Stick-on Manicures Last Just As Long As Gels With None of the Damage to Your Nails

Photo: Getty Images/Egor Novikov / EyeEm
I love gel manicures, but after getting them every two weeks for an entire year my poor nail beds have been ravaged. That's because gel manicures—while shiny and pretty and nearly-impossible to chip—cure onto your nail, which means that when you remove them, some of your nail will get damaged in the process. Enter stick-on manicures, which offer the same shine and durability as gels, but are a whole lot better for your nails.

If you're picturing sloppy-looking sticker nails that don't even come close to fitting your actual nail, don't worry. The latest generation is much smarter about sizing, formulas, and design, so they're nothing like the ones you might have found at the mall in 1994. Color Street, a stick-on manicure brand, exploded in popularity this year, and "how to apply Color Street nails" was one of 2019's most Googled terms—for good reason. The better-for-your-nails stickers use real nail polish, and look almost exactly like what you would get in a salon, but without the hassle, cost, or dry time.

If you're wondering how to apply Color Street nails for yourself, the process couldn't be easier. The kit comes with 14 stickers, so once you select the ones that will best fit your nails, all you have to do is peel off the backing, stick them on the surface of your nail, and file away the excess. When it's time to remove them, you just use regular nail polish remover.

Color Street isn't the only brand that has made waves in the fast-growing stick-on manicure market this year. ManiMe developed 3-D printed nail art manicures that are cured onto the stickers themselves and not your nail beds; cool-girl Los Angeles-based nail brand Olive & June launched a line of (really cute) $8 peel-and-stick manis at Target;  and Dashing Diva has a new collection of gloss gel strips. Rather than scraping off some of your nail beds along with your gel manicure, these nail stickers gently peel off without leaving a mark.

And it's not like you're sacrificing a quality, hard-to-chip, long-lasting manicure when you opt for nail stickers instead of gels—these babies last. Color Street manicures last about 10 to 14 days (and won't chip halfway through the way gels so often do), which seems to be the standard with all nail stickers. But possibly the best part of it all? Your nails are healthier, sure, but nail stickers give you a long-lasting gel-like manicure—with nail art, if you want—at a fraction of the cost of a salon-level manicure... and without having to sit under a UV dryer. Expect to see more stick-on manicures taking over the nail world, which should make your hands much happier.

As for your regular nail polish, here's how to make a manicure last longer, according to the pros. And here's the deal on brittle nails and how to give them TLC. 

Tags: Nail Care

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