This post may contain affiliate links.
Nail art foils are a creative and fun way to add a festive touch to your nails this holiday season. Nail foils come in thousands of colors and designs and take a manicure from ordinary to extraordinary in just a few easy steps. Take a break from Zoom calls, homeschooling, and other chores, put some music on and give yourself a nail art foil manicure. We’ve got all the products, instructions, and tips you need to get started.
Nail Art Foil 101: Contents
- 9 Best Metallic Nail Foils to Get
- What Is Nail Art Foil?
- How to Apply Nail Foil for a Metallic Nail Art
- How to Remove Nail Foil Stickers?
9 Best Metallic Nail Foils to Get
Whether you’re an absolute beginner just starting out with nail foils or an expert looking to step up your game, there’s a foil set that’s perfect for you.
1. Aifaifa Metallic Nail Foils Transfer with Nail Glue
This nail foil set comes in sophisticated metallic shades to create metallic foiled looks one can wear for more than just one day. We’re particularly hooked on the rose gold shades, but pick your own favorites from this collection of 10 that come in an easy-to-store case. It’s available on Amazon.
2. Sinen 12 Boxes Gold Silver Copper Rainbow Foil Paillette
These little pots of nail foil can be applied right over an almost dry coat of polish – so no fussing with extra glue pots here. Gold, silver, and shades of copper are the color options available in the set. The results are splashes of color for a festive party look. Pick it up at Amazon!
3. Beetles Nail Art Foil Glue Gel for Foil Stickers
If you are already a foil nail art expert or are looking for nail glue that will really hold on to nail foil, Beetles’ will get the job done. One caveat is that the glue won’t work without a LED nail lamp, and foils aren’t included. Find it on Amazon!
4. Teenitor Professional Nail Rhinestones & Foil Flakes
When you’re ready to go all-in on glam foil art nails all year-‘round or you’re doing nails for a crowd, this five-box, 11440-piece kit of foils, flakes, rhinestones, and other goodies will keep your nails beautiful and your creative juices flowing. Just remember that glue and nail dryer aren’t included. Check it out on Amazon!
5. Wsdart Gilding Flakes Set
Experienced foil nail artisans who like metallic nails and relish a challenge will love these gorgeous pots of metallic flakes. They come with tiny tweezers for application and a gentle warning that patience and skill are both required for a successful foil nail application. Pick this up from Amazon!
6. Makartt Nail Art Foil Glue Gel with Starry Sky Star Foil Stickers Set
If you’re the type who loves getting a box full of beauty goodies in the mail, this is the kit for you. Makartt has assembled a great nail art foil kit with 20 metallic foil rolls in a variety of colors and nail stickers to complete your look. You’ll need a nail lamp to use the kit to create enough looks to carry you into the new year and beyond. Get one on Amazon!
7. Valuu 50 Sheets Nail Art Foil Transfer Stickers
This is a great choice for beginners and others who love nail foils but not all the fuss. Here are all the nail art foils you will probably ever need in every pattern you can possibly imagine. Since these don’t require special glue or heat lamps, you can press and go right away. Pick these up from Amazon!
8. Duufin 70 Colors Nail Foil Stickers Kit
Experienced nail artisans will love this collection of 70 foils and stickers. To use this collection, you’ll need nail glue, a nail lamp, and a fair amount of skill to manipulate the foils in this set. From plain metallic foils in different colors to stylish patterns, like flowers, leopard print, starry sky, and more, this kit has it all for every day and mood. Check it out on Amazon!
9. Pomeat 12 Boxes Gold, Silver, Copper, Rainbow Foil Paillette
Expert nail artists will love this package of 12 pots of metallic nail art foils in gold, silver, copper, and holographic rainbow metallic. Beginners will be glad there’s enough here to practice and perfect their nail style. Use these gold flecks to add sparkle to real or press-on nails or break up the set for fun stocking stuffers. It’s available on Amazon.
What Is Nail Art Foil?
Nail foil is a metallic-effect nail wrap or sticker used to create intricate nail designs. Chunky nail art foils first turned up in the New Wave ‘80s, but these are not your mother’s foils! Today’s nail foils are tissue-paper thin and come in tiny blotting paper-sized sheets or little pots of foil chips. Both types come in more colors than you can possibly imagine.
Nail art foils are applied over a coat of nail polish and a topcoat. You can use nail art foils to cover the entire nail, just the tips, or splashed randomly over the nail for a sparkly effect. You can also try combining different foil colors or cut them into strips to create a stripe effect. If you can imagine it, you can do it with any set of foil stickers.
How to Apply Nail Foil for Metallic Nail Art Designs
While there are some nail foil stickers you can apply with only your finger, most require a few necessary and easy-to-source tools of the trade. Your nail art foil kit should include:
Before you apply foils to your nails, you’ll need at least one coat of polish. Some pros suggest a silver or dark undertone, but choose any color you think will look nice with your foils. Experts also suggest using gel polish because it has the tackiness needed for the foils to really adhere. You can use regular polish as long as you make sure to let everything dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Nail Foil Adhesive Glue
This is a particular glue that helps the nail foils stick to your nail. Make sure the glue is designed for nail foils. Look for it to be included in many nail art foil kits or pick up a few bottles from Amazon (see above).
Everyone who loves at-home manicures should invest in a nail lamp, but if you want to do nail foils, they really are a necessity. Most nail foil glues must be cured under a lamp to be effective. For less than $35, you can get a heat lamp to complete your nail look and dry your manicure in no time.
Cotton swab, rubbing alcohol, tweezers… Have a pair of tweezers nearby for applying nail art foils and cotton swabs for pressing and smoothing them into place.
Nail Foil Application Steps
Assemble your nail foils and tools and give yourself plenty of time. Precision and curing time are very important. Put on some music or a favorite Netflix series, relax, take your time, and have fun.
Step 1: Apply the Polish
Clean your nails and apply base coat and gel nail polish. We prefer gel polish because it’s better suited to the nail foils and the glue. In a pinch, you can use a regular polish but make sure your nails are completely dry before starting the next step.
Step 2: Cure
Cure your nails under a nail lamp until they are completely dry. Now you’ll need to gently remove the tacky layer on top of your nails with some rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad. Make sure any tacky residue is completely gone before moving on, or your foils won’t adhere.
Step 3: Glue It up!
Paint a coat of the nail foil glue over each nail. Again, this is a very specific glue for applying nail art foils. Make sure the glue you’re using is for foil art applications. Let it dry until it’s completely clear.
Step 4: Foiling Time!
Now the fun part – apply the nail foils!
Choose the foil pattern or patterns you want to use. You can apply it to the entire nail or just part of a nail, do your entire manicure, or just an accent nail. Don’t be afraid to cut the foils or use multiple foils on a single nail. The choice is yours to be as creative as you’d like.
- Make sure the foil design is facing up and away from the nail.
- Apply the foil by pressing it down lightly where you’d like it.
- With the cotton swab, press the foil down to make sure there are no bubbles or creases on the nail.
- Keep smoothing until the foil starts to separate from the nail. It’s okay to give it a very gentle pull to lift it off completely.
Step 5: Apply a Topcoat
Apply a topcoat and admire your work. Stop for a minute, and admire your beautiful nail art design. Now to make sure your beautiful nail art foil doesn’t peel off, apply at least one layer of clear topcoat to seal everything down.
How to Remove Nail Foil Stickers?
Don’t worry, nail foil removal is easy. It does take time and a bit of patience to apply nail art foils, but if you make a mistake or just feel like changing things up, removing your foils is quick and easy.
Foil stickers can be removed with acetone nail polish remover. Dab a bit into a cotton pad and apply to the nails. In a pinch rubbing alcohol may also work. Use an orange stick to pick up stray foil bits from the cuticle and nail beds.
Photos via Instagram