foil for nails

How to use foil for nails with gel polish? How to properly glue foil for manicure design? Step by step technique of application

The creation of gel varnish has made it possible to realize the most daring ideas of masters of the nail industry. Often they create the most extravagant patterns. Shiny, glittering design, loved by many women. Perform it on gel nail polish with a special foil and tools. The technique of such a manicure is not complicated. Make an original design can be done with the help of step-by-step instructions and advice from professionals.

Features and varieties of foil

To create a manicure in the fashionable style of metallic, an ordinary foil from a chocolate bar will not do. It does not have the necessary qualities of strength and elasticity. Special foil in rolls or sheets helps to create a variety of effects and patterns. All the necessary materials are easy to find in specialized stores, they are inexpensive. Therefore, this manicure is done not only for the holiday. However, for the daily image it is enough to highlight with foil only the accent fingers.

There are many types of foil for professional use. Before doing a manicure, it is worth learning about the varieties and their features. The most complex and original technique will require practice and skills. Easy options for nail design allow you to make materials for beginners. Let’s get acquainted with the possibilities and scope of each type of foil.


This is a fairly common type, which is often used by professionals. Such foil allows you to create any effects, drawings and patterns on the nails. Sell it in sheets of small size, from which the desired shapes are cut out. To fix it on, the nail will need glue, because the back of the sheet does not have an adhesive base. Foil can take different shapes, have all sorts of variations of shades and patterns. In many cases, it is a hologram. And there is also luxury foil with embossing of various three-dimensional figures and drawings.

foil for nails

How to use foil for nails with gel polish? How to properly glue foil for manicure design? Step by step technique of application

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This type is simply adored by beginners, because it is easy to use and easily applied to everyone’s favorite gel polish. Produce this foil more often in the form of rolls of small size, from which small pieces are cut just before the creation of a manicure. The protective film on the surface helps to prevent patterns from premature damage. It creates a beautiful, complex pattern on the nails. The choice of shades and decorative effects is very large.


Foil of this type is more often chosen by professionals and is used for complex volumetric design. It is quite difficult to work with it, as the material is fragile and requires careful handling. The design with its use is often made for festive occasions. When completely covering the entire surface of the nail, more often choose silver, gold or copper shades.

Fashionable drawing in the form of a mosaic will complement the festive image. The peculiarity of such a foil is its convenient attachment to the sticky layer of gel-lacquer. After drying and fixing it perfectly holds up to two weeks.

The varieties of roasted foil often include gilding. It is a gold leaf (a real precious metal), applied in the thinnest layer. The material is expensive and very fragile. It is used by experienced masters of nail service. It can be sold in the form of a book, where sheets of gilding paper are covered with a material, like parchment.


The strongest kind of foil. It is produced as a set of individual stickers, which are attached to the nails with their adhesive side or planted on a special glue. This foil is glued mostly on the entire surface of the nail plate. Less often – cut out variants of the shaped decoration. When covering the entire nail after full gluing, the excess edges are carefully removed, using manicure scissors or a file.


This type is attached to the surface of the nail by preheating. The material is quite thin and plastic. Manicure is done with tweezers, spreading the heated foil on the nail with an orange wand. Thermal foil is also loved by nail design beginners for the ease of creating a spectacular manicure and ease of use.

Choose one or another type of foil in accordance with the skills of performing independent manicure and the peculiarities of the technique, the design of the performed figure. Often, nails in foil are supplemented by individual decorative elements or use them as part of a more complex design that combines different techniques. At the same time, a manicure with metal foil looks spectacular and extravagant and in solo performance.

Necessary tools and materials

To create a manicure with foil, do not need many specialized professional materials and means. Most of them have every woman who has at least once independently made a gel-lacquer nail design. However, some specific devices will also be useful.

Any girl has a standard set of manicure tools. To create a design with foil set is needed when preparing nail plates (scissors, pliers, file, buff).

Orange wand. If you do not use it to remove cuticles with the uncut method, it can be useful for working with different types of foil. You’ll also need tweezers to remove the foil from its packaging and apply it to the nail.

A pusher with a rubber or silicone soft tip for smoothing the foil over the surface of the nail.

Cotton swabs, lint-free material, coating remover, cuticle softener, toothpicks, clean sheet of paper.

UV lamp if you are going to do a permanent manicure based on gel polish.

Degreased to treat the nail and remove the sticky layer from the gel polish (clincher).

Base or colorless base to protect the nail from damage and penetration of harmful coating chemicals into its structures.

Top to complete the manicure, giving it staying power and sealing the ends of the nails.

Gel polish of the desired shade and additional decorations (if the design idea requires it).

The foil itself and the glue for it, if its application involves technology.

Quality bonding compound is sold freely in stores for nail artists. It looks like a tube of regular white varnish, with a handy brush for continuous or point application. Its price is quite reasonable, and its use is simple. It does not need special appliances for drying and binds directly in the air. As it cures, the composition transforms from whitish to transparent. This indicator tells you that it is time to glue the foil.

Preparing your nails

For manicure with foil, as for any other, requires careful preparation of the nail plates. Do not ignore this stage or treat it inattentively. Its quality and proper performance will largely depend on the further appearance of the manicure and the durability of the coating.

First, you should remove the old coating and do it as carefully as possible, so as not to leave any traces. If, however, it was not possible to remove something with chemical and physical effects, help the next steps.

Make a bath for hands with salt and any essential oils to your liking. Wipe your hands and lubricate with a nourishing cream. After that, we give the selected shape and the desired length of the nails. It is worth noting that the design with foil looks great on all types of nail plates.

The important final stage of preparation is to treat the nail with a baffle to smooth the surface and degrease the nail plate with clincher. And also be sure to apply the base and dry it well. Then you can proceed to the coloring of gel-lacquer and manipulations with various kinds of foil.

foil for nails

Step by step technique of application

The design with the use of foil has its own technology of creation. Correctly make such a manicure is not difficult, if you follow the developed step-by-step instructions. You can make a metallic design with any type of foil. Glue a part of the piece in the form of a pattern or cover the entire area of the nail – the choice is yours. After preparing the nail plate, choose one of the many fashionable manicure options and act according to the scheme.

Transfer foil is the best option for beginners, which is convenient to use with gel-lacquer.

After the base coat has dried, apply one or two thin layers of gel polish. Each of them is dried separately under the lamp for at least three minutes.

Cover the top layer of gel top coat and dry with a UV lamp.

Remove the sticky layer with a lint-free material and a cleaner. Do it gently with one or two light strokes on each finger.

Apply a special glue for transfer foil to the nails. You should wait until it dries. Its color will change from white to transparent. It is best to work with each nail individually, rather than using it all at once on all fingers of the hand.

Cut a small piece of transfer foil, about three by three or five by five centimeters. If there is a pattern on the foil, it is worth initially thinking about its direction. The imprinting of the foil will take place immediately, so it will be impossible to correct the pattern.

You will need a pusher with a rubber end, with which you need to translate the foil to the nail smoothing movements. The movement will go from the center to the edges to avoid folds and creases.

A sharp jerk separates the foil from the nail surface. If the technique is followed correctly, the transfer foil should print evenly and accurately on the layer of gel polish.

Do the same with each nail. After covering the manicure with foil top coat. Seal the nail so that the foil overlaps on the edges and necessarily on the tip of the nail.

After the procedure of drying in the lamp, remove the sticky layer from the top coat. Fancy manicure with foil is ready. For everyday use, you can glue the foil on one or two accent nails.

The “broken glass” nail design is done quite simply with minimal manicure making skills.

Beforehand, to create a pattern in the form of shards of broken glass, cut the unbreakable foil into pieces. They should be of different shapes and sizes. Usually make triangles and irregular rhombuses, quadrangles, trapezoids. The smaller the details are, the better they will fit on the surface of the nail, and the manicure itself will look neater.

After traditional grooming procedures, we apply two layers of bright gel polish on the nail. The first layer is dried in a UV lamp for 150-180 seconds.

The second layer dries for 25-30 seconds. The non-drying gel creates a sticky coating that is used instead of glue. On it, we glue metal “mirror pieces”. Press them with a soft pusher and finish drying in a lamp.

The final step is to thoroughly coat all the elements of the manicure with a topcoat. It is worth it to overlap them so well with gel that not a single corner sticks out. Otherwise, they will cling to clothes, hair, and the manicure will simply be ruined.

Common mistakes

From beginners, you can often hear the opinion about the complexity of performing this type of manicure. In fact, more often than not, they make common mistakes that lead to damage to the coating. Compliance with the technology of execution ensures the correct result. It also means a lot about the choice of basic materials. Quality gel polish and the right foil with an optimally chosen method of application create a stunning decorative effect.

Often girls apply too thick a layer of gel-lacquer or do not dry the layers sufficiently. When using glue to fix the foil, in a hurry and do not wait until the glue dries completely, changing its color to transparent.

High-quality, even coating is ensured by careful application and accurate distribution of the foil on the surface. Creasing or bubbles are possible if the foil is pressed too hard or in one direction.

How to use foil for nails with gel polish?

There are a few ways to use foil with gel polish. One way is to add a small piece of foil to the top of your nail after you have applied your gel polish. Make sure the foil is sticking up off of your nail so that the light can hit it. Then, use your LED or UV light to cure the polish. Another way to use foil is to apply a top coat of foil adhesive to your nails before you apply your gel polish. Let the adhesive dry completely, then apply your polish. Finally, you can also use foil as a finishing touch to your nails. After your nails are dry, apply a coat of top coat and then place a piece of foil over the top. Use your light to cure the top coat and the foil will stick to your nails.

How long do you leave tinfoil on gel nails?

There is no one definitive answer to this question. Some people recommend leaving tinfoil on nails for one or two days, while others say it can be left on for up to a week. Ultimately, how long you leave tinfoil on your nails will depend on your own preferences and how your nails are reacting to the foil. If they start to feel dry or brittle, you may want to remove it earlier. Conversely, if they feel strong and healthy, you may be able to leave it on for a longer period of time.