We all love a great manicure, but getting your nails done in an impressive way is sometimes easier said than done. For starters, scheduling a manicure requires that you take valuable time out of your day to visit the salon.
Manicures can be pricey, too. Plus, with the pandemic, paying professionals for a manicure comes with the added risk of potentially being infected by the virus, which is a major concern for everyone, especially the immunocompromised who may still want to practice social distancing.
Luckily, there are many other options beyond having to watch your latest manicure slowly chip away until it becomes embarrassingly nothing, or sloppily doing a rushed paint job at home. Nail stickers are the new at-home manicure and, no, these stickers are nothing like what you used in the 90s.
What Are Nail Stickers?
Nail stickers are a convenient way to get the look of a professional manicure, complete with extravagant nail art, without needing to go to the nail salon or use long, press-on, fake nails. Nail stickers or nail wraps are generally available at your favorite beauty store. They’re easy to apply and require no drying time.
While they might not always last as long as a “real” manicure, they do last at least a few days before they chip (and they’ll last even longer if you treat them with a top coat of clear nail polish). Plus, if you decide you want to remove them to swap up your look, you can do so easily as well.
Nail stickers and wraps come in a variety of options. Some are gel-based (for a longer-lasting DIY manicure), while others are more like traditional polish. Some are simple stickers that you can add to a clear or colored base coat for a little extra flair. Others are complete wraps that provide you with the full manicure look, with lots of design and intricate artwork, all in one stick-on sheet.
So, ready to get shopping? Here are our 17 top picks for best nail stickers and wraps!
Best Nail Stickers
What former 90s kid doesn’t love Lisa Frank? Elementary-age you would be proud to wear these nail wraps that are available from Ulta.
You get 20 nail wraps and a miniature nail file in each affordable package. Just select the nail strips that match your nail size, apply to the nail and stretch to fit, and then file away any excess.
For something similarly bold, try the glitter collection from Color Street. These highly-rated nail polish strips are known for being easier to apply and better-fitting than some of the other options on our list. Additionally, they’re extremely long-lasting.
In fact, they’re so long-lasting that you might find you need to buy some special acetone nail polish remover to get rid of them — but if you’re looking for a manicure that can stand up to some wear and tear, these do the trick.
What if you just want something flirty or fun to add atop your favorite base coat color? If you love painting your own nails a vibrant hue, but you’d like to liven things up a bit, try these Base Coat nail art decals that come in letters, symbols, astrology signs and more.
You get three sheets of decals with each purchase, plus a nail decal applicator and cuticle pusher. Do note, though, that applying these decals is a little bit more of a process than just slapping on a nail wrap like you might do with the options above.
You’ll need to gently soak each decal in water and then apply, before further applying two layers of clear nail polish atop the decal, to hold everything in place.
These nail art stickers are similarly best suited for wearing atop a colored base coat, but they’re a little more playful and a little less minimalistic. These snack time-inspired stickers feature fun designs, from tacos to ice cream cones to pizza slices. They’re one of the more affordable options on our list, too.
For nail wraps that aren’t glittery or vibrant, but more so minimalistic and artistic, try these nail wraps that are suitable for work wear. Each kit comes with 20 nail wraps, a file, buffer and cuticle stick. If you don’t happen to like this particular design, just peruse the other options from Nails of LA, for more modern, minimalistic options in lots of neutral tones.
Another budget-friendly pick, these Dashing Diva gloss gel nail polish strips claim to last up to 14 days. Plus, you get 34 strips in each package, instead of the standard 20. Additionally, some reviewers claim that the strips give your nails some extra strength, allowing you to go about growing your nails with fewer breakage or damage worries.
Another whimsical option, these nail art tattoos work just like a traditional, press-on temporary tattoo. Just remove the plastic sheet from atop the tattoo of your choosing, place it on your nail, press down on the tattoo with a damp tissue and hold. You’ll have a super-cool nail tattoo in seconds.
But what if you like your nail stickers to have a little more of a 3D quality? For some texture (and a lot of bling), try these nail stickers from MAC which feature red, gold, blue and holographic crystals.
While these nail stickers are definitely flashy, they unfortunately only come with 10 stickers per package, and the price is a little more expensive than what you’ll pay for nail stickers typically.
These adorable floral nail wraps give you an all-nail print, but the back of the wrap is transparent, so you can wear the floral print either by itself or over your favorite colored base coat. You can also use these particular wraps with not just your normal nails, but also artificial nails.
You will want to use a top coat for these nail wraps, but, otherwise, application is easy and removal just requires your average nail polish remover.
If you prefer to shop from small makers on Etsy, you can find nail polish wraps there as well. These cute and flirty wraps can actually be used both on fingernails and toenails, and they come with all of the long-lasting durability that you typically would get with a gel manicure.
With each package, you get 38 nail strips, so you can do both a manicure and a pedicure with one purchase. To apply, just clean your nails, stick on the nail strip, trim off the excess with the included file and you’re good to go.
The coolest thing about ManiMe? While all of the above nail stickers and gels are designed with the average user in mind, as one-size-fits-all, ManiMe takes a different approach.
Instead of making you fit the basic gel to your nail and cut it down to size, they send you gels and strips that are designed for your specific nails. Each nail kit is uniquely designed for the individual customer, and each set of nail stickers are laser cut to fit your exact nail shape.
All you need to do is upload five photos of your nails when you first sign up to the website. Also, unlike the other options that require nail polish remover or soaking to remove your stickers, ManiMe gels come off just by peeling. On their own, they last 10 days, but they last longer with a top coat.
Love the look of a coat of glitter over your favorite base coat, but hate actually applying (and then removing) that messy glitter? These Incoco nail polish strips make things easier. They feature a brush of glitter over a clear background, so you can add a glittery accent to all of your favorite base coat colors.
But the Incoco brand doesn’t just allow you to add a splash of glitter to your favorite color. The brand also offers a French manicure option that allows you to create a flawless French manicure without all the layering and attempting to create a straight line.
You will, though, need to do two applications with these particular strips. The traditional white French tip comes first, and then there’s a clear strip that you place atop it. It’s still an easy process, but just takes twice the time as applying a single nail sticker.
But what if you don’t necessarily need a manicure all that often? What if you’d rather get a pedicure, every time? There’s no need to purchase a stick-on manicure set in order to get the pedicure strips that may or may not come with it. You can purchase a stand-alone, stick-on pedicure kit from Dashing Diva.
These gel nail strips last for up to two weeks. You get 22 gel nail strips in 11 sizes, plus a Vitamin E prep pad to clean your nails from oils and residues before application.
Tough Girl nail polish strips are made without any plastic or PVC. They’re made from only real, high-quality nail polish. Since the strips are designed to be tougher than your average nail stickers, the company will send you replacement stickers for free if your first set comes off earlier than expected.
The only downsides? You will need to use a top coat for added protection, and you’ll have to avoid getting your nails too wet for about eight hours after applying. Additionally, you shouldn’t use lotion or sunscreen while wearing the nail strips.
These nail stickers are designed for the true beginners in mind, who can’t paint their nails to save their lives. You can lift and reposition the nail stickers as needed, just in case your first attempt isn’t as straight as you’d like.
You will want to use an LED lamp to cure your nails after application, though, so you might not want to go this route if you don’t already have a manicure lamp like this on hand.
If you like the idea of using small nail art stickers atop a base coat (versus wraps or full-nail stickers), but if you’re having a bit of trouble deciding which theme you want to go with and you don’t have a big budget to boot, here’s your solution. This affordable pack of nail art stickers comes with 50 sheets of stickers, or more than 1,100 individual stickers. Butterflies, flowers, Christmas and Halloween are all themes that are available on Amazon.
When you’re ready to apply the stickers to your real or fake nails, just remove the sticker film, dip the sticker into water for about 20 seconds and then place it on your nail using tweezers. Apply a top coat and you’re ready to go.
A Few Quick Tips to Send You on Your Way
Did one of the above nail sticker options catch your eye? Add them to your beauty routine today. No matter which manicure alternative you choose, though, here are a few quick tips for easier application.
- Always apply nail stickers and wraps to clean, dry fingernails.
- Give your nails a quick blow dry with a hair dryer before application, to clean away any unseen dust or residue.
- File your nails before application, to remove any ridges or bumps.
- Try not to touch the back of the sticker or tattoo with your fingers.
- Smooth the sticker out to remove all air bubbles after you place the sticker on your nail.
- Use a top coat if you can.
- Avoid water and heat for a little while, after application.
Who knows? After you try nail stickers like these for the first time, you may just find that you never need to go back to the nail salon again!
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The 17 Best Nail Stickers:
- Orly x Lisa Frank Nail Wraps
- Color Street Glitters
- Base Coat Nail Art Set
- Olive & June Nail Art Stickers
- The Artist Nail Wraps
- Dashing Diva Gloss Gel Nail Polish Strips
- Inked by Dani Color Nail Art Tattoos
- MAC Cosmetics Aute Cuture Nail Adornments
- SCRATCH’s Freshly Picked Nail Wraps
- VIKA NAIL Gel Nail Strips
- ManiMe Stick On Gels
- Incoco Nail Polish Strips
- Incoco French Manicure
- Dashing Diva Gel Pedicures
- Tough Girl Nail Polish Strips
- Semi Cured Gel Nail Stickers
- Kingmas 50 Sheet Nail Art Stickers