How to Use Vinyl Nail Stencils

This is a short tutorial to help you use vinyl nail stencils! Below I will show you how I use the stencils, but other people may have another method that could work better for you, so be sure to go on youtube and watch the pros do it (: 


Step 1: Start with clean nails
    • Wash your hands & dry them well.
    • Remove any excess oil on your nail bed by wiping your nail with a makeup pad soaked in nail polish remover. If there is a lot of oil on your nail bed, the polish wont stick as well. 


    Step 2: Apply your favourite base coat & let dry

      • I have a few different base coats that I rotate through on a regular basis. They are Essie's First Base, NailTek 1 Ridge Filler, and CND Sticky.
      • I usually let the base coat dry for 30 seconds before moving on to step 3.


      Step 3: Apply your base color & let dry.

        • You can use a creme, glitter, metallic, holo, duochrome, jelly, or really any type of polish for this step! However, some polishes may need more than one coat to become opaque, if that is the look you are going for. 
        • Allow this to try for a few minutes before moving on to step 4.
        • If you would like to have a negative space effect, skip this step. 



        Step 4: Apply a quick dry top coat & let dry COMPLETELY

          • A quick dry top coat will speed up the time that you will have to wait to move onto step 5.
          • If the polish on your nail isn't completely dry, the nail vinyl will pull the polish off of your finger and mess up your nail art. I usually test by sticking the corner of one nail into the corner of another nail gently to see if a mark is left. If there is a mark, the polish is not dry enough yet. 
          • It usually takes around 30 minutes for the polish to dry enough to move on to step 5. I catch up on TV during this time. (Hint: if you already have polish on your nails from a few days ago, you can start at step 5, and skip the prep entirely)


          Step 5: Preparing the vinyl stencils

            • Choose the patterns you would like to use and have them out and ready.
            • Using a pair of tweezers, grab onto a corner of one stencil and tug quickly to remove the stencil from the backing.
            • Some inside parts may remain in the stencil. To remove these, you can use your tweezers to gently pull them out. Another removal method is to push the stencil onto the back side of the vinyl sheet and pull up again. Any left over pieces will stick to the paper and you have a fully weeded stencil. 


            Step 6: Applying vinyl stencils to the nail

              • Working one nail at a time, line up the stencil on your nail and press down to stick the stencil to your nail. I use the back sides of tweezers to press the stencil into the corners of my nails. 
              • Make sure the stencil is completely stuck down. If it isn't stuck in some areas, polish will leak under there and potentially mess up your design. 
              • You can try using small scissors to clip the sides of the vinyl stencils so they fit better on your nail.


              Step 7: Polish!

                • I find the best way to apply polish over a nail stencil is to use a makeup sponge. I cut the makeup sponge into a size that is similar to the size of my nails. I then apply the polish to one size of the sponge and dab the sponge over my nail. It usually takes 1-3 coats depending on how opaque the polish is. 


                Step 8: Remove vinyl stencils from the nail

                  • As soon as you are done applying polish over the stencil, remove the stencil quickly and gently. I remove my stencils by using tweezers to grab onto one side, and then pulling up and over until the stencil is completely removed. Do not allow your polish to dry on top of the stencil. 



                  Step 9: Repeat steps 6-8 to all other nails.



                  Step 10: Apply a top coat

                    • After your design has had a few minutes to air dry, apply a top coat to seal in your work.


                    Step 11: Take lots of photos and send them to me so I can feature you on my social media accounts (: