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Nail Foils  | How To Use Nail Foils 

Now that we are nearing the end of the year, our manicures will go from the bright summer designs to darker, more autumnal colours. That doesn't mean that your nails need to be dull and dreary though.  By using nail foil you can brighten up any colour with an eye-catching accent. 

Nail foils | How to use nail foils

 A beautiful copper foil accent nail compliments this soft blue polish and gold glitter design. 

 The great thing about foils is that you don't need a lot of additional products or experience to use them.  Some foils are full designs and you want to keep the whole image intact.  For these, you may need to use a special foil gel and that is a topic for another day, but for abstract foil art, all you need is the foil, and the gel polish.

Nail foils | how to use nail foils


Foils come in endless colours and designs. Usually, when you purchase them, you get them in a bundle and will have a decent selection for just a couple pounds. The hardest part is deciding what one to use! Contrasting colours look great, but likewise, using a shiny foil in the same colour family as your gel polish looks great too.

Nail foils | how to use nail foils

Once you have decided which colour foil you would like to use to brighten up your manicure, follow these steps to get it stuck to your nail.

1. Prepare your nails as you normally would for a gel polish manicure. 

2. Apply Bluesky base coat and cure for 60 seconds (led)

3. Apply two layers of your gel polish colour and cure each layer for 60 seconds (led)

4. Take your foil and press it onto the sticky layer of cured gel polish.  Apply a generous amount of pressure and then pull the foil paper away as though ripping off a plaster.  Only one side of the foil paper will release the foil. Usually, this side appears duller, if you're unsure you can try to scrape away a bit of foil with a cuticle knife to see which side you should be pressing onto the nail. 

5. Apply a top coat and cure for 60 seconds (led)

Nail foils | how to use nail foils

 Because the gel polish cures with a sticky top layer, the foil will adhere to the nail wherever it has made contact. The firmer the contact, the more foil that will be transferred. If you want a really patchy abstract look, apply light pressure sporadically around the nail. 

Nail foils | how to use nail foils

 Tips and Tricks

1. Use a cuticle knife to try and scrape the foil away from the plastic backing to determine which side to use. If it scrapes away, that is the side that makes contact with the nail. 

2. For full cover designs, use a foil glue/gel.

3. If you were too heavy with the foil and wanted a more rustic look, use a nail file to gently scrape some of it away. 

4. If you experience chipping when using foils, cure a layer of base coat over the foil before finishing with topcoat. 

5. If your foil isn't sticking to your nail, try curing the polish for 30 seconds instead of 60. The longer you cure for, the less sticky the inhibition layer will be. (don't forget to fully cure once the foil is applied) alternatively, you can use a base-coat (over the colour) as the sticky layer. Base-coat is always stickier than colours. 


If you need more help or would like to see a tutorial, check out this video.

Nail foils | how to use nail foils

 Holographic nail foils look great over black gel polish. 

Nail foils  | How to use nail foils

Finishing with a matte Topcoat rather than shiny gives a completely different look.

Nail foils | how to use nail foils

Nail foils aren't just for autumn nails, you can find a foil to.suit any colour. Add as little or as much as you like!


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