It seems nail art designers have taken their imagination not really far from what surrounds them. Inspired by upholstery or sometimes called decal art – is kind of surprising and new at the same time. When we think of upholstery, we see the inside of a car, the sofa in our homes – yet now, on nails? Think of floral fabric prints, paisleys, damask, polka dots and plaids. Other upholstery textures like corduroy, couch and animal patterns, and leather patterns of different shades are also available.
Surprisingly, it’s quite popular and very easy to apply. You can buy multiple designs and mix and match ‘em, or you can have your set replaced every couple days. Fancy a particular design? Have a salon print out some designs you have in mind.
So what type of material is being used? No, it’s not upholstery fabric. It’s film with paper backing, think of stickers or decals. Designs can usually be bought in sets of 16 (for both hands) and already pre-cut to fit your fingernails. You can reshape this to fit your nail bed.
Upholstery nails was popularized by the brand Minx and Jamberrynails. Nail coatings are applied by heating the decal first to make it flexible. This can be done just by exposing the coating near a lamp for couple seconds.
How is it applied?
You’ll need your upholstery stickers or nail decals, scissors to reshape them, top coat polish,
#1 Prep your nails. Wash your hands, you wouldn’t want dirt to be forming dents on them. Give your hands a little pampering, apply some nail dehydrator coat, then you may start with your upholstery work.
#2 Fitting. There are 16 stickers on one set. Choose the ones that closely fit your nails. Peel off the one you chose, start from the straight cut tip. Put it under infrared light or heat lamp to activate the coating. Heating the decal makes the material flexible so you can fit it on your nail.
#3: Gently lay down the curved side to the tip of the fingernail, near the cuticle. The curved side of the film should follow the contour of your nail base. Starting at the center of the curved side, slowly and smoothly press over the nail surface towards the tip. You can use a stick with a smooth rubber tip to flatten the decal onto the nail surface. If there are bumps or bubbles that won’t close, put the fingernail under the heat lamp for couple seconds to again. This will activate or soften the coat again, and you can gently press in the bumps so it adheres smoothly to your nail bed.
#4: Remove your hands from under the heat then let it cool for at least 10 seconds. Once cooled, cut the excess at the tip. To smoothen out the edges, use a nail file.
#5: Place hands back under heat and check if it has a snug fit and no bubble formation should be observed.
Other popular designs that are commonly being scored:
- floral tapestry nail art (since all-over printed dresses are the common fashion trend today, this would be a perfect match)
- retro circled dots (retro designs always prove to be classy and fun)
Other upholstery designs that are also being regarded for their notability:
- leather-like (orange, brown, wrinkled- you name it)
- patterned designs
- striped designs
- fish nets
Decals can easily match any style of event. Since it can last for 7 days for fingernails and longer for toenails, you can show it off for a week or have them changed weekly. They’re also good for the winter season, no need for drying your nails like with nail polish. Enjoying sticking them on! Have fun!