nail sticker how to + FAQ

by Kaylah Stroup

For about six years now I’ve been using nail stickers of some sort to get crisp lines in my nail art. They’ve played a huge part in developing my nail style. (That’s a thing right? I definitely feel like I have a style.) I couldn’t imagine not having them in my nail kit. Since I’ve been getting back into sharing my designs I thought I’d do a little post on my favorite tool of the trade! Under $7 and basically unlimited options – there’s no excuse not to give them a go!

First, a quick how-to!

① File, buff, wash then dry your nails!
② Paint base color.
③  Let it dry. No, really, let it dry. Not half dry or mostly dry. All the way dry!
④ Choose your sticker, place it on the top of your hand to get some of the sticky off, and then apply to your nail. Make sure to push it down firmly, especially in the corners of your nail where polish could seep under.
⑤ Paint your nail, and remove sticker immediately. Peel slowly, following the curve of the sticker.
⑥ Repeat on the rest of your nails. The order I find easiest is pinky, ring, middle then pinky, ring, middle on the other hand. Pointer finger from the first hand, pointer from the second and thumbs last. Thumbs are the only nails I do where I put the stickers on more than one nail at once. This way I’m able to really push down the sticker throughouly without messing up an already painted nail.
⑦ Finish it all off with a top coat. I recommend Seche Vite!

Q.  Nail stickers? So, it’s the whole design and I don’t have to do any painting?

A. No, they’re basically just stencils. I’ve found them to be way easier than using tape and you don’t have to do any cutting. If you’re bad at painting your nails or don’t have the patience to do fun designs, I recommend checking out Incoco nail polish appliques

Q. Are they reusable?

A. No, they are not. They’re one time use.

Q. The stickers are peeling up my nail polish when I take them off. What’s up with that?! 

A. Sounds like your polish might not be completely dry. I always suggest painting designs with the stickers in two separate days so you’re not rushed. Of course, you don’t have to wait a full day but at least give your polish an hour or so. I normally throw on my first color in the morning and finish with the stickers in the evening.

Q. My nails are completely dry but my base coat is still peeling off. What do I do? 

A. This could be one of a few things. 1. You have a crappy nail polish. I’m certainly not a nail polish snob, I will always snatch up a 99 cent polish but there are some that are just not made very well and these will peel up when the sticker is pulled off. 2. Your sticker is too sticky! Easy fix – put the sticker on the top of your (clean & dry) hand and peel off before placing on your nail. I actually recommend doing this all the time.

Q. The nail stickers are leaving a residue, what do I do?

A.  I’m not 100% sure why this happens, I’ve only had it happen a few times but it was before I started doing the trick of putting the sticker on your hand before your nail to remove some of the stickiness. If nothing else, wait for your polish to dry, and then go wash your hands with soap and water before applying the top coat. Sticky gunk comes right off.

Q. Why aren’t my lines as crisp as yours?

A. The trick to crisp lines with these stickers is peeling them off as soon as you’re done painting each nail. This means polishes that aren’t completely opaque on the first coat are far less superior when it comes to using the stickers. Once you start building layers you’re running the risk of making a mess.

So basically be patient, make sure each coat is COMPLETELY dry before putting down the sticker, and get yourself some great polish (I’m all about Sally Hansen & Zoya!) Set aside a little chunk of time to do your nails or do it over a period of a few days and with some practice you’ll be doing your nails like a pro!

Find nail stickers here.
Check out loads of nail inspiration under the #kaylahsfancynails hashtag.

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