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How To Apply Nail Polish Stickers & Get Gel Result


How many of you were curious about these Gel Nail Polish stickers specially when we hit this Pandemic lives and all our favorite Nail Salons shut down.

I was one of them for sure. I finally bought them for my thanksgiving break where I was traveling to a beach destination. But, it just didn’t work.

But I did not give up. I wanted to try a few more times and really wanted to see how to make them last. 

Sharing a step by step tutorial of how you can use it, and also sharing some types of stickers that would do better than other and my trick that makes it last for more than 2 weeks.

Are Gel Polish Stickers Good For Your Nails?

Gel Polish are somewhat harmful for your nails in the long run as it can peel your nail enamel if not removed properly and thus making your nails brittle.

Gel Polish Stickers have a sticker like adhesive, so they come off easily too. You can just apply nail polish remover and peel them off. So, the removal is less time consuming, but the since it comes in a sticker form, it lasts longer than normal nail paint.

Cost of Gel Polish Stickers

These stickers come in very different price point but are really cheap and a great alternative to paying like a $100 for a good shellac in the nail salon. Of course, that cost also includes the service. 

I found some really inexpensive ones from Amazon under $15. 

Sally Hansen and now other brands are also coming up with their versions specially now that a lot of us can’t head to nail salon to get them done.

If you get a Gel kit, a decent one would cost you around $30. So, you can clearly see that these are a cost effective option.

Why Use Them In The First Place?

I hate to wait like an hour or more for my nail polish to dry and then clean up my cuticles for any spills which adds to more time. 

While I would not mind doing that, at times it just becomes a hassle.

You already know my thoughts on Gel Polishes, I usually get them done once a while because I hate the thickness of the gel painted on my nails first as my nails are not flat in general.

And there is the whole side effect to your nail enamel which I spoke about earlier.

The Steps I Follow to Apply Them

I usually pick a color that would match my toes as well, but this is completely optional.

Materials Used

  1. Gel Polish Stickers
  2. Cuticle Cutter (This is to cut the excess if any on your skin, explained later).
  3. Nail Filer (Comes with most stickers)
  4. Base Coat
  5. Sally Hansen Gel Top Coat (My secret weapon)

Step 1: Clean Nails

I cannot stress on this one, the first time I tried this, the stickers peeled off in an hour, I mean I did make another mistake that I will share later. But, because I had not cleaned my cuticles. 

There are also nail cleaner liquids that you can buy from Ulta beauty, which will clean the nail and get rid of any oils or residue on your nails, but its key that you remove excess cuticles.

Step 2: Cut them Apart

This step will make it easier to match them with your particular nail size. These stickers come in very generic sizes and you would need to adjust and pick ones that fit your nails approximately

Step 3: Base Coat

This was the step I had skipped the first time and it costed me. You need to have a base coat layer before you can paste the stickers because that will act as a barrier from the oil on your nails. 

This was the main reason my stickers peeled off so fast the first time.

Let the base coat dry completely. You can do the touch test.

Step 4: Peel Off

Peeling anything is always so satisfying, isn’t it. I love it. Now, I use a tweezer to peel the stickers from the backing because they are delicate and you might touch more than what you will cut off, so its better to be a bit delicate. 

Step 5: Smoothen It

Place it on the center back near the skin of the nail and then work your to the front and side, smoothening it like you would when you apply a wall paper to the wall.

Doesn’t it feel the same?

Step 6: Bend The Excess

You would need to bend the excess on the front of your nails to touch your fingers, so that you can easily see the edge of your nails.

I prefer short nails, I literally can’t type with long nails, but if you have longer nails, this step is easier.

Step 7: File & Cut

Now use the file and work your way from top to bottom, and start over, don’t file it like you would file a nail, don’t go back and forth. It has to be one stroke at a time. 

This will help the nail polish sticker to stay and strengthen the glue and wont chip at the top.

Use the cuticle cutter, to cut any excess sticker around your fingers. Don’t leave it overlapping your cuticles. It will peel. 

Step 8: Finishing Touch

Use the Sally Hansen Gel Top Coat that you can find in any drug store and apply a thin coat on top of the sticker. 

This creates a chip resistant coating and will help the sticker to last longer. 

This will actually dry faster than regular polish for some reason. Mine dried in like 5 minutes. I was able to rub my nails after than without any problems.

What not To Do

There are a few things I have learnt from this and some mistakes that I will not do again. One of them is buying the wrong kind of stickers.

Pastel colored stickers are more paper like which means they lay completely flat on your nails and will last longer. 

Anything with more sheen like the one I am wearing will not last longer because it feels like a gel itself. This also makes it easier to tear while applying or peeling off quicker.

Since I have more of lifted nails, I should have stuck to smaller sized stickers and would have had an easier application. I would not need to use the cuticle. So, if you have more of lifted nails, the please pick a bot smaller stickers.

These stickers look the best on more longer nails, So maybe grow your nails a bit longer than usual. 

This way the application is easier and the result is better.

Checkout some classy nail ideas which you can create using nail stickers.


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About Suchi

A Techie turned Fashion blogger, I have been in your shoes. I have gone from looking like I was trying to fit into my teen clothes, to now a stylist and blogger known to be classy and elevated style. I can help you look your best without spending too much time, effort and money into your wardrobe. 

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