How to apply water slide decals to your nails- a quick tutorial!

There are mainly two types of nail decals: 1-STICKERS which are traditional sticky-type decals with adhesive backing and 2-WATER SLIDE DECALS which must be dipped in water to become adhesive.  I have only recently tried water slide decals and they’re so much easier to use than I expected!  When compared to traditional stickers, water slide decals are much more forgiving, especially for beginners.  They’re not very sticky which means you can move them around as much as you want to get them positioned just right.  On the other hand, traditional adhesive stickers are very sticky so you better place them carefully- you only get one shot at it!  Most of us know how to use sticky stickers….but in case you’ve never used water slide decals before- I’d like to show you how!

moon sugar roses

I was recently sent some rose Moon Sugar Decals to test out.  I’ve only tried water slide decals once before, but these Moon Sugars applied very similarly to the others- so here’s how I did it….

1) Paint your nails whatever base color you’d like.  Wait for your nails to dry a bit.  They don’t have to be totally dry, but you don’t want them wet and tacky either.

2) Cut out your nail decals with scissors so all you have is the design without much clear border around them.

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3)  Do your decals have a clear plastic protective coating?  If so, you’ll want to peel it off after you cut your decal to size.  Moon Sugar Decals do not have a protective layer, but some do.

3) Grab your decal with tweezers and submerge it in water.  Hold the decal under the surface of the water for about 15-20 seconds.  See photo below.

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4) Remove your decal from the water and it should easily slide off of the paper backing.  I like to grip the decal between my pointer and thumb fingers and it should slide right off the backing.  If the decal does not slip off when you do this then that means you didn’t submerge it long enough.  Simply dunk the decal for a few more seconds and try again.  When it’s ready it will slide right off the paper with barely any pressure as seen below….

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5)  Then place the decal on your nail.  You’ll see that it’s not too sticky so you’ll have the opportunity to slide it around on your nail ’til you find the right spot.

6) After placing your decal then apply some pressure to help squeeze out any water that may be under the decal.  The pressure caused by pushing down on it will also help it stick to your nail better.

7) Wait a couple minutes til you know any droplets of water have dried up and then apply topcoat to get the decal to really stick!  That’s it.  Here’s my finished product….

moon sugar rose decals

This brand seemed easy to apply.  They are also pretty tough so you don’t have to worry about tearing them if you rough ’em up or re-position them on your nail a bunch of times.  My only problem was that I got some bubbling around the corners of my decals after applying my topcoat.  I used seche vite topcoat for this mani.  I’m not sure how other topcoats would work.  One of my decals also lifted up a bit on the edge of my nail since I didn’t trim it enough.  So if you are using large decals make sure to snip them a bit so they fit your nails well (you don’t want any overhang).

What do you think of this rose design?  Because my nails are pointy I didn’t quite know how to position them.  I think they were designed to be worn on the tips of square nails, but they still look really cool.  Moon Sugar has a bunch of other awesome decals to choose from too.  Here’s a few of my faves– Rainbow Nature Girl and Dream Catcher.  Since they’re only a few bucks each I’m tempted to try them both!

→If you’re interested in purchasing some Moon Sugars I have a wicked discount code for you- use code 25CRAFTYNAIL ’til December 31st, 2013 to save 25% at moonsugardecals.com.  It’s also good to know that they offer everyday free shipping in the US.

So what do you think?  Do you wear water slide decals?  Do you apply them the same way?  These are kinda new for me, but I like them!

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10 thoughts on “How to apply water slide decals to your nails- a quick tutorial!

  1. I’ve seen these around a lot lately, but I have never used them. They look pretty easy to use so I think I’ll check these out. Quite handy that you have an awesome discount code to share with us too! The rose design is so pretty!

    • The first time i was afraid I’d screw up … like with stamping or stickers…like if you place it wrong- it’s all over!! But these are clingy, not sticky…so after u position it the topcoat does all the work. 🙂

  2. I’ve tried water nail decals and I love them too. Its a great way to get some fast and easy nail art on the nails without much time needing to be spent on it 🙂

  3. Pingback: Winter Solstice Nails | Short & Sweet In Texas

  4. I have never even heard of this type of nail decal! Thanks for the step-by-step – so helpful 🙂 Also, I love what you did with these, with the white tip. The placement looks perfect!

  5. Pingback: Dreamcatcher Decals | Craftynail

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