The 10 Best Nail Wraps
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in January of 2017. Regular polish can be messy, but these nail wraps are easy to apply, long-lasting, and less expensive than a regular manicure. Plus, they never look patchy or uneven. Here you'll find a wide array of designs, including sparkling holographic options that will have your friends asking which salon you go to. You can choose whether or not to reveal this time- and money-saving trick. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 10, 2021:
We removed a number of selections in this update due to availability concerns and issues with quality, including the Socu Van Gogh's Starry Night, Warm Girl Glitters, Sweetlawa Holographic, and BTArtbox Boutique.
In adding new options, we wanted to feature both strips and foils, as each have their own pros and cons that might make them preferable for different people.
Strips are vaguely nail-shaped and usually have a built-in adhesive that can be used to stick them directly onto your nails. Then they can be shaped with an emery board or file. These are relatively easy to use and are a good choice for those who want to get their nails done quickly.
Our new selections in this category include RoyalPolar Glitter, which includes 16 solid colors, Tough Girls Strips, available in a variety of hues and patterns, and Afstee Toe, which is designed for pedicures, rather than manicures.
Foils, on the other hand, require a bit more time and skill to apply than strips. But they are easier to customize if you want to create unique looks. These typically come in a sheet or roll that you can cut to size yourself. It's usually recommended that you apply these over a base coat of a neutral-colored nail polish or gel and most of them require a special nail glue as well as a strong top coat.
We added a number of foil options in this update, including the Xichen Foil, which comes with 24 different designs, the Macute Lace, which has intricate details that work well with a good base polish, and the Hicarer Night Sky, a galaxy-inspired option that's a good choice for a space enthusiast.
June 28, 2019:
It probably won't come as a surprise that more and more people are opting for do-it-yourself style solutions rather than visiting a salon. These nail wraps are simple to apply and, with proper care, can last just as long as a professional manicure. What's more, they come in so many different patterns and sizes that it's virtually impossible you won't find a set that meets your fashion preferences. To apply nail wraps, all you have to do is either glue or press the wraps onto your natural nail (depending on whether the strips in question have an adhesive backing), file away the excess along the edges, and brush on a top coat to seal the manicure and extend its life.
Updates to this list include the following: the Pixnor Rumio has been removed due the set's being stickers, not wraps, and the High's Decals were removed because of concerns about quality. The Socu Van Gogh's Starry Night, Sweetlawa Holographic, Wokoto Christmas, and Nailbeauty Strips are all new additions, added for their high reviews, popularity, and diverse designs.
Dashing Diva These strips are made with durable gel polish, so you can get a salon-style look without having to shell out extra money or expose your hands to UV rays. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, ranging from shimmering faux marble to intricate floral illustrations. ulta.com
BeneYou Strips These come in an incredible array of patterns, and some are even sized for children's nails. There are clear overlays with holographic details that are ideal for making custom designs, in addition to classics that go with pretty much any outfit, such as matte black and baby pink. beneyou.com
A Brief History Of Nail Polish
The oldest known formulas for nail polish consisted of a mixture containing beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, and vegetable-based dyes.
While adorning one's fingernails may seem like a relatively modern idea, the practice dates all the way back to around 3000 B.C.E., and is believed to have begun in China. During the Zhou Dynasty, noble families liked to paint their nails in metallic tones, particularly gold and silver, but over time, red and black replaced them as royal favorites. The oldest known formulas for nail polish consisted of a mixture containing beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, and vegetable-based dyes.
In ancient Egypt, it was common for the color of a person's nail polish to symbolize their social standing. Lower classes used pale colors, while members of the upper class (and the occasional mummified pharaoh) had their nails stained a deep reddish-brown color using henna dye.
It wasn't until the 1920s that brighter hues became popular. Early formulas often contained ingredients such as lavender oil, Carmine, and bergamot oil to give them color. It was also common for women to use pigmented powders or pastes to stain their nails. In 1932, nail enamel was the very first product made by beauty giant Revlon, and offered a much more varied line of colors than existing options.
And, believe it or not, the first acrylic nail was invented in 1954 by a dentist named Fred Slack after he broke one of his nails at work and needed a realistic-looking replacement. He and his brother experimented with the formula, filed a patent, and started a company called Patti Nails.
Tips For Applying Your Nail Wraps
While nail wraps are a lot easier to use than liquid polish, there is definitely a learning process for the first couple of times you use them. Here are a few tips and tricks to make the process easier.
Before you start, make sure your nails are clean and dry. Apply a clear base coat, preferably one that contains strengthening ingredients such as keratin and calcium. This helps to smooth out any ridges or creases, giving you the smoothest possible surface for your wraps to adhere. Wait until it's completely dry before proceeding.
This extra step may seem like a pain, but it will help your wraps to stay on longer and give them a shinier look.
If you have small fingers, you may need to use a pair of nail scissors to cut your wraps down to size in order to get the best fit. And don't be afraid to mix and match — just because a particular sticker is made to be used on your pinky nail doesn't mean you can't use it on your ring finger if it fits better.
When applying your wraps, start from the cuticle and work forward. Press down while stretching the wrap towards the tip of of your nail, smoothing out any bubbles as you go. This will help them to better adhere to your nails and stay on for longer.
After applying, trim off any excess and use a file to gently buff away any remaining material that sticks out over the edges of your nails. Try to only file in one direction at a time, moving towards the tip using downward strokes, as a back-and-forth sawing motion can weaken nails and lead to jagged edges. You can also use a top coat if you wish. This extra step may seem like a pain, but it will help your wraps to stay on longer and give them a shinier look.
When you're ready to remove your wraps, there are a few ways to go about it. It may be tempting to just pick them off, but doing so makes it much more likely that you'll damage your nails. Heating them first with hot water or a hair dryer makes them much easier to peel off and helps to prevent damage. You can use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover, but they can be drying. If you want to remove your wraps while also making your nails healthier, try soaking them in warm coconut or olive oil, which softens the wraps and breaks the seal between them and your nails to make them easier to pull off.
Ways To Keep Your Nails Healthy
Some lucky people are just blessed with naturally healthy and beautiful nails without having to lift a finger to maintain them. But for the rest of us, a little more effort is necessary. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make your nails look and feel a whole lot better.
First and foremost, if you have a habit of biting your nails, try your best to break it. Nail biting has a variety of negative side effects, including broken skin and torn cuticles, which can lead to infection. And, in some rare cases, the nail beds can become permanently damaged after years of biting, preventing the nails from growing to a normal length and shape.
You can replenish moisture in dry nails by applying an alpha hydroxy acid or soaking them in paraffin wax or mineral oil for 10 to 20 minutes.
Try to avoid harsh chemicals and cleaners, as they tend to strip your nails of their natural moisture. Many antibacterial soaps include drying ingredients, and hand sanitizers that contain alcohol are particularly harsh. Wearing gloves while gardening, washing dishes, and performing other household chores can help to mitigate the damage. You can replenish moisture in dry nails by applying an alpha hydroxy acid or soaking them in paraffin wax or mineral oil for 10 to 20 minutes.
Diet can also play a role in the health of your nails. Biotin is a form of vitamin B found in eggs, avocados, nuts, meat, and some vegetables that can help to strengthen hair and nails. Calcium can also affect nail growth, and if you want to up your intake, don't just look to dairy products — beans, tofu, almonds, broccoli, and leafy greens are all great sources of calcium, as well. It's also important to make sure you're getting plenty of protein in your diet for healthy nails.
There are a lot of supplements that promise to make your nails, along with your hair and skin, healthier than ever, but scientists and medical professionals are skeptical about their efficacy. For the most part, any nutrients to be gained from these supplements can easily be found in a variety of foods, so you're better off saving your money and sticking to a balanced diet.