Applying Vinyl Nail Stencils

The Basics:

  • Start with FULLY dry nails. This means any base colors you are wearing need to be dry enough that you can't dent the polish. If your polish isn't dry enough, the stencil will peel up the polish. I suggest using using a quick dry top coat (my fav is Seche Vive) over your base color(s) and letting that dry for ~20-30 minutes before applying a stencil. 
  • Apply your stencil and use small scissors to clip around the edges. This will help the stencil form to the curve of your nail.   

  • Apply your polish over the stencil using a makeup sponge. The makeup sponge applys the polish in a thin and even coat, which will give you a more crisp design in the end!
  • Remove the stencil immediately after apply the polish (don't let the polish start to dry on the stencil). 
  • Wait 2-3 minutes and then apply a top coat to seal in your design. I find it's best to float your top coat brush over the nail so that just the top coat is touching your nail, instead of dragging the brush - this will help prevent the design from becoming smudged. 
Below are a few videos to show you some of the techniques I use when applying vinyl nail stencils. For more pictures and videos, please check out my Instagram page!

Using only a portion of a full nail stencil:

Gradient Sponging: