Whether you’re into creating your own at-home mani-pedis or are all about the DIY nail art trend, there is no shortage of accessible nail-care (and nail-flair) products. But, as much as you might love seeing your collection of nail polish bottles stacked neatly in a salon-worthy display, there sometimes isn’t enough time to wait for your manicure to dry. This is where nail wraps and stickers come in.
“Nail wraps are a great way to get a curated manicure without the annoying dry time of regular lacquer, and they can be applied quickly which makes them a great option for last-minute parties or events,” says Juli Russell, a DIY nail expert for Sally Beauty. From classic solids and French tip styles to more unique, Instagram-worthy designs, the options for nail wraps are virtually endless. Add in nail decorations like stickers, gemstones, and decals, and you're able to give yourself a completely custom look without the tedious work and dry time.
The best nail stickers and wraps, at a glance:
- Best overall: Paintbucket The Concrete Jungle Nail Wrap Bundle ($27)
- Best on Amazon: ohora Semi Cured Gel Nail Strips ($16)
- Best nail art for minimalists: Artips Mani Nail Wrap Kits ($8)
- Best nail are for maximalists: ORLY® x Lisa Frank® Zoomer & Zorbit™ Nail Wraps ($12)
- Best French tip nail wraps: Nail Bliss by Dashing Diva Thick French Wrap Plus ($20)
- Best nail art stickers: Qdsuh Graffiti Fun Nail Art Stickers ($9)
- Best nail tattoos: Inked by Dani Color Nail Art ($10)
- Best nail gem stickers: ULTA Nail Gems You're Pearlfection ($12)
- Best nail wraps for wide nails: Tough Girls Nail Polish Strips ($8)
- Best nail stickers for small nails: Deco Miami Nail Art Sticker Sheet ($10)
- Best custom: Simply Crystal Finds Custom Nail Stickers ($12)
- Best nail wraps for toes: Dashing Diva Glaze Pedicure Pink Fleur ($10)
- Best semi-cured gel nail strips: DANNI & TONI Semi Cured Gel Nail Strips ($17)
- Best nail polish set: Nails Inc. Live Your Zest Life Nail Polish and Stickers Set ($16)
- Best stencils for French tips: ORLY Half Moon Guides ($6)
- Best variety pack: Maitys 16 Sheets Glitter Nail Wraps ($9)
- Best 3D nail stickers: KTAABTR 3D Heart Nail Charms ($9)
Are nail wraps better than nail polish?
In the case of whether or not nail wraps are better than nail polish, the jury is still out because, according to An Cao, an editorial nail artist and educator at ORLY, “it really depends on what look you’re going for.” Cao says, for the most part, nail wraps and polish are the same since both don’t ruin or damage the nails. The main difference—and reason to choose one over the other—is that polish often has a lot more plain color options to choose from, whereas nail wraps are more design or nail art-focused.
With that said, some might prefer nail wraps because there is very little drying time involved and they’re just as easy to remove as nail polish. “Most nail wraps can be removed with regular lacquer remover, so you don’t run into damage risks with removal like other nail enhancements [such as] acrylics,” Russell explains.
What to look for in stickers and wraps
When shopping for nail stickers and wraps, Nina Park, nail artist and founder of SCRATCH, says to look for pliability, print quality, and the removal process. She also says to look at texture and adhesion to determine whether a nail wrap or sticker is high-quality. Additionally, you’ll want to look at the overall size and shape of the wraps, too.
One of the most important factors in a nail wrap or sticker is pliability. “The more pliable the nail wraps are, the more likely they will lay flush with the nail,” says Park. “This is important because if there are gaps or wrinkles, the wraps are more likely to peel up since dirt, water, or oils will creep in and compromise the seal and adhesion,” she explains.
Whether you’re going for a more solid look or you prefer a dash of nail art, Park also says to consider the print quality of nail wraps and stickers. “This is especially important when selecting nail wraps with designs,” she explains, adding how some details and images can appear pixelated, which can detract from the appearance of the nail art and thus impact the overall quality of the product.
Some nail wraps and stickers will easily remove with nail polish remover, which Park says is preferred, while others might require soaking nails in oil to remove or purchasing an additional removal solvent. Whatever you do, do not follow instructions that say to “gently” peel off nail wraps and stickers. According to Park, “this can actually damage the nail plate or peel off layers of your nail.”
“Nail wraps should feel like polish that is almost dry—smooth, buttery, and slightly tacky—not like thick plastic or paper,” Park explains. She notes that these qualities are important because, “they directly impact how flush a nail wrap will lay on the nail.” The overall hug of the wrap is important because this will make it appear like real nail polish vs. sticker nails.
When applying nail wraps to your nailbed, Park says they should be, “slightly tacky or squishy so that you’re able to press down firmly on the nail wrap to create a tighter seal, which should create a barrier from dirt, water, or oils, which will elongate wear time.”
Size and shape
The size and shape of nail polish strips and stickers also matter. “When picking nail wraps, choose a size and shape that best matches your own nail shape,” says Russell. “If in between sizes, choose a smaller size and stretch it to fit as best as possible—this will give you the best result and longest wear time,” she adds. And depending on the nail wraps, you can cut them down for a more custom fit.
How to use nail wraps
The directions for how to use nail wraps can vary depending on the brand and product type. That said, most nail wraps will require starting with a fresh canvas—aka, clean nail surfaces free of dirt, debris, and grime. From there, you’ll choose which wraps fit each nail so you’re not scrambling as you go. Most high-quality nail wraps will come with more than you need in a variety of sizes so you can achieve custom nails.
Once you have your selections, start with your thumb and apply the sticker starting at the base of the nail (just above the cuticle), and press firmly. Using your finger or a cuticle pusher, gently smooth out any air bubbles to give it a more slick look. Then, fold the excess over the nail’s tips and allow the nail wrap to sit for a moment to strengthen the adhesive bond. After a couple of seconds, take an emery board and file off the excess from the tip of your nail—it should detach easily. For a longer-lasting finish, some nail wraps will suggest adding a clear top coat once you’re happy with how they look (Psst: our favorite is the ORLY Shining Armor Long Wear Topcoat ($11) which has a high-gloss and gel-like finish.)
17 best nail wraps and stickers
Paintbucket’s option gets the No. 1 spot. We love this option because it’s formulated from real and non-toxic nail polish, which means it has a more authentic appearance when applied to the nail and can be easily removed with acetone when you’re ready to try something new. It also comes in a pack of three with two solid colors and one minimalist nail-art design, so you can mix and match and get more variety in your at-home manicure. While it comes with a file for removing the excess strip on the end of the nail, we wish it came with a wooden cuticle pusher, which can be helpful when applying the nail wrap to the nailbed and help smooth out any air bubbles. Nonetheless, they’re pretty much perfect.
- Pack of three for variety
- Made from real nail polish, so they’re easy to remove.
- Cuticle pusher not included
Best on Amazon
For salon-worthy nails, consider our top pick for the best nail wraps on Amazon, the ohora Semi Cured Gel Nail Strips. These nail wraps have a gel-like look and feel with a semi-cured finish, making them an easy solution to at-home gel manicures. Available in 25 different colors and patterns, the nail wraps boast a ton of value considering how much it costs for a gel manicure at a salon compared to their $16 price tag. And, while you do need to purchase the curing light separately, you’ll get lots of use out of it as you play around with all the at-home gel manicure looks from Ohora.
- Great value
- Available in 25 colors and patterns
- Professional quality
- Takes longer to apply compared to other nail wraps
- Curing light sold seperately
Best nail art for minimalists
If you love nail art but prefer something a little more minimal, the Artips Mani Nail Wraps Kit is a must-try. These nail wraps feature a chic and sophisticated nail art design that is suitable for all sorts of occasions, including the office, weddings, and more. They are also made from non-toxic and 10-free gel coating, which gives them a glossy, salon-quality finish. While the brand says there is no dry time and you can just stick them on and go, we recommend adding a layer of top coat to protect them from daily activities, as consistent interaction with water and oil can cause them to peel if applied on their own. When sealed with a top coat, the nail wraps are long-lasting and durable.
- Easy to apply
- Non-toxic and 10-free
- Contain real gel coating for high-quality finish
- They only come in one color option
Best nail art for maximalists
Y2K style is back—which means so is Lisa Frank. We have worn these ORLY® x Lisa Frank® Zoomer & Zorbit™ Nail Wraps a few times and are always impressed by the overall quality of the wraps. Aside from the most fun and maximalist nail-art design, the wraps are made with quality in mind and don’t budge when sealed with a top coat (seriously, we had them on for four weeks.) Additionally, they’re ultra-easy to remove and require just a little bit of nail polish remove to lift away from the nails so you can start fresh with a different design (may we suggest the ORLY® x Lisa Frank® Kitten Bubbles™ Gel Nail Strips or perhaps the entire collection of Lisa Frank Gel Nail Strips?)
- Cute design
- Last up to one month (with top coat over them)
- Remove easily
- You need to use a wooden cuticle stick to push the edges down, otherwise they might lift up after a few days of regular activity.
Best French tip nail wraps
You can get the most gorgeous, salon-inspired French manicure at home with this kit from Sally Beauty. The Nail Bliss by Dashing Diva Thick French Wrap Plus comes highly recommended for its value (you get 10 manicures for under $20), quality, and how fast and easy they are to apply. While they are on the thicker side—which might not be preferred by everyone—this allows them to create a gel or acrylic-like finish that is long-lasting, highly durable, and oh-so chic.
- Enough wraps for 10 French manicures
- Easy to apply
- Thicker compared to other wraps
Best nail art stickers
If you’re drawn to the chic abstract art nail art trends on Instagram but don’t know how to create your own designs at home, get the Qdsuh Graffiti Fun Nail Art Stickers. This pack is under $10 and comes with more than enough stickers to create multiple custom looks that feel trendy, cool, and sophisticated. Inspired by abstract artwork—including line art and funky color palettes—the nail stickers are also easy to apply and made of eco-friendly and non-toxic materials. And, while they are on the small side, you can layer them or add multiples to one nailbed for a more personalized look.
- Easy to use
- Multiple, custom looks
- Eco-friendly and non-toxic
Best nail tattoos
Just like traditional temporary tattoos for the skin, these nail stickers apply with a little bit of water for a long-lasting solution to nail art. The sticker pack comes with all sorts of adorable decals, too, including trendy options like mushrooms, cacti, smile faces, and crescent moons. And, with a layer of top coat, they are completely waterproof and stay put until you’re ready to remove them.
- Cute and trendy
- Waterproof and easy to apply
- Work on top of bare nails, polish, wraps, and gel polishes.
Best nail gem stickers
To add a touch of flair to your manicure—whether you have nail wraps, gels, or bare nailbeds—we love the ULTA Nail Gems You’re Pearlfection sticker sheets. These gem stickers come in a pack of three and feature hearts and stars in a variety of colors, along with 3D pearl decals for an elevated touch. Whether you’re creating a DIY wedding manicure and want to add a bit of timeless sparkle or are capitalizing on the internet’s pearl infatuation, these nail stickers are a fun way to create a unique look on your manicure with very little fuss—simply stick them on and apply a top coat to secure for long-wear.
- Cute and trendy
- Has both stickers and pearl gems
- Work on top of bare nails, polish, wraps, and gel polishes
- Matte finish
Best nail wraps for wider nails
The best thing about nail wraps is they come in a variety of sizes with enough extras so you can find the perfect fit. However, if you have wide nails, the Tough Girls Nail Polish Strips are our favorite, since they have more size variety—with more wide options—compared to other brands. In addition to their size, these high-quality nail wraps are highly durable, come with everything you need to apply (including cleaning wipes, a wooden cuticle tool, and a nail file), and they are available in 113 different colors and patterns so you have endless options to choose from when creating an at-home nail wrap manicure.
- Variety of sizes and widths
- Come in over 100 different colors and patterns
- Includes cleaning wipes, a wooden cuticle tool, and a nail file
- Thicker than other wraps
Best nail stickers for small nails
If you have small nails—or are looking for a fun way to spruce up your manicure—the Deco Miami Nail Art Sticker Sheet features stickers in the ideal size for your nailbed. With three collections to choose from, you can create a nail art-worthy custom manicure with adorable smiley faces, butterflies, flowers, and emojis. We love them because they’re super versatile. You can layer them on top of bare nails for a naked look, or add them to your gel nails or nail wraps with a layer of top coat to seal them in place.
- Cute and trendy
- Three design collections to choose from
- High-quality and long-lasting
- Maximalist, which might not be for everyone
Whether you’re wanting to create a set of custom nail wraps for bachelorette party gifts or are looking for the perfect nail art for a costume party, you can have tons of fun with the Simply Crystal Finds Custom Nail Stickers from Etsy. These custom nail wraps are created from a premium vinyl, the stickers are also highly durable, long-lasting, and easy to apply. You can add your own words and imagery with dozens of colors and fonts to choose from for an added personal touch. Since it is a custom product, the creator sends you a mockup of your design before creating the final manicure set, so you’ll know what to expect upon delivery.
- Variety of fonts and colors to choose from
- Long shipping times
Best nail wraps for toes
Nail wraps aren’t just for manicures. You can create a toenail art look at home with the Dashing Diva Glaze Pedicure, which comes in a wide variety of hues. This set features 33 wraps so you can easily find which sizes match your toenails for that perfect polish-like fit. Additionally, it comes with everything necessary, including a file and wooden cuticle stick to rub out any air bubbles, for an easy and precise application. And, while it does need to cure under an LED light to finish, these wraps don’t require any additional base or top coat to finish, making them all the more convenient to apply.
- Created specifically with pedicure and toenail sizing in mind
- Variety of widths and sizes
- Includes a file and wooden cuticle stick for application
- They need to cure under an LED light.
Best semi-cured gel nail strips
If you want the gel nail look without dealing with actual gels or press-on nails, the DANNI & TONI Semi-Cured Gel Nail Strips are an excellent way to go. These nail wraps are created from real gel polish that is semi-cured so—with the help of a UV light—you can create a salon-worthy look from home. And, with an under $20 price tag, they’re much more cost-effective than a salon gel manicure, too. Additionally, the wraps come in 38 different colors and patterns, including some strong basics like a classic pink French tip, as well as fun nail art like polka dots and an extra terrestrial-inspired design.
- Salon-worthy gel look
- More budget-friendly than actual gel manis
- Come in 38 different colors and patterns
- Not ideal for larger nails.
- Need UV light to fully cure
Best nail polish set
Add a little twist to your manicure with this adorable nail polish set from Nails. Inc. The Live Your Zest Life Nail Polish and Stickers Set come with two long-wear nail polish bottles in a soft baby pink and vibrant yellow (perfect for spring!) along with a set of lemon nail stickers so you can create a custom nail art look. Add an accent nail with the stickers or reach for a nail art tool to create pink polka dots on top of the yellow polish for a spring-inspired manicure look.
- It comes with two nail polish colors along with fun decals.
- You can create a cohesive custom manicure.
- The nail polish formulas are long wear.
- We wish you could choose the nail polish colors for a more customized set.
Best sticker stencils for French tips
You can also use nail stickers as a stencil to create classic looks like French tips. If you want to create a traditional French manicure with nail polish, we recommend the ORLY Half Moon Guides, which you can snag from Amazon for under $6 a pop. The kit comes with 78 stickers, allowing you to create multiple manicures with it, and makes French tips possible with very little effort. With that said, since it is a sticker, you’ll want to be careful about using a base polish first. We recommend creating the French tip first and then adding your layer of glossy top coat after. If you want to go for a more colorful base, you still can, but wait until the polish is fully dried before applying the sticker as it can damage uncured polish.
- Easy to apply
- Professional quality
- Since they are stickers, you can’t apply a base color when using them
Best variety pack
If you want to purchase a variety pack, consider the Maitys 16 Sheets Glitter Nail Wraps, which feature 16 different color glitter manicure sets. The nail wraps come in five different color schemes—including one with brighter colors as well as more classic shades—and are made from durable sticker material that lays flat on the nail and creates a professional look. On top of that, the value of these nail wraps is incredible, as each set costs around 50 cents apiece. While they don’t stick well on their own, a layer of top coat can keep them in place for longer wear and give them a glossy gel-like finish.
- Good value
- Can mix-and-match
- They also work on toenails
- They don’t stick well on their own and require a top coat
Best 3D nail stickers
3D nail art is one of the biggest nail trends of the year, and these heart charms are a fantastic way to give the trend a try at home. Available in all sorts of colors—including a fun glow-in-the-dark option—the charms are designed to stick to gel or acrylic nails and stick on with a little bit of nail glue, just like rhinestones. Wear them on their own or pair them with other 3D decals (they also come in flowers, bows, and butterflies) to create your own DIY 3D nail art look.
- Cute and trendy
- Unique alternative to gems and decals
- They work best with UV cured nail polish and acrylics
- You need to use nail glue to apply
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