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15 Best Multichrome Nail Polish Shades You’ll Love

Multichrome nail polish, also called duo-chrome or chameleon nail polish, is nail lacquer that is a different color depending on the angle you view it from. The shade might be pink at first but then turn to aqua if you move your hand. I love color changing nail polish of all kinds so let’s check out the best multi-chrome shades around.

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Multichrome vs duochrome vs chameleon.

These all refer to the same thing but some brands like to use one term over another. I've seen duochrome refer to polishes that shift only between two colors and that multichrome shifts between more than two, but they're interchangeable in function. 

How does multichrome work? And how is it different from holographic?

Confusing these two is understandable especially considering that the rainbow line of a linear holographic nail polish can look very similar to the shift of multichrome.

To compare the two in one polish, check out KBShimmer's Much Lava To You, a black to red to copper multichrome with holographic glitter. I got to test out a media sample of this one and it gifts me nebula galaxy vibes. 

Both holo and chameleon polishes refract light, which alters lightwaves instead of simply reflecting them back. 

Duochrome bends and changes the wavelength of light. Holo takes that beam of white light and breaks it apart into tiny little rainbows of the visible spectrum. This is way the shifting of holo polish will always be the same colors (rainbow) but tinted depending on the polish. Multichrome can be only two colors or more and doesn't need to include every color of the rainbow in its color changes.

Also, multichrome's shift isn't as reliant on good lighting so it often looks more impressive in poor light than holo does.

Thinking about color too long will give you an existential crisis. According to MIT, the only reason we don't "see" color in normal white light all around us is that it contains red, yellow, and blue--the three colors our eyes can perceive, so when all three cones are stimulated, we don't register colors. When you see a red flower, the flower is technically all colors except red and it only looks red to us because that is the wavelength the flower doesn't absorb. 

Maybe it's better to just enjoy the shiny colors and not think too much about it. 

Troubleshooting: My chameleon polish looks uneven.

Any sort of metallic or chrome polish is going to show off every single little ridge or imperfection in your nail surface. I like to use one to two coats of ridge-filling base coat before applying a multichrome polish. I have deeply ridged nails from an autoimmune disease and Essie's Ridge Filler Base gives me a more uniform surface to work with.

Another option is to gently buff your nails smooth but anytime you remove part of your nail surface, you risk the possibility of weakening it. 

What About Gel Polish?

This post is all about regular duochrome polish but keep an eye out for a gel polish version coming soon.

Looking for the highest shine chrome around? Go with multichrome nail powder.