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 • Nails  • Nailcare Guides  • How to Do Holographic Nails That Are Out. Of. This. World.
how to do holographic nails press-on nails manicure

How to Do Holographic Nails That Are Out. Of. This. World.

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Main Image – Image – Olive & June

If you’re ready to elevate your manicure game to a whole new level of futuristic glam, look no further.

Holographic nails are THE hottest trend in the beauty sphere right now (partly brought to the world’s attention thanks to Gigi Hadid’s holographic shiny silver nails at the Met Gala) transforming your fingertips into radiant prisms that shimmer and shine like a kaleidoscope. Sounds cool, right?

Not to be confused with chrome or iridescent nails, the holographic trend unleashes a signature rainbow effect that is *honestly* mesmerising.

As always, we got advice from an expert. Enter Kayla Bramlet, the Director of Education and Training for Frenchies Modern Nail Care.

Get ready to go on a journey through the magical realm of holographic nails, unveiling the secrets behind achieving this captivating look.

Whether you’re a nail art novice or a seasoned pro, we’ve got you covered with step-by-step instructions and expert tips to help you master this stunning technique.


how to do holographic nails press-on nails manicure

Image – Olive & June


What *exactly* are holographic nails?

Now, let’s clear up any confusion. While both holographic and chrome nails offer a metallic finish, the main distinction lies in their reflective properties.

Holographic nails boast a multi-dimensional effect, with an ever-changing array of pretty colours, while chrome nails have a sleek, mirror-like appearance that reflects a single shade.

And while iridescent nails possess a captivating play of shifting colours, it’s a much more subtle colour shift than holographic nails.

So, how can you achieve these mesmerising holographic nails that appear to transcend time and space? Fear not, for there are a few options.

One way is to use holographic nail polish, which contains microscopic particles that create a captivating holographic effect when applied to your nails.

Another method involves applying holographic nail foils or stickers, which can be pressed onto a clear or coloured base for a quick and easy holographic transformation.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also experiment with holographic nail powders or pigments by gently rubbing the powder onto your nails until the desired holographic effect appears. Finish with a top coat to seal in the magic.

And if you’re not keen or confident enough to create the look yourself, don’t worry, companies like Olive & June sell some AMAZING press-on holographic nails in all kinds of colours, shapes, and sizes – so you don’t need to skip the trend!

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of holographic nails, it’s time to take a closer look at *exactly* how to create this ethereal effect.


how to do holographic nails press-on nails manicure powder

Image – Anna Efetova/Adobe


A step-by-step guide to how to do holographic nails

If you fancy creating your own holographic mani at home, we don’t blame you.

You can buy holographic nail polishes for an easy holographic effect, shimmering different colours under the light for a truly futuristic feel. But the best way to replicate this look is “using holographic nail powder or art foil,” Kayla tells us.

“But, how?” We hear you ask. Fear not, we asked Kayla for her step-by-step guide on creating holographic nails.


Holographic nail powders

Kayla gives us 4 super simple steps to follow if you are choosing to use holographic nail powders on gels or regular polish. For gels, she tells LTG HQ that “you will walk through the typical steps of a gel manicure.”

Step 1: “Use a ‘no wipe’ topcoat or a topcoat that does not create an inhibition layer,” advises Kayla.

You don’t want to have a super-sticky base when you apply the powder, as this will make it really difficult to rub the product onto the nail.

Step 2: “You will fully cure the top coat, then use a stiff eyeshadow applicator to rub the powder onto the nail. The powder adheres using static electricity, so rub it back and forth in a quick motion.”

Make sure not to apply too much powder during this step, and be sure to buff, buff, buff to create that smooth and shiny finish.

Step 3: “Brush off any excess powder and then apply another layer of topcoat.”

The biggest mistake we see is people using a regular top coat nail varnish over their freshly hologrammed nails – big no-no! This will smear the powder and cause it to look foggy. Instead, use a water-based top coat and then add your regular top coat.

Step 4: If using gel, “Cure the nails for 60 seconds to seal the polish.”


Holographic nail foils

Prefer to use art foil? We’ve got you covered with these 2 *incredibly* easy steps:

Step 1: Kayla tells us “If you’re using foil, apply the foil (foil-side-up) instead of powder after applying the first layer of topcoat.”

Step 2: “Trim the foil, then cover with another layer of topcoat.”


Holo manicure

Holo toppers are a *game-changing* piece of kit for your nail arsenal.

These multi-tone miracle toppers make it super simple to create a holographic look that’s not too dissimilar from your normal at-home manicure but still provides you with that head-turning effect!

Step 1: Start with your standard base coat nail polish. Top-tip! Black and other dark colours will definitely give you the strongest holographic finish, but they aren’t the only option. Go crazy experimenting!

Step 2: Paint on your holo topper polish. Try lighter shades for a more subtle look or opt for bright colours for a wild and vibrant take on the trend – go crazy experimenting!

Step 3: Add a top coat to seal the deal and you’re ready to go!


how to do holographic nails press-on nails manicure

Image – Olive & June


The kit

No matter what type of holographic nail technique you choose to use, you’ll need the kit to achieve it.

We’ve rounded up the essentials:

For holographic nail powders

  • Base coat
  • Nail polish
  • Non-wipeable gel top coat
  • Holographic nail powder. The best holographic powders in the market? Try iMethod, Hanzel, and Artdone.
  • Brush or foam brush (like an eyeshadow foam brush) to apply the powder
  • Soft brush to buff


For holographic nail foils

  • Base coat
  • Nail polish
  • Top coat
  • Holographic nail art foil
  • Wooden cuticle stick for any delicate work


For a holo manicure

  • Base coat
  • Holographic nail polish
  • top coat
  • Nail polish remover for any mistakes


how to do holographic nails holo powder

Image – devmarya/Adobe


The takeaway

And there we have it, 3 super simple ways to create a holographic look that is truly out of this world.

Whether you decide to use powder dip, gel, holographic foils, or multi-tone polish, this trend is *literally* still taking off.

So, shine on, futuristic guys and gals!




Meet the expert

Kayla Bramlet is the Director of Education and Training for Frenchies Modern Nail Care, a fast-growing national non-toxic nail salon franchise. Bramlet also owns a Frenchies franchise location in Lakeville, Minnesota.




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Senior Beauty Editor

Laura Kemp started her journalism career as a news reporter for one of the largest newspaper groups in Europe before moving into features and editorial writing. Combining her love of hard-hitting journalism with her passion for beauty, she’s now Senior Beauty Editor at Live That Glow. When she’s not writing, researching, or interviewing her favourite experts, you’ll find Laura practicing her downward dog or drifting on her paddleboard.

Expertise: Hair care, nails
Education: University of Salford

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