Make Your Gel Manicure Last Even Longer With Nail Art Stickers, You Cheapskate

Whether you're cheap or just busy, nail art stickers can make a gel mani last far longer than your manicurist would like to go without your money.
Publish date:
February 28, 2013
nail art, How-To, gel manicures, nail stickers, l' oreal

I'm an extremely frequent flier.

In the last couple of weeks, I've been to London to visit a friend, Mexico for a beach wedding, and an awards show in Los Angeles, where I spend most of my time. And if you see a picture of me from each location, you might notice that my nails looked exactly the same: flawlessly polished with pale, neutral lacquer.

That's because I'm a devotee of gel manicures, so I don't have to worry about chips and other signs of neglect as I'm running all over the damn place. My longest-lasting gel mani stayed on for three weeks, and it looks like my current one has the same lasting power. Gel manicures are to me as gum is to Violet Beauregarde.

That said, I do get bored sometimes and want to change up my nails while still getting the most of out of my money, so I've decided to try overlaying my grown-out gel mani with a set of decorative stickers. I chose L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Lingerie because they're clear with gold glitter concentrated at the bottom.

That way, the gel mani's color shows through, but the glitter conveniently covers the exposed lunula. (That's the word for the white crescent at the base of your nails. As obscure anatomical words go, I think fewer people know "lunula" than "philtrum." That's the little ridge under the nose.)

Don't be scurred! Nail art stickers are very easy to use, and you've probably noticed them when you go to the drugstore, available in mass quantities where once there were none. They may seem really easy to screw up, but I promise, it's simple.

First, make sure your nails are clean. I don't care what you've been doing with them--just get rid of the evidence. Make sure they're dry, too.

I recommend using an orange stick to push your cuticles back so you're working with as much nail canvas as possible. Then, find the appropriate size for each nail. Don't be afraid to trim the stickers with a small scissor if you need to!

Carefully stick them on, smooth them out, trim the excess, fold the end under your nail, and use a soft file to buff away the extra length that the scissors left. Apply two coats of your favorite clear polish to really seal the deal.

If you can apply a bumper sticker, YOU CAN DO THIS! From start to finish, the process took me about a half an hour. There’s some tool-juggling involved, but you’ll get the hang of it.

My exposed nail beds are completely hidden underneath a pile of well-placed gold glitter. This is going to be the longest-lasting manicure, ever! (Seriously, I'm going to put price stickers on them next, followed by Babybel cheese wax molded into fingernail shapes.)

Got any tricks getting the most out of a gel manicure? Don't hoard them!