Many of our customers who are just starting out in nail art, or are new to using rhinestones in nail art, ask how do you apply rhinestones to nails? It’s important to know the correct method of adding crystals to nails, or ‘crystal placement’ as it’s known in the industry, to achieve the perfect finish for your manicure.Once you’ve chosen to add some sparkle to your nails, you need to consider the embellishment options: crystal dust (Preciosa Faerie), flatback rhinestones, crystal shapes, pearls, pointy back crystals and cabochons. These are all popular nail art embellishments and can generally be applied in the same way, which we will go through below.How to apply rhinestones using nail glue
The number 1 go-to glue for sticking crystals to nails is Rachael Wilders Crystal Fix, it is a thick but easy to use glue that dries crystal clear, and is extremely durable when cured under a UV/LED lamp. While it is possible to apply rhinestones to a top coat, then cure, it is recommended that you use glue to ensure a durable finish.

Step by step:
1. Have your nail glue ready once you have painted the nail
2. Make sure you have a rhinestone picker handy, preferably a crystal katana (see next section for more details).
3. Squeeze tiny beads of glue through the thin nozzle onto the nail, try not to use too much.
4. Use the wax end of the pick up tool to pick up and place your crystals onto the glue, then cure for 60 seconds.How to apply rhinestones using a pick up tool

The best selling and highest quality rhinestone pick up tool on the market is the Crystal Katana. One end is made from premium jewellers wax, so is durable and doesn’t leave a mark on the crystal. The other end is a thin tip which is useful for adjusting the crystals, making sure they’re sitting in the correct position. There are other less expensive pick up tools available which do a similar job, so there is a good choice for any budget. When applying rhinestones to nails, we always recommend using a pick up tool rather than tweezers or your fingers. They are quick and easy to use and achieves a neat finish. The crystal katana will pick up any nail art embellishment, from crystals, pearls, pointy backs, glitter flakes and decals.Step by step

1. Have your nail glue ready once you have painted the nail, and squeeze a tiny amount onto the tip of your katana or pick up tool.
2. Apply the glue to the nail in a small neat dot.
3. Use the wax end of the pick up tool to select your embellishment and place down onto the glue.
4. Add another glue dot for each embellishment used.

How to apply crystal Faerie & crystal Pixie to nails

A trend within the nail art world that’s really taken off recently, is the full crystal coverage of one nail in the set; creating a statement or feature nail to draw attention. This can be done by covering the nail with crystal dust. A product called crystal Pixie was launched by Swarovski a few years ago, quickly followed by Preciosa’s crystal Faerie, which allows you to fully encrust your nail in crystal, giving off a brilliant sparkle and shine.

Both the Pixie and Faerie products are made up from tiny shards of crystal, all unique in shape, having a glitter or diamond dust effect. Applying crystal faerie or pixie to your nails, is the quickest way to achieve full coverage, and with possibly the most beautiful result.

Crystal Faerie, in particular ‘Unicorn Tears’ which is made up of AB crystal shards, is very popular for bridal nails, as it works perfectly with a white glittering gown.

*Image credit: Preciosa, Lisa Johnston

How to apply crystal Faerie & crystal Pixie to nails

  1. Apply your first coat of nail polish or gel and allow to dry, or cure completely.
  2. Then apply your second coat. Before curing the second coat, hold your finger (or the nail if you’re using acrylics) over a tray to catch the excess, and start sprinkling the Faerie over the top.
  3. Keep sprinkling over the nail, until the entire surface is covered. Gently press and compact the crystals onto the nail. If you’re using nail polish, you must allow the polish to dry completely before the next step. If you are using gel, we recommend applying a top coat around the edges for extra security and durability.
  4. Once dry / cured under a UV lamp, use a nail file to gently file the edges, removing any excess crystal. Put the excess that landed in the tray back into the bottle for next time!

And voila! Stunning diamond dust nails in seconds, using Preciosa Faerie or Swarovski Pixie. Check out the full range of crystal Faerie which is available in 5 different colours, from funky dark gold to trendy rose gold.

Nail art & beauty