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7 top tips for working with nail embellishments

By Scratch Staff | 24 May 2024 | Expert Advice, Feature, Technique

Scarlett Senter Embellishments

Adorning nails with 3D elements and embellishments adds dimension to designs, allowing you to transform plain styles into striking looks. Nail stylists offer adhesion and application advice…

Belinda Price

Belinda Price

1. “Practice wearing embellished designs on your own nails, as this will help you to learn a lot about working with them and where to place them,” says Belinda Price, OPI UK&I education manager.

2. Embellished nail styles require extra care beyond traditional nail services, and may not be suitable for clients with active or hands-on lifestyles, or those with a history of picking and biting nails. Clients must commit to following through with daily aftercare.

Kiyoko Sumai

Kiyoko Sumai

“I recommend small, simple charms for clients that are new to embellishments,” shares Kiyoko Sumai of Nailsbykiyoko, Oregon. “I offer clients advice on everyday activities while they get used to their embellished nails, which reminds them that they have delicate additions on their fingertips. Caution is key!”

Amanda Trivett

Amanda Trivett

3. “Plan the placement of crystals and embellishments before you add them to nails,” advises Amanda Trivett, Lecenté creator. “I recommend planning crystal designs on a piece of paper before applying to nails, allowing you to adjust the placement as required.”

Scarlett Senter

Scarlett Senter

4. “Patience is key when working with embellishments. Picking up tiny crystals can quickly become frustrating, but there are tools available to help make your work easier,” notes Scarlett Senter of Scarlett Senter Nail Artist & Academy, Norfolk.

Emma Laverton

Emma Laverton

5. “Adding embellishments requires a steady hand, plenty of time and a lot of patience. Be sure to explain this to the client ahead of their appointment and book out plenty of time,” recommends Emma Laverton, Glitterbels ambassador. “When using caviar beads, consider mixing them into clear builder gel on a palette and applying using a fine liner brush, before adding top coat to finish.”

Katie Turner

Katie Turner

6. “For small gems and pearls, I use nail glue, which I find is enough to adhere them to nails,” details Katie Turner, Glitterbels education ambassador. “For larger pieces, I recommend placing the embellishment onto clear acrylic or builder gel, then allowing to set or cure before applying top coat with a fine liner brush to seal.”

7. It’s important to have a clear policy in place when it comes to nail services, and some pros offer to replace embellishments free of charge if they are lost up to 72 hours after the nail service.

Hannah Turbine

Hannah Turbine

“I offer free fixes on any of my nail services, including embellishments, for the first three days, but anything over this time is charged as a fix,” comments Hannah Turbine of Brighton salon, Gellraiser. “As nail technicians, there is only so much we can do before it becomes an issue with the client’s aftercare.”

Lead nail tips by Scarlett Senter (@scarlett_senternailartist).