If you’re like me, you’re constantly weighing the pros and cons between a regular mani and gels. A classic polish is quick and easy—and it gives you the freedom to try more nail designs and color. The downside? It rarely lasts a few days (even that if you’re lucky) before it chips. Gels, on the other hand, have serious staying power, but they cost more and the removal is a PITA.
I’d love to be that person who’s always trying the latest nail trends, but considering the regularity in which I use my hands to unbox packages, nail polish is worthless, and I can never convince myself to shell out the $50 plus tip that a gel mani requires. That’s what makes the new brand ManiMe—and its gel nail polish stickers—so brilliant.
While nail stickers are certainly nothing new, what sets ManiMe’s apart is the insane wear time and their glossy, gel finish. Using K-beauty technology, the formula is cruelty-free and 10-free, and doesn’t require you to expose your hands to UV light since the gel is already set before application (genius, I know).
Founders Jooyeon Song and David Miro Llopis made it their mission to create a nail salon experience without surrendering quality in the comfort of your home. One of the biggest cases they were able to crack was the one-size-fits-most problem that typical nail stickers run into. Their answer: 3D printing.
After adding your stickers of choice to cart, the website prompts you to take a photo of your nails (over the back of a driver’s license or business card for size), which you then upload during checkout. (Believe me, it’s an easy process.) From there, the brand custom prints and ships you stickers that’ll perfectly fit your nails. The ManiMe pack also includes a prep pad to clean your nails, one mini nail file to buff off any sticker excess, and three sets of five nail stickers.
Beside how easy they are to put on—there are video tutorials on the website; the whole process takes about five minutes—the price is a huge selling point. ManiMe’s gel nail polish stickers cost between $15 to $25, depending on the complexity, and they last around 15 days, give or take. I can personally vouch for the lifespan and their water resistance. Simply because it was wash day, I spared no compassion for these new nails of mine. The day after putting them on, I fully scrubbed my scalp and combed through my damp curls with my fingertips. A few days later, dishes and hand soap couldn’t get to them either.
Getting them off is easy too. After about two weeks of wear, peel them gently from the base of your nail and they should come off. (Go slowly and submerge your nails in warm water if they’re being stubborn. The last thing you want is to damage or pull off your nail plate.)
Not that I have tried to keep this nail innovation to myself by any means, but the number of questions and compliments I received from complete strangers was crazy. And it only got better once I revealed my secret: “Thanks, they’re stick-on gels!”
I think one of the most glamorous parts of the entire thing is the ability to mix and match patterns, sets, and colors. Designs that would take well over an hour—and, TBH, my budget—are suddenly doable. I’m currently on my second design pack and am never looking back.
Shop some of my favorite DIY gel nail sticker designs, below:
Talia Gutierrez is the beauty assistant at Glamour, Allure, and Vogue. Follow her on Instagram @taliamichelee.