In quarantine, I quickly abandoned washing my hair regularly, applying makeup, and wearing "outside" clothes, but I never—ever—skipped a fresh paint job on my nails. I’ve been collecting polishes and painting my nails myself for as long as I can remember—but when I want gels or a fun design, I go to the pros. Unfortunately, I’ve been left to my own devices for the past few months, until I discovered ManiMe. My favorite editorial nail artist Alicia Torello announced on Instagram she collaborated with ManiMe, which means she's showcasing her signature designs as well as donating 100 percent of the proceeds to benefit the Movement for Black Lives Fund and PBA Covid-19 Relief Fund. So, I was in.
ManiMe uses laser cut technology to provide custom gel stickers that are made to fit your unique nail shape. You simply send the brand a few angles of your finger nails, and the fit is guaranteed (if you don’t like it, contact ManiMe for a do-over). With that security in mind, plus the fact that purchasing a mani set from their Care Collection donates to charity, I was sold. I couldn’t wait to try out a sticker gel manicure at home. Below, read through my complete and honest review of
I can’t stop looking at my nails. Despite being stickers, strands of hair don’t get caught in the edges. There was absolutely no dry time needed, and it’s a guilt-free way to treat myself while also donating to charity. I did go to the beach the next day and they didn’t hold up well, so try to plan application time around your summer plans.
ManiMe Gel Sticker Manicure
Best For: High-quality nail art achieved in the comfort of your own home
Active Ingredients: 100 percent Korean gel
Byrdie Clean: Yes
About the Brand: ManiMe was founded by Jooyeon Song, who was in search of a damage-free gel manicure. ManiMe believes changing your nails should be as easy as changing your shoes—these gel stickers remove just as easily and quickly as they were applied.
How to Apply: It's easier than it seems
Why do my hands automatically start shaking whenever I’m trying to get serious about doing my nails? Nerves aside, I removed my previous regular polish and filed my nails into the square shape I like to keep them in. I used the included alcohol prep pad to clean my nails then started placing stickers about 1mm from my cuticle. I was surprised by how easy it was to smooth out the sticker over my nails. Fold over the rest of the sticker that extends past your nail, and file down to remove it.
ManiMe recommends keeping nails away from water for an hour after application, then you’re free to submerge them in water, swim, etc. as much as you want. Manicures should last 14 days, similar to a UV salon gel manicure.
The Results: So Easy and Quick
The stickers don’t budge once you place them, so make sure to stick it right the first time and smooth over your nail. I was surprised at how shiny the results are — they seriously have the sheen of a gel manicure (which is my main motivator to get them). The brand suggests avoiding water for an hour after application, but I washed my hands about 20 minutes after (doing my part to stop the spread of COVID-19!) and had no issues with it. The cuts weren’t exactly perfect for my nails. The left side had a lot of gaps, but the right side was better fitted to my nail shape. But it’s a no-risk trial; if you send a picture to ManiMe showing that the stickers weren’t absolutely perfect to your nail beds, they’ll send you another set at no cost.
The Value: Way cheaper than in-salon gel nail art
I’ve never had faux nails, so I like to keep my manicures as natural as possible — even regular UV gel manis make me nervous about potential damage. But typical salon gel manicures with nail art can cost upwards of $10 per nail, so in comparison, this is a steal. Especially at home when options are limited, this brightened up my dreary DIY manicures I’ve been doing for the last few months in quarantine. Colorstreet sells polish strips (stickers) in solid shades that are priced lower at $11. They also sell nail art designs at $13, but in my opinion, ManiMe’s nail art options are a bit more modern and artistic.
Similar Products: You have options
Colorstreet Nail Art Designs: A standard shade runs $11 for a similar sticker application and $13 for nail art designs.
Dashing Diva Ultra Shine Gel Strips: They have a bit more nail art options than Colorstreet, including rainbow and glitter sticker sets.
Our Verdict: Buy them
When I splurge on myself, I love guilt-free options that remind me my purchases actually give back. The nail art stickers are glossy, had zero dry time, and remove easily just by peeling them off with no damage left behind. For a natural nail lover like myself, this is a win-win.