AF and I don’t have the extra time—or funds—to slide into the salon: metallic nail polish.
Nothing feels quite so expensive and elevated as an extra hint of shimmer, so painting your tips with a
light-reflecting lacquer is the easiest way to hack your way to a salon-level paint job without the extra fuss and budget allowance. Of course, there are literally hundreds of metallic nail polishes on the market, so we’re listing the 20 best (in our ultra-discerning opinion) just below. Keep scrolling to discover and shop 20 of the best metallic nail polishes money can buy.
Brand founder Sarah Gibson Tuttle says this wispy metallic lilac was the O&J community’s dream color. Lucky for you—and your next at-home manicure—it came to fruition late last year.
This gel-like, nontoxic nail polish gives dull tips the ultimate dose of cerulean richness plus a touch of light-catching glimmer.
If you’re in the mood to spice up your wardrobe of neutrals, opt for chocolate brown and make it metallic—not matte—like this editor-favorite from Christian Louboutin. (You’ll feel luxurious even when you’re in sweats and sneakers.)
Let’s dispel the myth now: You can wear metallic red nail polish any day of the year. In fact, IMHO, it’s cooler and less expected when it’s not tied into the holiday season.
ILNP is industry-famous for its impossibly glittery finishes. I dare you to choose just one, but this black take comes highly recommended.
Meet Selene: The prettiest antidote when you can’t decide between metallic blue or green.
Speaking of green, nothing screams “expensive” like a sleek swipe of olive.
Velvety plum always makes a statement, but add a touch of long-wearing gleam, à la Smith & Cult’s shade A Little Underground, and you have a recipe for compliments.
No metallic nail polish collection could ever be complete sans an elegant shade of rose gold. La Pierre does it best.
A blitz of silver chrome is like no-makeup makeup for your nails. It’s understated but gives your tips an extra pop of somethin’ somethin.’ We choose this fast-selling shade called Robot from 8-Free brand Base Coat.
Go beyond your basic oranges and reds with a fiery metallic hue like topaz. This one from Orly is at the top of our want list.
Cult-loved brand Holo Taco isn’t your average nail polish brand, therefore, it’s only logical that Frozen Benanas isn’t your average gold metallic polish. The gilded metallic base is enhanced with yellow-gold reflective foil flakes to take your mani up a watt. (Or 10.)
The hot-pink color trend that’s taken the fashion and beauty world by storm has us in the palm of its hand. La Paz-itively Hot leaves nothing to be desired thanks to its neon, subtly metallic finish. If you’re not one for a full-on chrome metallic, this is a happy medium.
Metallic + burgundy x Chanel = the chicest at-home manicure equation of all time. As Miranda Priestly would say, “That’s all.”
Blue has exploded onto the scene as one of the coolest nail polish shades to sport these days. Kick it up an octave with a formula like Essie’s salon-esque gel couture in Front Page Worthy which boasts a glossy, über-pearlized finish.
Moon Boots (a color-flip pinky-white metallic) will be any minimalist nail lover’s prerogative.
When it comes to a glassy, professional-looking manicure, nothing can beat Static Nails epic lineup of polishes. We’re craving this moody, color-shifting metallic called Lithomancy, in particular.
Frankly, we’d snap up this smoky brown-meets-olive-meets-gold metallic shimmer for its clap-worthy name alone, but there’s also the added bonus of how universally flattering (and completely unique) it is, too.
Really, it’s no wonder this sheer baby-pink metallic is one of Deborah Lippmann’s all-time best-selling shades. (It’s the brand’s #7 top-seller, to be exact.)
China Glaze’s Purpletonium is a recipe for questions and compliments everywhere you go. (Trust us—we know from experience.) Next: 9 Pretty Valentine’s Day Manicure Ideas That Aren’t Cheesy