Nail Stickers Are The Beauty Hack To Get On Right Now




I cannot get over how many different things you can do to set your nails apart from everyone else’s. From paint to gel, to acrylics and press-on nails there is much to choose from; that’s putting it lightly.

Recently, nail stickers were brought back to my attention. The teeny images in designs I could only dream of actually painting work well, taking into account that I don’t have hours to sit and paint the pictures on myself or spend hundreds of dollars getting them done.

With nail stickers all you have to do is paint the base of the nail, peel the sticker off, press it down and paint a clear top coat over it. Nail stickers are a fantastic way to cut to the chase and get your favorite popular nail art designs in minutes rather than hours.

Thinking back, I remember when Sally Hansen released their first nail wraps. I had one set of them in green and black zebra stripes and another in bright pink cheetah spots (I know what you’re thinking, how trendy). When my mom brought them home, I got so excited. A fancy design I had never been able to have before, instead of a plain coat of pink or purple? Yes.

Types Of Nail Stickers

Nail stickers come in two general forms: decals and appliques.

Nail decals are the small designs that can accent the plain background of a painted nail. They are handy when you want something fast and pretty. They come in different styles but are typically applied with water, like that of a temporary tattoo. Also called water slide decals, they are usually thin to the touch and easy to use.

Nail appliques cover your entire nail and are a great alternative to actual nail polish. They are usually oval, and the idea of them lands somewhere along the lines of wrapping a gift, tending to their other name: nail wraps.

Nail stickers come in other forms too, although they are less common. For example, 3-D designs and rhinestones are timeless and worth mention. These are typically applied with nail glue if they do not have adhesive on them already.

Nail Sticker Design Inspo

While nail stickers come in a multitude of styles, it can be helpful to see what matches your style. Here are some popular options, but keep in mind these aren’t the only ones!

Cheetah print has made a comeback in recent months, and the trend is now hitting the nail art scene. The design can be done in several different colors, especially the aesthetically pleasing neon options! You can get the look at home by using nail decals like the multi-colored ones offered on Amazon.

For those who prefer edgier designs, these dragon-style appliques work perfectly! Lucky Moose is a brand that offers nail wraps and appliques in a variety of options! This combination uses red marble designs, chain link designs, and dragon scales. Gorgeous and just in time for “Game of Thrones.”



Holographic nails have been an item in the beauty market for quite some time, but you haven’t seen them like this! These holographic nail stickers are the perfect accent to any basic manicure and are my personal favorites.

Holographic triangles are one way to achieve the look in a manner that is not just stylish, but also budget-friendly and straightforward.

View this post on Instagram

〰️ Abstract nail art trend 🖤🙃

A post shared by Imarninails (@imarninails) on

Abstract nail art is trendy right now, and while it may appear challenging to attain do not despair! Nail stickers can get you there in a snap. Achieve the look with nail wraps in abstract designs, or create your abstract art with nail tape in bright colors. Amazon has a ton of different color options for nail tape.

Sheer florals are a beautiful new look for floral lovers everywhere! Also called jelly nails, the see-through trend is just in time for spring. It is a new favorite of mine. Their appearance is similar to those little suspended flower nicknacks you can find in a souvenir shop. While they look to be particularly complicated in design, nail decals are the perfect way to complete the look at home. Use a clear press-on nail and some floral or butterfly water slide decals with base and top coats above and below. Voila! Amazon offers many different floral decal options, get them here.



For our ladies who love more chic nail options, nail designs that include color-blocking are key. These stylish black and rose gold nails make our hearts leap!

Accents like 3-D stick-on studs are perfect for making the look stand out. Amazon offers golden nail studs at the link above to achieve a look worthy of the salon.

View this post on Instagram

Client-favorite Holding Pattern in cerulean + white.🌊

A post shared by Paintbox (@paintboxnails) on

Geometric nail art is gaining popularity in recent weeks, and we love it! The even spacing of lines and triangles relating to the shape of the nail itself aesthetically pleases no matter the color. Amazon offers geometric nail wraps in easy-to-apply colors.

Ombré is a gradual shift of dark to light colors and is a design we adore on nails! The nail art has become increasingly common, and we appreciate them because they are subtle, yet daring. You don’t have to be concerned about clashing colors with this trend and can easily enjoy all your favorite hues! To get the look at home, try Jamberry’s ombré nail wraps!

How To Apply Nail Stickers

Water decals require three items for application: water, tweezers and the sticker itself.

To apply water slide nail decals, use the following steps!

  1. Apply your base coat to the nail, and follow with your color of choice. This is extremely important when applying a water decal because you want the image to transfer evenly to the base nail.

  2. Take your decal sheet and select your wanted design. Cut it carefully out of the sheet and hold with tweezers.

  3. Remove the plastic! Just like with a temporary tattoo, you can’t transfer the image with plastic covering it. Don’t forget!

  4. Using tweezers, dip the decal in water for 7 seconds or so. This will allow the image to become transferable.

  5. Carefully peel the image from the decal sheet, and place it on your nail. It should adhere pretty quickly. Make sure it applies evenly.

  6. Paint it over with a clear top coat. Enjoy your beautifully detailed nails!

Appliques typically only require four items to apply correctly: a cuticle pusher to ensure a flat nail bed, a nail file or emery board to shape the nails, nail scissors to cut the appliques following application and the appliques themselves. Sometimes acetone is an excellent thing to have on hand as well, to prepare and clean the nail’s surface before use.

Here are the best steps to follow for application of your nail appliques!

  1. Cleanse the surface of the nail thoroughly. Although soap and warm water work well for this purpose if you have residual polish make sure you wipe the nail down with acetone first!

  2. Shape your nails with the nail file! This makes it easier to determine where you will need to cut the applique after adhering it to your nail.

  3. Remove the nail applique from the cardboard page, and carefully apply it to the nail bed. Ensure when you remove it, no rips occur. The best way to use the applique to the nail is by lining the edge with your cuticle and smoothing it upwards, leaving no bubbles of air.  

  4. When the applique is smoothed onto the nail bed, trim the edges with the nail scissors. This will ensure no leftover bits of the design will inhibit the rest of the application and wear. The emery board and cuticle pusher can also be used to complete the shaping, but that comes down to your preferences.

So what do we think?

We love nail stickers because they not only are super cute, but also save us time and money. They may last up to two or three weeks if correctly applied and are much easier to use than raw paint for today’s trending nail art designs. You don’t have to be an artist to have the trendiest looks in nail art anymore! Nail decals and wraps look just as beautiful as hand-painted designs and are much more cost-effective! We can’t wait to see what happens for nail stickers in the future, but for now we hope they stick around!