True Metallic Nails

There are some things that nail junkies everywhere are looking for. One of these things is true reflective chrome polish. I thought I might have found it in MAC $$$$$ Yes but it wasn’t like it appeared in the promotional pictures.

Due to limits on current technology, there is no way to make truly reflective nail polish yet.  However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot have reflective natural nails! There are some thin sheets of foil or Mylar that can be applied to natural nails and they are totally reflective and chrome-tacular.

The first foiling method is available in selected salons, called Minx. It appears to be a thin sheet of foil that’s heat sealed onto the nails at a salon. It costs around $40 for a manicure, and will last a couple days. But it is pretty shiny. All Lacquered Up has a review on Minx. While it looks cool and they can do custom designs, $40 for a manicure that you can only get a couple days out of seems a waste.

I looked at the Minx company website, and I’m probably going to irritate a few people by saying this, but: The introduction made me want to vomit! Here it is (italics mine).

About our Sassy Company

Where on earth would you find a completely new and unique product in nail fashion? In sunny California,  of course, where the sun, sea and surf surrounds some of the most beautiful women in the world who need to look sensational whether they are waxing a surfboard, attending a movie premiere, or glamming out for Hef’s next bash at the manor. (Hef doesn’t care what your nails look like, he’s just interested in pretending he can still get it up. Barf.)

While it is hard work gliding through each day and night (and after-hours) looking gorgeous with a touch of naughty, Minx is here to lead the way. The golden flash of fingernail as you beckon for the brunch waiter (wow! Can you snap your fingers at the waitstaff with Minx too?)… the sparkling arc as you firmly grasp the last pair of Jimmy Choo’s on sale (well, at least they’re on sale, I guess. Use Minx to blind those other shoppers who get in your way!)… the perky glint of silver wrapped around a fresh Pinkberry smoothie (What the heck is a Pinkberry smoothie?)… once you’ve been Minxed, your life will never be the same. (No, especially if you get to have a geriatric romp with Hef while wearing your Jimmy Choos! You’ll need therapy to block out the memories!)

I know a lot of polish junkies are very into fashion and this kind of name-dropping would be attractive, but I just say yeech. (Then again, I have worn purple hair and a dyed-black, chopped-up wedding dress from the Salvation Army with homemade glittery ruby slippers.)  Fashion and finding your style – whatever it may be- are great. Buying something mindlessly just because it’s expensive and you think people will notice you for it is not.

In Japan, a lot of women pick one brand (Gucci, Chanel or Louis Vuitton, usually) and they will be decked out head to toe in it: headband, earrings, necklace, scarf, sunglasses, purse, coat, shoes, etc. They don’t look confident, they look like they’re easy marks for a pushy salesperson and don’t have the confidence to wear something that they chose for themselves.

While I’m on a roll, I dislike the word ” fashionista,” especially when people use it about themselves. It’s like those shorts that say “Juicy” on the butt, or t-shirts that say “Hottie.”  Believe me, if you are juicy/hot/fashionable, it’s apparent. Emblazoning it all over yourself is not necessary.

OK! Rant over. Obviously, since Minx doesn’t mesh with my personal philosophy or my wallet, here’s my alternative. It cost about 10 cents.

Please excuse the fluorescent yellow around my cuticles.


Above: Direct indoor light.

Below: Indirect indoor light, with my Pinkberry smoothie, waiting for Hef to call.


Like Minx, this is not an enduring manicure. I would recommend it for a party or special event. It if gets nicked or scratched, it will dull. Since it’s so reflective, blemishes will show up easily in it. Your nails have to be totally smooth to get the maximum effect, so buff  them first.

After buffing, a slightly sticky liquid glue is applied to your clean nails. Don’t miss any areas- this is what the foil sticks to. It’s not tricky- it dries pretty smooth. After the glue turns transparent, it’s foil time!

Cut the foil into pieces that will cover your nail. Lay it on across your nail slowly and press down, making sure there are no wrinkles or air pockets ( I couldn’t get this 100% perfect, but it was pretty good.) You want as flat an application as possible. Roll your nail under the foil instead of moving the foil. Try to smooth down any wrinkles. Then, lift the foil! Voila!

I tried every topcoat I own to seal this: Seche, Fast Forward, Orly, etc. and all ate the foil off and cracked it. There is some special topcoat available with the foil, but I didn’t purchase  it. Next time I place an order, I will.

The foil is $1.99 per roll at Transdesign. You’ll have to search for “foil” since there is no direct link to the page. Various colors and patterns are available as well. Each roll could do a  few manicures at least, depending on your nail size. You will need the special glue for the best results as it doesn’t show brushstrokes.

This is lots of fun and I couldn’t stop staring at it, but it’s fairly fragile and would not wear well. I’ll update after I buy the special topcoat.


About nevertoomuchglitter

Nail artist. Wanderer. I'm a color-holic, in fact, it was my love of color that brought me to the nail art world. Well, that, and the fact I was too cheap to pay crazy Japanese prices for nail polish while living in Tokyo, so I had to start mixing my own. That's how NTMG began.
This entry was posted in Metallic, NTMG Original Nail Art and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to True Metallic Nails

  1. i totally agree with you about all the name dropping…i choked with laughter at your Hef comment. due to a quite a few recent observations about people in my life (and quickly on their way out), i realized something: money cannot buy class. oh, it can buy you a new Mercedes, an iPhone, or a new designer purse but if you don’t know why you own such a thing other than being trendy, how “cool” are you, really? end of my rant…i love your take on Minx! i used to spend around $40 (plus tip) for a new set of pink-and-white acrylics, but at least that lasted a couple weeks! for 2 days?! there are some things in life worth paying for (like one day at NOLA Jazzfest, $50!), but Minx isn’t one of them.

  2. Kae says:

    That is sparktacular!

  3. Lucy says:

    Jen you are cracking me up! Barf is rigth when I think of Hugh Hefner. How desperate are these girls. Do you really think it’s prestigious to get into Playboy or pose with Hefner? Projectile vomiting is what I would do. My rant is now over. I love the foil on your nails. I’ve seen the foil at TransDesign. I also saw it on QVC used for scrapbooking and other stuff. It is really pretty stuff.

  4. MrsYeti says:

    ROFLMAO!!! Thanks for that – and your nails look great too! Will you write about it again when you try it with the “proper” top coat??? Please?!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      MrsYeti- I will definitely update after I get the topcoat. I got a few rolls of foil that I’ll be showing soon as well because I am just having too much fun with this stuff!

      • Lorena says:

        Hi! They look out of this world. I definitely want to try them!

        I was looking at the foil top coat and look what it says:

        “Please note: After applied Foil Sealer (Top Coat) The foil design will look antique (wrinkle).”

        Antique?…. Is that another way of saying there’s nothing you can put on top of it to keep it looking good? Hehe

      • nevertoomuchglitter says:

        Hi Lorena,
        Yes, the topcoat will wrinkle the foil. It doesn’t always look bad, sort of like an opal or like a glass paperweight. The finish is still smooth and but the design looks cracked. The finish will no longer be super reflective. So far, we haven’t found any topcoat that doesn’t wrinkle them. It’s still a fun look for cheap and I like it, but it is not the most durable of finishes.

  5. nevertoomuchglitter says:

    Asian Girl- Right on- ya can’t buy class, that’s for sure.

    Kae- It’s blinding- I’m going to do more tonight because I’m just having too much fun!

    Lucy- I totally agree! I don’t think I’d make it into Playboy, but please- no more glorifying that old fart Hefner and all that he stands for. The foil is really fun, and can be used for crafts and such too- it’s all the same stuff. I have some that I got in a craft kit, and it’s identical to the Transdesign stuff, but the craft version was much more pricey. I still can’t believe that people would pay $40 for this!!

  6. Nessa says:

    You are too funny about Hef 🙂
    I love the foil look and it seems to be pretty easy to do. I’ve never heard of them before.
    Thanks for the post!

  7. Delirium says:

    Brilliant post and mani! I do agree with the name-dropping and had to laugh at your description of certain Japanese women. When in Tokyo we often talked about how the Japanese seldom do “effortlessly cool” (like the Londonites and the Swedes are masters at), but instead seem to try really, really hard at looking cool. :p

  8. Savvy says:

    I totally agree with you. As a native Angelino (person from Los Angeles lol), I can assure you things aren’t so glam glam all the time.

    Pinkberry however is the BEST. I’m pretty sure you’ve had some version of it in Japan. It’s a copy of Red Mango.

    Anyways, I wish I would pay $40 for a mani. I’d rather glue tin foil to my nails myself lol.

  9. amber says:

    omg. your nails. OMG.

    hold on…..

  10. The nails look awesome! I saw that foil on their website too and thought aobut getting me some. Glad to see it really worked!!

    I think you should email Minx and tell them to change their introduction to the one you just did! Probably would get a lot more sales that way!

    ***In love with the pic of you with your pinkberry waiting on Hef! ***

  11. Laine says:

    Beautiful. That 2nd pic is out of this world! What a great alternative to Minx. You are so clever!

    I can’t believe how ridiculous that blurb is! “..most beautiful women in the world…Jimmy Choos..” are you f-in kidding!! Jimmy choos!!! I guess Minx is reserved for the wealthy and not us regular folk. Luckily we have more sense and have you to clue us into something more reasonable.

    What a great post and you are hoo-larious!!


  12. amber says:

    ok. yes, this – that what you have on your nails is…amazing. Good heavens!!!

  13. Alexlyndra says:

    I just dropped my chin.. MY GOSH what a beautiful foil design! I’ve seen foil manicures before and I always wonder how they are to remove?

  14. nevertoomuchglitter says:

    Amber- Glad you liked it! It sounds like you may give it a try yourself. 🙂

    Alexlyndra- It’s not bad to remove at all, in fact, it’s a little too easy to remove. The glue which holds on the foil can be removed with warm water. I need to get the topcoat and see if that works, but this mani was gone within 6 hours of normal wear. Any remaining sticky areas can be removed with polish remover.

  15. Pingback: More Foil Nails « Nevertoomuchglitter’s Weblog

  16. BeeDee says:

    this is truly freaking awesome!! i’ve been looking for some kind of alternative to polish to give me that chromed out look – and here it is! Thanks so much NTMG! I’ll definitely be ordering some foil from transdesign!

  17. Pingback: Foil Tutorial « Nevertoomuchglitter’s Weblog

  18. Dabitch says:

    i LOVE that foil pattern and would so wear it for a party of some sort (hef not included). Agree with you about everything above, twice for “juicy” shorts, egad.

  19. Denise says:

    Just curious ~ Have you tried using a gel topcoat and UV light? I just ordered some foils and will be trying that this week. Any luck on the topcoat?

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      I haven’t tried that- give it a whirl and let us know how it goes! The topcoat sold with the foil does cause cracking, as does everything else I’ve tried.

      • Breezy Jones says:

        July 29, 2013
        Just finished my first set of foil nails and I tried the uv gel on of the viewers suggested I put on a second thin coat over the foil waited until that dryed for a minute then put on the uv gel topcoat put my hand under the light for a minute put on a secondhand under the light for 2-3 minutes.
        Beautiful and shiney, No cracks and she thought it would last a week, will let you know.

  20. andrea says:

    thanks for sharing that! you make me save a lot of time and money, I truly appreciate it.

  21. Christina says:

    Im not sure if this is a dumb question but… can you/is it safe to put the glue and foil on natural nails? Is there any damage to the nail? Will the glue be completely removed without filing?
    PS- I love! love!! love!!! your blog I just found it today and I’m sitting here reading the whole thing. Thank you for sharing your know-how!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Hi Christina,
      Thank you for stopping by! Yes, the foil is safe for nails and won’t cause damage. The glue that sticks it on is just water based, so it will dissolve easily in water when you want to remove it. No filing necessary. This is part of the reason that foils don’t last very long on nails.
      Welcome to the blog and I hope you can find some fun tips and tricks here! 🙂

  22. debora says:

    Hi girls,
    I am a Nail Tech in the land of Oz..forever looking for a perfect metallic mirror finish. So far nothing beats foil..tried the minx..the metallic nails (the cheaper version)..and not fully satisfied with either of them!..

    Now back to the foil..the best sealer for your foil would be Bio Sculpture S Gel tried and tested! There could be other acrylic based Gel that might work as well but i work with and prefer Bio Sculpture because it flexes with the nail.
    The trick is to wait for the glue to fully dry before applying any type of sealer..load up your brush & dont allow the brush to touch the foil, offload sealer in the middle close to the cuticle, glide the sealer with a feather touch using 3 quick strokes (middle & sides)…but like i said gel sealer seem to be the go! Hope this helps..regards, D :))

  23. Jackie says:

    They look gorgeous, please let me know if you find the right top coat as everything I have tried including the “sealer” dealers/ sellers recommend, do not work on holo’s, glittery foils! I have approached one Company and am awaiting their reply on a solution!

  24. Mariposa says:

    What Is The Name Of The Glue Yu Used.??

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      It’s called Ducato Repeating Glue, but it’s only available in Japan as far as I know, sorry!

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