Rhinestones Nail Art

How to use and choose rhinestones for nail art

Rhinestones are a great way to add glamour and sparkle to nails. They are inexpensive and easy to use on all types of nails. This How To is designed to be a basic guide to choosing stones and applying them to natural nails.

How to apply to natural nails

There is no set way of applying rhinestones to nails – my recommendation is to experiment and see what works best for you!

The basic process is that you are setting the stone in semi-dry nail varnish.  The polish needs to be dry enough not to smudge when place the stone on the nail but wet enough to dry onto the stone.  You can apply top coat to the point that the stone is going to be applied if the polish has dried – this is a useful idea if you are doing detailed work nail by nail.

Now you need to pick up the stone and place it on the nail.  My personal preference is to use a slant ended orange stick that has been dipped in water and then blotted on a lint-free cotton wool pad (if you’re doing your own nails, just lick it!) – the surface tension of the water gives you enough sticking power to pick up a rhinestone and allows it to be released into the polish...easy!.  Other techniques are to put blu-tack or pertroleum jelly on the end of the orange stick.

As an alternative to the orange stick, you can use a dotter or a rhinestone picker upper, nail art tweezers or even a tooth pick!

Once the stone is in place, you need to top coat. This stone is going to be held in place by your top coat and the nail varnish you have set in into so you need a good, thick long lasting top coat to give the stone and your nail art lasting wear!

Top coating over the stone will dull its sparkle, regardless of what type of stone you’re using. This may not be an issue if you are using acrylic stones as a feature, but if you are using Swarovski crystals you will want to retain the sparkle. One way to do this is to apply the top coat around the sides of the stone using a fine brush.

The length of time you can expect your rhinestones to last depends on the quality of polish and top coat you are using, the amount of wear and tear you subject your hands to and the size of the stone. Larger and more raised stones are more likely to come off than smaller, flat stones.

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