Water slide nail art decals are pretty easy to use, but mistakes happen. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common mistakes people make when using water slide nail art decals to help you avoid making these same mistakes next time you do your nails.
1. You put the nail decal on before your nail polish dried
A very common mistake that will lead to some really unsightly manicures. To avoid this, make sure your nails are completely dried before you apply the nail decals. I recommend using a quick dry top coat to speed up the wait time. There are many brands out there that make their own quick dry top coat so try a few out and see what you like best. Remember that your nail polish needs to be so dry that you wouldn’t be scared to stick your hands into a pair of gloves. Anything less could lead to varying degrees of wrinkles in your new nail art.
2. You rubbed the nail decal too hard
Rubbing the decal too hard can result in the image wearing away before you even get a chance to use it! This commonly happens when you don’t let the nail decal soak quite long enough and you have to be rough with the backing paper to get it to slide away. This can also happen as you slide the nail art decal around on your fingernail trying to find juuuuust the right position. If you’re not sure exactly where you want to place the nail decal, dip your fingernail in water and then put the decal on. This helps cushion the nail decal to prevent rubbing. You may also encounter this problem while you’re smoothing down the nail decal and removing excess water right before applying the top coat. To prevent this, try using a damp paper towel to gently smooth down the decal then pat it dry.
3. The decal disappeared after washing your hands/taking a shower
Does your nail decal look like it suddenly ran out of ink? That’s probably because it wasn’t fully sealed with top coat. Even though water slide nail art decals are activated in water, they are also sensitive to water after application. This means it’s important to make sure your clear top coat has completely sealed the edges of the nail decal. If the nail decal you’re using touches the edges of your nail, simply trim a small amount off so your top coat is able to complete the seal. I recommend using two coats of clear top coat and then throwing on another layer every other day or so if you frequently wash your hands since that will make your nail art last longer.
4. You didn’t get out all the water/air bubbles
If you notice an air bubble after applying the first layer of top coat, you might still have a chance to save it! I sometimes use an orange stick or something similar to gently press the decal and try to work out that air bubble before the top coat dries. Be careful if you do this though because you might just end up smudging the nail decal into an unrecognizable blob. Otherwise, the best cure for air bubbles is prevention. Double check that your nail decal is laying perfectly flat on your nail before applying clear top coat.