How to Apply Nail Rhinestones: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding rhinestones to your nails is a great way to make them stand out and create unique looks. From bold designs to subtle accents, nail rhinestones can be used in many ways for styling purposes. Whether you are looking for an eye-catching look or just want some extra sparkle on your fingertips, applying nail rhinestones is the perfect way to add a bit of glamour and flair! With the right supplies and techniques, anyone can learn how to apply these beautiful stones with ease. Keep reading this blog post for all the tips you need about types of nail rhinestone options available, prepping your nails before application, step-by-step instructions on how to apply them correctly – plus helpful hints on finishing touches that will take your manicure from ordinary to extraordinary!

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Types of Nail Rhinestones

Flatback Rhinestones are the most common type of nail rhinestone. They have a flat back and can be applied with glue or adhesive tape. These rhinestones come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, making them perfect for any design you may have in mind. The advantage of using flatback rhinestones is that they are easy to apply and remove without damaging your nails. However, because they do not adhere as securely as other types of rhinestones, they may fall off over time if not properly secured.

Hotfix Rhinestones are also popular for nail art designs. Unlike flatback rhinestones which require glue or adhesive tape to attach them to the nails, hotfix rhinestones use heat from an iron or hot-fix tool to stick onto the surface of the nail bed. This makes them more secure than flatbacks but it does require some skill when applying them correctly so that no damage is done to your nails or skin around them. Hotfixes come in many different sizes and colors so you can create intricate designs with ease.

Claw Set Rhinestones are another option for those looking for something a bit more permanent on their nails. These stones feature claws at each corner which hold the stone securely in place while allowing it to move freely on its base plate once attached to your nails, giving you more control over how much movement you want within your design. The downside is that these stones take longer to apply since each claw needs to be individually placed into position before attaching it onto your nail bed; however, this extra effort will ensure that these stones stay put even through everyday wear and tear.

There are a variety of nail rhinestones to choose from depending on the desired look and application method. Now that you know the types of rhinestones available, let’s discuss how to prepare your nails for application.

Key Takeaway: Flatback, Hotfix and Claw Set Rhinestones are all popular options for nail art designs. Flatbacks are easy to apply and remove, while Hotfixes require some skill but stay in place more securely. Claw Sets offer the most secure hold but take longer to apply.

Preparing Your Nails for Application

Cleaning and Filing the Nails: Before applying nail rhinestones, it is important to clean and file your nails. Start by washing your hands with soap and water to remove any dirt or oils from the surface of your nails. Then, use a nail file to shape them into the desired shape (e.g., square, round, oval). Make sure that you are filing in one direction only; this will help prevent splitting or damaging the nails.

After you have prepped your nails, it’s time to start applying the rhinestones. The next step is to learn how to use glue or adhesive tape and heat for flatback and claw set rhinestones, as well as hotfix rhinestones.

Applying Nail Rhinestones

Applying nail rhinestones is a great way to add sparkle and glamour to any look. Whether you’re creating an intricate design for your nails or just adding some extra bling, there are several different types of rhinestones available that can be used for this purpose. Depending on the type of rhinestone being used, the application process may vary slightly.

Using Glue or Adhesive Tape to Apply Flatback and Claw Set Rhinestones: Applying flatback and claw set rhinestones with glue or adhesive tape is one of the most common methods. To begin, make sure your nails are clean and dry before applying any product. Once ready, apply a thin layer of clear nail polish over the area where you want to place your rhinestone(s). Then use tweezers to carefully pick up each individual stone and place it onto the wet polish in its desired location. Allow it time to dry completely before moving on with other steps in your manicure routine. If using adhesive tape instead, cut out small pieces of tape (the size should match that of each individual stone) then stick them onto each stone before placing them onto your nails as directed above.

Creating a unique nail design with rhinestones is easy and fun. Now that the rhinestones are applied, it’s time to finish off your look with additional decorations and sealant for a long-lasting manicure.

Key Takeaway: Applying rhinestones to nails is easy with the right tools and techniques. For flatback or claw set stones, use clear nail polish or adhesive tape to secure them onto clean and dry nails. Allow time for each stone to dry before continuing your manicure routine.

Finishing Touches for Your Nail Design

Sealing the design with top coat or gel polish is an important step to ensure your nail design lasts. Applying a top coat will help protect the rhinestones from chipping and fading, while also giving them a glossy finish. If you want even more protection, you can opt for a gel polish instead. This type of polish provides extra durability and shine that will last up to two weeks without chipping or fading.

Adding additional decorations such as glitter, paint, etc. can take your nail design to the next level. For example, if you have applied flatback rhinestones in a pattern on your nails, adding some glitter around them will give it an extra sparkle and make it stand out even more. You could also use paint pens or acrylic paints to create intricate designs on top of the rhinestones for added dimension and color contrast

FAQs in Relation to How to Apply Nail Rhinestones

What do you use to glue rhinestones on nails?

The best way to glue rhinestones on nails is to use a special adhesive specifically designed for this purpose. These adhesives are usually made of cyanoacrylate, which is a strong and fast-drying glue that will hold the stones in place securely. It’s important to apply the adhesive carefully so that it doesn’t spread beyond the edges of the stone or get too close to your skin. After applying the adhesive, press down firmly on each stone until it sticks securely in place. Allow time for drying before using your hands or touching anything else with your nails.

How do you get rhinestones to stick to gel nails?

You can purchase this type of adhesive from craft stores or online retailers. Apply the adhesive directly onto the back of each rhinestone and then place it on your nail. Make sure that the entire surface area is covered with adhesive for a secure hold. Allow the glue to dry completely before applying any top coat over your design. With proper application, your rhinestones should stay in place until you remove them with an acetone-based remover or soak off solution designed specifically for gel nails.


Creating a unique and stylish nail design with rhinestones is easy and fun. With the right tools, some practice, and patience you can create beautiful designs that will turn heads. Whether you are looking for something simple or an intricate design, applying nail rhinestones can help you achieve your desired look. So don’t be afraid to get creative – have fun experimenting with different colors and shapes of rhinestones to find the perfect look for your nails!

Do you want to add some sparkle and shine to your style? Check out our selection of rhinestones for clothing, styling, arts and crafts. Our easy-to-apply nail rhinestones are perfect for making a statement without breaking the bank! Whether you’re looking for something subtle or bolder designs – here at Rhinestone Shop we have just what you need. So don’t wait any longer – get creative with our amazing range of rhinestone products today!

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