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Blame it on the pandemic, but spending two hours and lots of money for a nail art manicure just doesn't have the same appeal it used to. There have always been at-home manicure options, but the months of quarantining paid off in one aspect: The proliferation and advancement of stick-on nail art.
Nail polish is the obvious place to start when it comes to doing your nails at home. But it lacks a few things. Unless you have the steady hands of a surgeon, chances are, you're not going to be able to paint works of art on the tiny canvas of your fingernail—thereby depriving you of creativity, bedazzlement, and that instant mood-boost a fresh manicure brings about. Stick-on nail art, however, is the best solution, and an easy one at that, as they're nail wraps or faux-nails that are pre-decorated for you.
The application process varies from product to product (always consult the instructions) but the gist is: Start by using a nail polish remover to clean your nails, regardless of whether you have on nail polish. Personally, I like these pre-soaked wipes because they're acetone-free and remove any chances of spillage. Then, push back your cuticles—many of these sets come with a wooden stick for this, but I prefer this double-ended stainless steel tool which is also great for general nail upkeep. Shape your nails using a small nail clipper or glass nail file, swipe with a nail polish removing pad once again, and voila! You're ready for your DIY nail art session. Keep scrolling for 10 nail art sticker sets.
Artips Isa Gel Nail Strips
Marilyn Monroe famously circled through two different shades of red. So a good red nail is an eternal classic. This Artips set is a subtle, fun twist on the iconic look.
Tough Girls Nail Polish Strips
Clueless' Dionne Davenport would definitely wear this manicure while strutting through the halls of high school. These nail stickers are double-ended with both a square and a round tip to suit all nail shapes.
Maitys Nail Stickers
These are the best bang for your buck buy. One purchase includes 12 nail sheets, which amounts to 168 individual pieces. Every sheet is a different color scheme or fun take on the selected style, of which there are five. I personally recommend the Classic (marble), the Retro, and the Chic Style sheet sets.
Paintbucket Breana Mani Nail Wraps
Paintbucket is actually a salon in Brooklyn, New York that specializes in chic, minimalist nail art. The Breana sets are a neutral beige shape with line drawings adorning the stickers.
Ciaté London Cheat Sheets
For the benefits of nail art stickers but with some creative control, Ciate's sticker sheets are a solid pick. Paint your nails with your color of choice or stick these on your bare nails. The clear background allows for space to experiment.
Paintlab Press-On Gel Nail Set
A set that is nail art on actual press-on nails? Now we're talking. You can reuse this set of nails from Paintlab over and over again. Although long-lasting application requires nail glue, you can opt for the gentler option of the included adhesive tabs.
Chillhouse Chill Tips Press-On Manicure Kit
If you were to visit Chillhouse's New York City flagship, a gel nail-art manicure starts at $62 and goes up from there. These stick on tips, however, are just $16 and feature the salon's signature graphic yet minimalist aesthetic.
Manime's nail stickers are on the more expensive side, but they are also the cadillac of nail stickers. Before you click checkout, you take some photos of your nails, which are used to custom fit the stickers. In my personal experience, that has meant longer lasting, easier to apply manicures. The brand's nail art options are also so vast, and frequently include collaborations with celeb-loved nail artists.
Orly x Lisa Frank Nail Wraps
Lisa Frank nail stickers will make you the happiest you've been since the Scholastic book fair. Orly is a brand that usually makes high quality, long lasting polishes, so these nail stickers are the same. For an added Y2K boost, finish off the DIY manicure with the Orly x Lisa Frank Iridescent Top Coat.
Scratch Freshly Picked Nail Wraps
A fresh bouquet of flowers at your fingertips, this $10 set is evocative of the romantic florals of Liberty London and Rifle Paper. These stickers come on a transparent base should you want to zhuzh up your manicure with an undercoat (I suggest glitter).