NAIL STICKERS

The Ultimate Guide For A Perfect Mani

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What are nail stickers?

Nail stickers are basically exactly what you might first envision when you hear the words ‘nail sticker’: a sticker (one you might have stuck on your shirt as a name tag or decorated your grade school book covers with) shaped like - and intended to be stuck onto - your fingernails, for an end result similar to nail polish.

Nail stickers of course are typically made out of different material than the stickers we’re all more familiar with, and the materials themselves differ by brand and type of sticker. Most nail stickers today are made of vinyl or other plastics in various thicknesses, but some are made of paper or other gel-like substances. Regardless of the core materials, they all are made with an adhesive layer on one side and the color or nail art design on the other. Some nail stickers claim to be made of “real nail polish” which is true as far as the basic chemical makeup of the ingredients in nail polish are similar to that of vinyl or gel. Nail stickers are typically available in pre-cut sizes that cover the entire nail.

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Do nail stickers really work?

Yes - nail stickers really do work as intended as a replacement for a standard nail polish DIY manicure, without the drying time or inevitable smudging that comes with applying the nail polish yourself. The adhesion and resulting end look you can achieve applying nail stickers - a manicure that looks salon-perfect at a fraction of the cost and time - would most certainly indicate that they work, particularly lately as new technology improves the fit and quality of the stickers. Nail stickers that fit your nails properly and allow for a custom fit, like ManiMe’s, work better as a bad fit is a primary reason nail stickers don’t “work.”

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How long do they last?

Similar to the way a manicure you apply yourself with a bottle of nail polish will last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on application, formula quality, and level of general everyday wear and tear, nail stickers can work - and last - anywhere from a few days to two weeks. While not all nail stickers are created equally, and not everyone puts the same amount of wear and tear on their nails on an everyday basis (cooking, gardening, frequent hand washing, etc will shorten the life of ANY manicure), you can count on nail stickers lasting from 2-14 days, with the average being 5-7 days. 

What are the main advantages of nail stickers?

Long-time nail sticker devotees and brand-new fans alike love their nail stickers for a few key reasons: 

Cost

With nail stickers averaging $8-20 for a set and a salon manicure costing $30-$60 (or $100+ for nail art!), for those using nail stickers instead of regular trips to the nail salon, savings could add up to hundreds of dollars a year for manicures that still look salon-perfect.

Ease of application
(no smudging, and no dry time!):

For those replacing painting their own nails with nail polish at home with nail stickers, they can’t get over the benefit of not having to wait for each layer to dry. And for those frustrated that they were not Picasso painting their nails at home, there’s no accidentally painting outside the lines, or smudging your manicure just before it's dry.Custom fit nail stickers further add to the ease of application, as there is no cutting the edges.

 Time

For both regular salon manicure goers and those painting their nails at home, time is a huge factor cited. Our lives are busier than ever, and driving to the nail salon, having it done, and driving home can take 1-2 hours, and even a DIY expert can take up to hour painting nails at home given the drying time required. Nail stickers take 15-30 minutes max to apply and can be removed just as easily. And for nail art devotees, the time saved using nail stickers with art is incredible: no more sitting in a nail salon for 2-3 hours at a time!

What are the main advantages of nail stickers?

Long-time nail sticker devotees and brand-new fans alike love their nail stickers for a few key reasons: 

How are nail stickers different from nail wraps?

Nail stickers are quite similar to nail wraps in their function and material makeup, and some brands use the terms nail stickers and nail wraps when referring to the exact same thing. However, technically a nail wrap is made out of a thinner, more flexible material than nail stickers are, and literally stretches to fit - or wrap - your nail. Because the material is thinner than that of stick-on nail gels or nail stickers, they often do not stand up to wear and tear the same way and don’t last as long.

How are nail stickers different from nail strips?

Like nail stickers and nail wraps, nail stickers are quite similar to nail strips in their function and material makeup, and the terms nail stickers and nail strips are also often used almost interchangeably. However a nail strip historically is an adhesive strip, that is not necessarily even sold in a fingernail shape, with a curve at the bottom in different sizes you choose to fit the width of your nail and then trim to fit the length. Nail strips are just rectangular strips of adhesive vinyl or other material that must be cut to fit your nail, which can be time consuming. 

How are nail stickers different from nail decals?

Nail decals almost always refer to a pretty different product than nail stickers - if you’re familiar with a car decal, the analogy will help here - as a decal is a decorative adornment for part of the car, not intended to replace the actual protective paint all over the outside of your car. Nail stickers, wraps and strips are all intended to cover your entire nail to create the same look and end result of nail polish or a salon manicure. Nail decals on the other hand are small decals or gems that can come in all sorts of shapes and designs and are typically placed on top of a manicure done with nail stickers, polish or gel (though could be used on bare nails technically), to create a unique look and “decorate” your manicure.

How are nail stickers different from press-on nails?

Press-on nails are one of the longest standing DIY manicure products on the market, and differ most pointedly from nail stickers in that they are made of rigid, hard plastic shaped like your fingernail. While some press-on nails have adhesive on the backing or are applied using an adhesive strip similar to nail stickers, the most common application of press-on nails remains nail glue - which can be messy and toxic. Press-on or “artificial” nails are composed primarily of acrylic polymers and due to the stronger adhesive or glue needed to stick onto your nail, and the fact that they can be much longer than your natural nail, are much more hazardous to wear than nail stickers - it’s easier to damage your nail bed or rip a nail. 

How are nail stickers different from regular nail polish?

Conventional nail polish - also called nail varnish - of course differs from a nail sticker in that it comes in liquid form which dries with time into a hard coating on your nail when applied in a thin layer. Similar to some paints or varnishes, traditional nail polish consists of a polymer, dissolved in a solvent, usually ethyl acetate or butyl acetate. When it is applied the solvent evaporates, leaving the polymer to form a film on the nail. The application process for nail polish is thus of course entirely different than for nail polish, requiring painting on your nail in thin layers with a tiny brush and waiting for each successive layer to dry. In liquid form, nail polish fumes in particular can be quite toxic, which of course is not a risk with nail stickers. Some nail stickers, like ManiMe’s, are even 10-free, vegan, and cruelty free.

How are nail stickers different from a salon manicure?

The key difference between a salon manicure and nail stickers is the DIY manicure component: while nail stickers could certainly be applied by a nail technician or manicurist in a salon, the typical application is at home, since it is easy enough to do on yourself. Most people find nail polish difficult to apply themselves, so getting it done in a salon is a great option. Of course, there are hard gel, acrylic and powder dip applications which can and should only be applied to your fingernails by a licensed professional in a salon and have different associated risks and application requirements.

APPLICATION

Application Process: How do you apply nail stickers?

Of course, not all nail stickers have the same application process depending on the type or brand, and some people may put less or more effort into the application, but for the most part applying nail stickers is as straightforward as the name suggests: peel the stickers off the backing and press them onto your fingernails! For the best results however, follow our steps below. ManiMe’s nail stickers fit the shape of your own nail perfectly, and also come with 5 extra nails in case application goes wrong, making them one of the easiest brands of nail stickers to apply. 

Step 1: Prep your nails 

While not absolutely necessary, cleaning, trimming, and filing your nails prior to applying your nail stickers - particularly making sure the edges are smooth and even and in the shape you want - will result in the most optimal application. 

Benefit 2

Be sure to push back your cuticles, or trim them if necessary, prior to applying your stickers. While keeping your cuticles moisturized is important, skip the cuticle oil (and hand cream too) if you can the day you’re applying your stickers, as the oil will make the adhesive break down faster.

Benefit 3

Apply a sheer, quick drying base coat in one or two layers to even your nail bed out and protect your nail bed as well.

Step 4: Apply stickers

Make sure each nail sticker will fit your nail well and then apply, making sure to touch the adhesive side of the sticker as little as possible and ensuring the sticker fully covers your nail but does not overlap onto your cuticle or skin at all - leaving a tiny gap between the sticker and your nail will help. Then, press each nail sticker firmly onto your nail to smooth out any wrinkles and Fold the excess gel over the tip of your nail.

Step 5: File/cut nail stickers to your nail tips

Using either a nail file angled away from your nails to avoid tears or wrinkles - or a nail clipper especially if you have short nails - remove the excess gel from the length (tips) of your stickers and file the tips to smooth with your natural nail.

Step 6 (optional): Apply Top Coat

If you would like to seal your nails stickers and/or create a different finish, using a quick-drying top coat is recommended but not required. 

How long does it take to apply nail stickers?

Length of application depends on the condition of your nails to begin with, the add-on’s you add during initial application or in the days afterwards to “maintain” your nail sticker manicure, and the type of nail stickers you purchase. If your nail stickers come in generic sizes, you may find yourself spending an extra 20 minutes just trimming the stickers to fit the size of your nail.

Is applying nail stickers hard? Do I have to have a steady hand to apply them?

Most users would say that applying nail stickers is very easy, but there are some parts in particular that may be more difficult for some at first, such as trimming the stickers or applying to your non-dominant hand. Overall however, anyone who’s even tried nail stickers just once will tell you that it’s far easier than painting your own fingernails, and takes far less time than going to the salon. 

Can you use a base coat or top coat with nail stickers?

Yes, and in fact a protective base coat is recommended particularly if you have weak or brittle nails - a base coat can also help stickers adhere better as it creates an even, oil-free surface. Top coats as well are not just okay to use, they are encouraged - they help “seal” your nail sticker for longer lasting application. Worried that all these coats will be just like painting your fingernails? Don’t be! Base and top coats, like ManiMe’s Miracle Base Coat or Max Top Coat No. 2, are clear and fast drying - they dry up to 80% faster than regular nail polish

How do I know nail stickers will fit my nails?

Nail sticker fit is difficult since your nail shape, width, and length are as unique to you as your DNA, and even purchasing a pack that comes with 20 or 30 different sizes doesn’t always guarantee 10 perfect fit stickers for your nails. Trimming your stickers to make sure they will fit, or choosing a brand that offers a custom fit, like ManiMe, is really the only way to ensure the perfect fit for your own fingernails. What’s more, some people prefer nail stickers slighter smaller than their own nail size, or want different lengths at different times depending on their own nail length, so a brand that offers not just a custom fit, but allows for resizing like ManiMe, makes the most sense.

REMOVING NAIL STICKERS

Removal Process: How do you remove nail stickers? Is it easy?

Option 1: Soak in warm water

Soaking your fingernails in a small dish of warm water for 5-10 minutes and then using a cuticle stick to slowly lift and loosen is one way to remove. 

Option 2: Use nail polish remover

While nail polish remover can be harsh and toxic, it may be better to use a little with a q-tip to remove certain nail stickers depending on the component used to create the adhesion. 

Option 3: Use a nail cleanser

A nail cleanser is a better option than nail polish remover, and is applied to each nail and underneath as you slowly and gently peel off. ManiMe’s “Take it Off Nail Cleanser” is a gentle but effective South Korean formula that breaks down the adhesive in the sticker without harsh chemicals.

Option 4: Use cuticle or body oil

A cuticle oil or body oil is another great option that you may have around the house - apply to each nail and then apply more under each sticker as you carefully slowly peel it away.

Can I just peel off nail stickers when I’m done?

Removing nail stickers properly is key to ensuring your nails stay strong and healthy. Slowly peeling off the stickers with the help of warm water, cuticle oil or a nail cleanser is best - ripping them off or pulling them off quickly could result in damage to your nail bed. 

Can I reuse my nail stickers?

No, not typically - especially if properly removed, the adhesive in the nail sticker will break down, making it difficult to use again, but not impossible. 

ARE NAIL STICKERS SAFE TO USE?

What are nail stickers made of?

Most nail stickers today are made of vinyl or other plastics in various thicknesses, but some are made of paper or other gel like substances - regardless of the core materials, they all are made with an adhesive layer on one side and the color of nail art design on the other. 

Are all nail stickers made of the same material?

Yes and no - while the same basic components are often the same (an adhesive, and an outer layer that creates the color or finish), the quality and types of adhesive can differ greatly, as can the vinyl, plastic, or paper outer layer. Higher quality nail stickers, like ManiMe’s, are made out of a high quality gel developed in South Korea that is thicker than most nail stickers, allowing both solid colors and nail art to last longer. 

Are nail stickers bad for my health?

Stick-on gel manicures are one of the safest and most stylish options available for a manicure, since they limit exposure to toxins found in liquid nail polish, as well as chemicals and UV-lights most commonly used in salon treatments. 

Will nail stickers damage my nails?

If removed properly and you give your natural nails a break of a few days between applications, nail stickers cause little to no damage to your nails, and any slight damage will be short term. Using a strengthening and protective base coat can further minimize the risk of damaging your nails while using nail stickers.

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Available Colors, Designs & Finishes

Solid Colors

Nail stickers can be made in a huge variety of shades, hues and colors - some brands have very wide color selections and others have just a few, so be sure to shop around for your perfect shade if you’re seeking the perfect solid color.

Strawberry Mochi
Strawberry Mochi
Strawberry Mochi
Strawberry Mochi
Strawberry Mochi
Strawberry Mochi
Strawberry Mochi

Strawberry Mochi

$20.00
Venus Shell - NNN10
Venus Shell - NNN10
Venus Shell - NNN10
Venus Shell - NNN10
Venus Shell - NNN10
Venus Shell - NNN10
Venus Shell - NNN10
Venus Shell - NNN10
Venus Shell - NNN10
Venus Shell - NNN10

Venus Shell - NNN10

$20.00
Rose Petal
Rose Petal
Rose Petal
Rose Petal
Rose Petal
Rose Petal
Rose Petal
Rose Petal
Rose Petal
Rose Petal

Rose Petal

$7.00

Available Colors, Designs & Finishes

Glossy

 a high-shine finish 

Glitter

a sparkly finish due to glitter particles 

Shimmer

a pearlscent finish due to finely gound glitter particles

Matte

a no-shine, flat finish 

Available Colors, Designs & Finishes

Floral

Designs that feature a floral pattern or motifs 

Minimalist

Designs that only highlight the most essential elements 

Abstract

Designs “that ​​do not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but Instead use shapes, colors, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect” (Tate). 

Mix-and-Match or Mismatched

Designs that feature different colors, motifs, or designs on each finger. 

Trending Nail Art Styles

When you can't decide, you might as well wear it all! With mismatched manis, you can mix in designs, solids, special effects, and more.

Moons of Love
Moons of Love
Moons of Love
Moons of Love

Moons of Love

$25.00
Rays of Color
Rays of Color
Rays of Color
Rays of Color
Rays of Color
Rays of Color

Rays of Color

$25.00
Monochromatic Waves
Monochromatic Waves
Monochromatic Waves
Monochromatic Waves

Monochromatic Waves

$25.00

Purchasing Nail Stickers

Where can I buy nail stickers?

As nail stickers become more popular and mainstream, the number of retail stores and e-commerce platforms selling them is growing too. Many different styles made or 3D printed by hand can be found on platforms like Etsy, while a whole array of often little-known brands are available on Amazon.com. Increasingly mass market nail polish brands are making nail stickers, meaning you can find them in national pharmacies like Walgreens or CVS or big box stores like Walmart or Target. The best quality nail stickers popping up are often niche direct-to-consumer brands that sell online, like ManiMe.co, which allows them to offer custom fit nail stickers.

How much do nail stickers cost?

A set of nail stickers can cost anywhere from $7 to $40, depending on the design, fit, and quality.

What is the shelf life of nail stickers? Do they expire?

While the shelf life naturally depends on the material makeup of the man should be used within 6 months of purchasing. You’ll also want to store gels at a room temperature (between 68-86℉) for optimal performance, and keep away from light. Some brands recommend storing your nail stickers in an airtight container or bag.

CONCLUSION: Are nail stickers worth it?

If you’ve feel you understand everything you need to know and are reassured about what nail stickers are - and are someone looking for an easier, less expensive, longer-lasting, and less time consuming way to achieve a salon-quality manicure - than YES, nail stickers are worth it - go try them! You have almost nothing to lose if they don’t work for you - and if you’re still worried, look for a brand of nail stickers that you purchase directly from the retailer itself that offers a money-back guarantee if you don’t like them (there, really nothing to lose and only beautiful nails to gain!)