Do gel nail stickers work?

I love getting my nails done. Specifically, I like going to the salon. Normally, when I know I’m going on vacation, I try to book an appointment for a gel manicure usually a day or two before my trip. Even though I live in New Jersey, I’m not the acrylic-wearing Jersey Girl type. Gel manicures are perfect because they retain their high shine and last for two to three weeks (assuming you pick a place with quality polish). That second part is clutch because I find that just managing luggage on travel days can be enough to defeat lesser nail polishes. 

Whether you’re a parent who’s too busy to squeeze in some me time at the nail salon, or someone who wants an easy nail upgrade before a vacation, I can’t recommend the Gel Nail Stickers enough. The brand’s standout feature for me is the wide array of artistic options. Ohora offers both manicure and pedicure stickers. More importantly, the designs look like something a professional nail tech would create. They don’t look like stickers. In my opinion, this is critical because when I use nail stickers, I want them to pass for a salon manicure, not a DIY project. But if you don’t like nail art, there are also solid-hued sets. 

Each sticker set comes with 30 stickers giving you an array of options for each of your fingers. As is standard with manicure stickers, each set comes with a miniature nail file, two prep pads, and a wooden stick to prep your cuticles. 

What sets the brand apart from traditional nail stickers is that these still need to be cured with a UV lamp, which doesn’t come with the stickers. The Gel Lamp is compact enough to easily toss in my carry-on and USB-powered. You’ll either need to purchase it separately or look for an Ohora promotion like getting a free lamp if you sign up for the brand’s email newsletter. 

The Gel Nail Stickers are super malleable so you can easily line the base up along your cuticle and ensure that you get perfect coverage. Just be careful to not handle them too much as the sticker will start to stretch, and then the application might not work as well. Similar to other nail stickers, Ohora’s are made longer so they’re compatible with a variety of nail lengths. Simply file off the excess once you apply them. 

One tip I’d recommend is using the spoon end of a cuticle pusher like this Utopia Care Cuticle Pusher and Spoon to press the sticker fully onto your nail so it adheres completely at the cuticle, from side to side across your nail, and especially at the tip of your nail. This step is critical because if there’s any lifting, the sticker will cure like that once exposed to UV light. The lamp has two settings — 45 and 60 seconds — and I usually run 90 seconds for each hand. Once you’re done, they harden to a traditional gel polish finish, complete with the plump high shine we all love. 

I love that I can get a minimum of 10 days of chip-free wear but often more like two weeks out of Gel Nail Stickers. Just like traditional gel polish, they’re incredibly durable. To remove the nail stickers, you simply use a cuticle stick to lift them off once they start to grow out a bit. Or you can buy the brand’s Easy Peel Remover for gentler removal.

Will these gel nail stickers completely replace the salon experience for me? Absolutely not, because this busy mom needs a bit of me-time where someone else is doing all the work. But, if I know I’m taking a longer trip, or I can’t get into my favorite salon before I go out of town, I now know I can easily buy these ingenious Gel Nail Stickers, slip them and the UV lamp into my carry-on, and go on my way. 

If you’re intrigued by the Ohora Gel Nail Stickers but want to see what else is out there, here are a few other gel nail sticker options from Amazon. Just remember, you’ll need a UV lamp to cure them.