If you do not have a steady hand or are new to nail art, water transfer sheets are amazing. I can do cute designs on my left hand but as soon as I have to duplicate the design on my right? It looks like a 5 year old did my nails! So I am a huge fan of water transfers. These are not those stickers for nails, they go on like a temporary tattoo, just wet the backing as it presses against the nail. I find these all the time in the clearance racks at Shoppers Drug Mart for $2 so they are affordable too, especially if you just use them for accent nails but you get 24 different sized transfers in a pack so depending on nail size, you could do two full manicures.
Most water transfer sheets require that you paint your nails and these adorable ones from Quo are no exception. I like to start with Essie Ridge Filling Base Coat to even out my nails. I chose CND Vinylux Thistle Thicket because I am not a huge fan of white, it looks too in your face for work but Thistle Thicket is a nice grey that picks up tones around it.
While the base coat is optional (but use one if you choose a colour that will stain your nails) you do need a top coat for water transfers. While the water transfer sticks to the nail fairly well with water, you need to seal it or it will rub off quickly. I typically use two coats just to make sure it is sealed.
- Prep your nails by washing your hands and wiping your nails with alcohol (or even nail polish remover, but alcohol leaves no residue)
- Before you paint your nails, open packaging (I often forget and mess up a nail opening the cardboard packaging) and choose the correct size water transfers for your nails.
- Apply colour coat in colour of your choice. For this particular set of water transfers, I find it looks best with light/pastel polishes or a bright red.
- Wait for colour polish to completely dry. You don’t want to smudge your nails and waste a water transfer!
- Remove the plastic and lay the water transfer sheet over the nail – do one nail at a time – and press down (paper backing facing you and round side of the transfer goes at your cuticle)
- Use a cotton ball dipped in water to wet the paper backing and press down on the cotton ball to ensure it is fully adhered
- Gently peel away paper backing, you may have some of the transfer left on your skin, it easily washes away but do it after you seal the nail!
- Use your favourite top coat to seal the water transfer to the nail
Enjoy your pretty nails without all the work of designing them yourself!
To remove your nail art water transfers, simply use nail polish remover as you would for regular polish, you may need to scrub a little, but not as much as you would for a glitter polish.