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Instant Manicure or Pedicure: Is there hope in a nail polish strip?

BlogBeauty Student Advice, Beauty Tips, Fashion Trends, How To's | January 23, 2012

No more chipped nails, endless applications of polish or expensive, long visits at nail salons?– that’s the premise and promise of the latest fad from the nail world. They are known as nail decals, appliqués, or strips. Just imagine- you simply choose the color or pattern of preference, peel, stick, and voila! You’ll have pretty, trendy nails to show off for 2 weeks. Sounds like a manicure miracle, so what’s the deal? Minx Nails ( started the idea when celebs such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Beyonce sported the look on magazine covers. When those folks try something, the world follows!

Nail Decals

Well, the trend keeps growing as word spreads of their simplicity, value, and plain old fun. They’re everywhere, and with good reason. Nail appliqués offer color choices and patterns for all ages and are available as strips, foils, decals or stickers. The cost per package ranges from $4-$15, depending on vendor and quality. You get value for the dollar, as they are often offered in packs of 12-20 strips in various sizes, with cuticle sticks and a buffer included. You can buy them at beauty supply stores, drug stores, and online.

There’s some debate out there about how easy these are to apply, but the reviews are in and the results say… users want to keep on sticking! Here are the usual basic steps, taken mostly from Trend Tips by Sephora by OPI:

Select the size that best fits your nail.
-Remove the top clear film.
-Peel the nail polish strip from backing paper
-Place strip on nail.
-Firmly smooth until wrinkle-free.
-Crease strip at nail edge and file off excess in a gentle, downward motion.
-Remove with polish remover.

Which one to pick? Well, most people will surely choose adhesive nail art by their mood or personality (cheetah, stripes and dots are hot now). And as trends go, ideas develop quickly: you can also get appliqués for your toes! So if you’re a bit shy about this process, try them on your feet first.

The basic guidelines for each are:Nail Applique

Foils: Most likely the Cadillac of nail applications. Actual thin foil is used and applied by placing a foil adhesive onto bare or artificial nails. The foil goes on next; nail is rubbed firmly, and then the foil strips are pulled away to reveal the formed artwork. Adhere with heat or a clear topcoat to seal. These last the longest, between 2-6 weeks. Check out, and watch a video tutorial here. Cool and inspiring!

Strips: This stick-on nail polish method exploded onto the scene with drug store brands like Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. Made of actual nail polish, just pick your size, press on, rub smooth, and trim edges to fit. Remove with polish remover after 2 weeks. So easy! Click on this video link: Salon Effects for a close-up how-to.

Stickers: Just that- regular stickers, but small and pre-shaped for nails. They usually have whimsical patterns like flowers, and some have gems. Put them on, press, and rub to smooth. Use a file to remove any excess. Can last 7-10 days with care. So cute and easy that children use them too!

Decals: Similar to stickers, but decals need to be placed onto a painted nail with a basecoat. They tend to be used as accent pieces, like a waterfall. They are first dipped in water to slide the decal off of base paper. Place on nail, absorb water with cotton, smooth and dry. Protect with topcoat and file. Remove after 7 days with polish remover. See more here: French Tip Decals

Most people will try this nail art themselves. The good news for cosmetologists and manicurists is that this trend can boost business when offered as a service. Having the application done by a pro can be a godsend for clients not feeling the creativity for the do-it-yourself route, and salons work it between other services because it’s a quick routine. Plus, it’s a sure bet for return clients because they’ll want to change the look often.

Once you see these sticky solutions, you’ll surely be intrigued. Remember, nails are today’s hottest fashion accessory. So dress to impress- the possibilities are endless!

Hey nail trend readers, what are your experiences with these nail stickers? Do you recommend or not? What are your favorites? We can’t wait to hear what you think!

Written by Empire Beauty School

Empire Beauty School is a leading cosmetology and beauty educator with 89 beauty schools and cosmetology schools in the United States. Empire Beauty School offers a variety of beauty programs and cosmetology courses including cosmetology, esthetics, make-up artistry, and cosmetology educator training.

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