Gel manicures have become increasingly popular over the years for their durability and long-lasting shine. While gel polish on its own creates a smooth, glossy nail look, many people like to decorate their manicures with embellishments like rhinestones or nail gems. This adds some extra sparkle and interest to the nails. If you’re wondering if you can add rhinestones to gel polish, the answer is yes! Here’s what you need to know about putting rhinestones on gel nails.
Can You Put Rhinestones on Gel Nails at Home?
The good news is you can absolutely put rhinestones on gel polish yourself at home. It doesn’t require going to a professional nail salon - you can embellish your own gel manicure with rhinestones with just a few extra supplies. Here are some tips for applying rhinestones to gel nails at home:
Start with a fresh gel manicure, applying your base coat, gel polish colors, and top coat as you normally would. Make sure the gel layers are fully cured and hard before adding rhinestones.
Next, use a nail glue specifically formulated for rhinestone application. Avoid super glue or traditional adhesives. Gently brush a thin layer of glue over the area where you want the rhinestones placed.
Carefully pick up a rhinestone with tweezers and press it onto the glue, holding for 30-60 seconds. Slowly release your hold so the rhinestone adheres. Repeat with additional stones.
Once all rhinestones are applied, finish by applying another layer of gel top coat to seal everything in. Cure under an LED or UV nail lamp.
The glue will dry clear, letting the rhinestones shine. Take care applying the top coat - you want to fully seal the edges of the gems without moving them around on the nail. Done correctly, the rhinestones should stay securely adhered on your gel manicure for up to two weeks with no problems!
How to Apply Nail Gems Without Glue
If you want to avoid using glue, there are a few options for applying flat-back nail gems or rhinestones to gel polish without it:
Use double-sided fashion tape or removable nail dot stickers. Simply adhere them to the nail where desired, then press the gems onto the sticky side.
Apply gems directly onto a fresh uncured gel top coat. Position them carefully, then cure the gel polish fully - this will harden the top coat around the gems so they stay in place.
Use a peel-off nail foil adhesive, applying foil glue to the nail, positioning gems, then peeling away the foil backing after curing. The gems will remain stuck to the adhesive layer.
Another choice is to use a special gem-gel - this is a premixed gel formula with temporary adhesive properties, allowing gems to stick after curing under a lamp.
These glue-free methods can keep gems in place for up to 1-2 weeks on gel manicures before needing replacement. Using an adhesive provides maximum staying power.
Do You Put Top Coat Over Rhinestones?
When putting rhinestones on gel nails, it's important to apply a final top coat layer over the rhinestones and glue to help secure them in place. This top coat seals the gems onto the nail and provides a smooth finish.
Only use nail glue designed for rhinestones - avoid super glue or household adhesives. Look for gel resin glues or ones specifically made for nail embellishment use. Apply a very thin, light layer of glue where gems will be placed.
Cure the glue layer first before adding rhinestones. This helps ensure it's tacky and receptive to picking up the gemstones. Gently press rhinestones into the glue for 30-60 seconds before releasing.
Once all gems are secured on the nails, brush on a thin final top coat layer. Cure the top coat under an LED or UV lamp per the manufacturer’s instructions, being careful not to bump the rhinestones. The top coat helps seal and smooth the nail, keeping the gems in place.
How to Apply Nail Gems to Gel Polish
Embellishing your gel manicure with pretty nail gems is easy to DIY at home with just a few steps:
Start with a complete gel manicure - base coat, color, and top coat cured and hard.
Use a gel resin glue specially formulated for nail gems. Brush on a thin layer and cure 30 seconds under an LED lamp.
Pick up gems with a wax tool or tweezers. Press firmly onto the tacky glue for 30-60 seconds. Repeat with remaining gems.
Once all gems are adhered, apply another layer of gel top coat to fully seal and cover the edges of the gems.
Cure the final top coat layer according to gel brand instructions to secure everything.
The cured glue layer provides grip so gems stay in place. The top coat seals them onto the nail for long lasting wear up to 2 weeks. Reapply as needed when growth occurs.
Can You Use Super Glue for Nail Gems?
It's best not to use traditional super glues to apply nail gems or rhinestones. Cyanoacrylate super glues are not formulated for use on the nails. They can cause irritation or damage to the nail bed.
Special nail glues are safer and designed to bond properly with natural or artificial nails. They allow for painless removal compared to super glues.
Look for glues specifically made for nail gem application, often called resin, jewel or rhinestone glues. They provide a strong yet more temporary hold ideal for nail embellishments.
Avoid household glue, craft glues like E-6000, or DIY mixes. Stick with professional, reputable nail glues from beauty brands to safely adhere gems to natural or acrylic/gel manicures.
How to Put Rhinestones on Nails with Glue
Adding rhinestones takes your nails to the next level! Here are some tips for properly gluing rhinestones to your manicure:
Prep nails - Make sure the base manicure is clean and dry first. Nail glue won't adhere well to oils or moist surfaces.
Apply glue - Use a thin brush to gently coat the surface where gems will be placed. Avoid flooding the cuticles.
Let dry - Give the glue 2-3 minutes to become tacky before applying rhinestones. This helps it grip properly.
Position gems - Use tweezers to pick up rhinestones and carefully place them onto the tacky glue. Press gently.
Hold - Keep pressure on the gems for 30-60 seconds for the best adhesion before releasing.
Seal - Once all stones are placed, brush on a layer of clear top coat. Cure under a lamp.
Reapply glue only under stones that fall off. Be patient and let each layer dry fully for best results. The gems should stay put for up to 2 weeks of wear.
Best Glue for Rhinestones on Nails
When embellishing nails with pretty rhinestones, using the right adhesive is key. The best glues include:
- Nail gem or rhinestone glue - Formulated for nails and gentle removal. Bonds gems securely.
- Gel resin - Works on natural or gel manicures. Applied and cured in thin layers.
- Polymer clay glue - Provides a strong yet flexible hold for rhinestones. Easy cleanup.