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How To Remove Nail Stickers

by Gabbi

The evolution of different nail styles and shapes have helped us all express our individuality in unique and exciting ways.

Screenshotting intricate nail designs, adding extensions, or simply refreshing a neutral manicure every few weeks all contributes to our nails transforming into an accessory, rather than just part of our hands.

With so many different nail ideas and ways to achieve certain looks, the regular nail polish aisle at your local beauty store is most likely looking a little different.

Nail stickers, also know as nail wraps, are the newest sensation for accessorizing your nails, and for good reason. While elaborate nail designs might be what you are after, sometimes sitting in the salon for hours isn’t feasible.

Nail stickers are an easy, mess-free, UV light-free way to achieve fun nail colors and designs from the comfort of your own home!

Nail stickers adhere to your natural nail and will look like you just had a fresh manicure, within minutes without having to wait for the nails to dry or needing to sit under lights to cure.

They are applied quickly and seamlessly, without a mess to clean up afterwards and will last for almost the same amount of time as an actual manicure.

But how do you remove nail stickers? Just like the application process, nail sticks are fairly easy to remove. You can remove the nail stickers using a peel-off method, as the stickers naturally begin to lift, an acetone soak-off method, or a hot water and soap soak-off method.

Each process requires minimal tools, is easy to execute, and does not cause damage to your natural nail beds.

What Are Nail Stickers?

Nail polish stickers are exactly what their name suggests: stickers that achieve the look of a freshly applied manicure.

Nail polish stickers are available in a wide variety of designs and colors and are meant to cover the entire nail, allowing you to achieve the most intricate designs in little time from the comfort of your room.

The stickers are formed with a high, durable quality adhesive that sticks to the nails, without needing a separate nail glue to apply the wraps.

Unlike regular nail glue, once the stickers are removed there shouldn’t be any adhesive residue left behind. Minimal tools are required for nail sticker applications, making them user-friendly for both nail novices and experienced pros alike.

Nail polish stickers give a natural polish appearance to the nails, and last for at least one week without chipping or smudging. They are available in standard colors, as well as bold designs and textures.

How To Remove Nail Stickers

When it comes to removing nail stickers, the process is just as easy as the application. There are several options depending on your preference to remove you nail wraps: the peel-off method, the acetone soak method, or the hot water and soap soak method are the three most common removal methods.

Each of the removal options are quick, easy, and does not cause any excessive damage to your natural nail beds.

Peel-Off Method

First, the peel-off method is perfect if you are finding the edges of your nail stickers are already starting to lift.

Essentially peel away the nail sticker where the edges are starting to lift and the wrap will be removed seamlessly without leaving any adhesive residue behind. You can use a nail stick to lift the stickers are well, if you are unable to peel away with your nails. 

As the nail stickers will generally start to lift after the regular wear-and-tear of using your hands, peeling off the stickers is an easy method that takes minimal time.

Acetone Method

Much like with gel manicures, using an acetone soak is an effective way to remove nails stickers. However, unlike gel manicures, there is no scraping of the nail required.

To use this removal method, pour acetone nail polish remover into a plastic bowl and let your nails soak in the solution for about 10 minutes. The acetone will begin loosening the adhesive and the nail stickers will then be able to gently peel away from the nail bed.

If you do not want to submerge your nails into the bowl, you can also drench a cotton ball in acetone and then wrap the drenched cotton ball with foil onto the nail.

Let the cotton ball stay wrapped in the foil covering the nail bed for at least 10 minutes also and once you remove the coverings, the nail stickers should peel away easily.

While the acetone method does not cause any excessive damage to the nail beds, acetone itself can cause the skin and cuticles surrounding the nail to become dry, especially if this is the method you will be using frequently to remove your nail stickers.

In order to prevent the skin and cuticles from becoming unnecessarily dry, once you remove the stickers, it is ideal to follow up the soak with a cuticle oil or ultra-hydrating lotion to deliver much needed moisture.

Soap Water Soak Method

If you would like to avoid using acetone, but your stickers have not started lifting yet, you can create another soak with hot water and dish soap. Using warm water, mix in some of your dish washing soap and let the nails soak for about 15-20 minutes. Once they have soaked for sufficient time, the nails will be easy to peel off.

The hot water soak is an effective removal method, however without the acetone working quickly to loosen the sticker adhesive, the nails might have to be submerged for a slightly longer time than the acetone soak.

Of course, you can always swipe a cotton ball with acetone over the nail stickers to try to remove them that way, but a quick swipe might take longer to get the bond to loosen.

All of the above methods are efficient, non-damaging, and take minimal time. You can apply your next set of nail stickers right after without having to worry about nail sensitivity or needing to let your nail beds breath.

How To Apply Nail Stickers

The best way to apply nail stickers to ensure they last as long as possible is to start with a clean slate, by removing any old nail polish from the nail beds. After removing any old nail polish, it is important to trim and shape the nails into the length and style you are looking for.

Nail stickers typically are sold in a pack with varying sizes to fit most nail beds, and clipping your nails to be even and uniformed will help the end result look like it came fresh from the salon.

Although nail stickers are available in a variety of sizes, the length of the stickers suit natural nails the best. If you have nail extensions, it might be tricky finding a length to cover the entire extension depending on the length and shape.

After trimming the nails to the correct shape, you can clean and push back the cuticles with a nail stick if you find it necessary. However, be mindful of cuticle oils, as using that before applying the nail stickers can cause the stickers to have trouble adhering.

If you find that your cuticles are good to go, you can start sizing out the nail stickers to the correct nail size and get ready to apply.

Before sticking the first nail wrap down, it is important to make sure the nail is completely clean and dry. Swipe a cotton ball with acetone across the nail to remove any excess dirt or oil that can be on the nail to provide a clean surface.

Once you have the correct sticker size, apply the nail sticker starting at the base or cuticle of your nail bed, and pull the sticker over the rest of the nail bed.

If there is excess of the nail sticker hanging over where your nail ends, you can trim away the remaining sticker by using small manicure scissors or a coarse nail file to cut away the edges.

In order to ensure the nail sticker is adhered completely and without any gaps, press down and rub the nail sticker into the nail for several seconds. Finally, once all nail stickers have been applied, you can add a top coat to provide extra salon-worthy shine and to help extend the staying power.

It is not necessary to apply a top coat, as the nail stickers often have a bit of shine on their own, but it does help to provide a “finished” touch to the nails while also giving an extra layer of protection against the stickers peeling off too soon.

While the only tools required for applying the nail stickers are acetone, a nail file, and possibly a nail scissor, you can also use tweezers to pick up and lay the nail stickers down if you have trouble placing the wrap properly or if the adhesive is too sticky to work with easily.

Here’s a visual tutorial from Zai Antonio on YouTube.

Benefits Of Nail Stickers

There are several benefits to incorporating nail stickers or wraps to your nailcare routine, especially if you like elaborate nail designs but want to skip the nail salon trips, or you struggle with achieving a clean at-home application.

Nail stickers and wraps work for any nail types and are easy to remove and switch up without causing any damage to your natural nail.

One of the best parts about nail stickers is the application is quick and easy, with very little required to achieving the final results. Nail stickers are instantly dry so there’s no waiting for the multiple coats of polish to set before using your hands as normal.

With regular polish, it is easy to accidentally get excess polish on the skin surrounding the nails, but after sizing out the correct sticker for your nail bed, you will not have to worry about excess polish going where you do not want it to or needing to clean up the edges with a cotton swab dipped in remover.

Nail art and designs have become a staple for most nail trends, and the extravagant styles can add a little bit of drama to a standard manicure.

However, certain designs can be hard to achieve at home or can be pricey at the salon. Nail stickers offer a variety of designs that allow you to customize your manicure and capture the next-level designs in a matter of minutes. 

Along with intricate nail designs, if using polish that can be removed by regular acetone, certain shades and textures (glitter) are stubborn to rid the nail beds of. The quick and mess-free removal process of nail stickers is another added bonus to their effortless application.

If applied properly, nail stickers have a staying power that can last up to two weeks. Most nail stickers will last for at least a week, but depending on how they are applied, the maintenance, and how often the nails are exposed to different activities, they can last for up to two weeks before naturally starting to peel or lift at the edges.

Along with a staying power that can compete with your regular nail polish, nail stickers typically do not run the risk of chipping or flaking before they are removed, allowing your manicure to look freshly applied for several days.

Types Of Nail Stickers

Nail stickers are available in almost as many options as regular nail polishes are, if not more! There is a vast array of nail stickers to choose from, depending on your style, mood, and occasion!

Nail stickers are available in most, if not all, standard nail polish shades. They are also available in glitter shades and different finishes, such as matte or satin. Most stickers include several options of different sizes within one packet, allowing for multiple uses that fit most nail sizes.

The more elaborately designed nail stickers also typically include coordinated prints that offers you the ability to customize the appearance of your nails, rather than having to stick to one solid design across all of your fingertips.

It allows for a more unique expression, while also letting you switch up how you want to apply the same stickers the next time you use them.

While there are a variety of options and sizes for nail stickers on the market, generally most are available to suit a natural nail bed without an extension.


If you are after bold and glitter tips, or want a solid color that goes with everything, nail stickers are the perfect way to achieve both. With a minimal maintenance application, even the most intricate of designs can be easy to achieve on your own.

The variety of options that are available also allows you to mix up the styles and customize the designs to be whatever you want them to be.

Even better than the easy application process, is the even easier removal process. The nail stickers can naturally begin to lift on their own, which enables you to quickly remove them all, or a simple acetone or hot water soak for several minutes will have the adhesive loose and the stickers falling away.

There is no need for any nail drills, harsh scraping, or electric filling needed, which can cause nail beds to become sensitive over time.

The range of sizes for nail stickers accommodate most nail beds, and allows everyone to achieve their nail desires without running risk to damaging their natural nail. A fresh, salon-worthy manicure that completed in minutes is already at your fingertips.

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