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Decal Application & Troubleshooting

Decals are recommended for professional use, but can still be used at home as part of a DIY mani.

For an application video of self adhesive decals please click here.  Self adhesive decal instructions can also be requested by email/contact form if the ones supplied have been misplaced.

 

WATERSLIDE DECAL APPLICATION

WATCH MY WATERSLIDE DECAL APPLICATION VIDEO HERE

Recommended steps:

Decals are best applied over a white base.

1. Select and cut out required decal.  Cutting slits into the sides of the decal will help the decal to sit more flush against the nail.

2. Using tweezers dip the decal into water, leaving for around 10-20 seconds.

3. Gently slide the decal from the backing.

4. Carefully dab off the excess water from both sides of decal.

Want to apply a clear decal to a darker nail?  Simply paint the underside of the decal with a thin layer of white gel polish to make the colours pop! 

5. Apply decal to cured tacky layer (I find the best results over a cured base gel or foil transfer gel, as these are nice and tacky).  Align the decal to the cuticle, ensuring a small gap to prevent lifting. 

6. Leave the decal to sit on the nail for a minute or so before smoothing.

7. Very gently smooth the sides of the decal.  Do not apply too much pressure when smoothing or the integrity of the decal will be compromised.  The less touch the better, so even if you are left with some creasing this will be disguised over the next few steps!

8. If there is any excess decal at the sides/cuticle or tip use an acetone dipped brush to break it away.

9. Encapsulate the decal with builder gel or acrylic paying close attention to the sides and free edge.  If you would like to encapsulate with acrylic you will still need to apply a gel layer first or the monomer will cause the decal to bleed.

10. Buff entire nail and top coat.

 

WATERSLIDE DECAL TROUBLESHOOTING & TIPS

 

I'VE SOAKED FOR THE RECOMMENDED TIME BUT THE DECAL ISN'T SLIDING OFF THE BACKING.  WHAT SHOULD I DO?

The lacquer used to seal decals can bond differently depending on the temperature and humidity at the time of spraying.   If you have difficulty sliding the decal off try soaking for 20 more seconds to see if this helps.

If you are still having issues simply use tweezers to gently lift the decal from the backing.

 

MY DECAL IS SLIDING AROUND ON THE NAIL.  HOW CAN I MAKE IT STICK EASIER?

For easiest application and to reduce the need to handle the decal, you should apply over a cured, high tack base coat.

 

MY DECAL IS SPLITTING WHEN I SMOOTH IT OUT, AM I BEING TOO HEAVY HANDED?

Decals are very fragile.  The layer you work with is a very fine film so require careful handling to reduce the chance of distorting, splitting or over stretching the decal.  Using a high tack base coat before applying will reduce the need to over handle.

It is also best to cut to the rough shape required for the nail to help reduce the amount of smoothing.

 

I USED ACRYLIC TO SEAL THE DECAL BUT THE DESIGN HAS BLED.  WHAT DID I DO WRONG?

The monomer used with acrylic powder will break the decal down.  To encapsulate with acrylic ensure you are sealing the decal with a cured layer of gel before adding acrylic (a top coat will work fine).