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Color Street Application Tips

I HAD to write this article! I’m still relatively new to Color Street, and I have made my share of application blunders and wanted to spare others the same issues. Color Street is an amazing product and I want people to enjoy it, so I’m going to share some incredibly useful application tips here!

Clean Hands

This is a simple one, but important! Make sure you wash your hands before application. I just use regular hand soap and water and make sure they’re dry before applying nail strips. Each set of Color Street dry nail polish strips comes with an alcohol prep pad but I don’t personally use that. My nails are already fairly dried out since I’m still using acetone nail polish remover, so I skip that step. Some people I know have more oils in their nails naturally, so they use the alcohol prep pads. Try both ways and see what works for you!

Warm Hands/Warm Strips!

Truthfully, this one did not occur to me at first! Make sure your hands are warm, and also make sure the strips warm. My cousin recommended heating a rice-filled bag and laying it on the strips! I haven’t gotten that fancy with it, but it worked for her. I just recently did French tips (Meet Me in Paris) and I sat on the tips and clear coating before applying them. I just put the tips under my thigh, and then when I was applying the white tips, I sat on the clear coating! That worked. I also have a friend that holds them in front of her space heater for a while. In the summer, I assume I won’t have to worry as much about preheating my hands or the strips!

Push Back Those Cuticles!!!

This one causes me the most pain when I see other peoples’ nailfies (nail selfies). Push back your cuticles before you apply, and even then, apply the strip so that there is a tiny sliver of space between the cuticle and the end of the strip. You DO NOT want the end of the strip to be laying over the cuticle at all. If it is, it has the potential to catch on things like your hair, and peel the strip off. I had a small issue with this when I first started because I was always so eager to apply a new set that I would forget to push back my cuticles! Here’s a pic of the second set I ever did. You can see near the cuticles where the strip is overlaying my skin. This set (Chelsea Ya Later) actually stayed intact for a long time, but I think I got lucky!

Chelsea Ya Later

The middle, ring, and pinky fingers have the worst of the cuticle issue happening there! The index finger is in a whole world of its own and I’ll address that next!

Here’s a nice graphic I found that illustrates the importance of pushing back the cuticles and then subsequent placement of the strips:

Cuticle tips

Trim the Strip!

So here we are back to the topic of what I did wrong with my index finger in that last set! Once you put the strip on, if there is any overhang, use a wooden cuticle stick to very gently trim around the edges and remove the excess. Some people use their thumbnail, but I have damaged the side of the strip doing that. I’ve damaged it with the cuticle stick, too, but I’m getting better at being gentle!

My index finger clearly needed a trim around the edges! This picture also illustrates another mistake I made in the beginning, and that is not using wide enough strips. If you look at my thumbnail, there is a gap at the edge. Now, I would rather use a strip that is a little too wide and trim the excess than have that gap there! If you do trim the edge and have a little big of a jagged remainder, below is a handy tool for fixing that:

Clean up pen

Solid Colors

I have found the solid colors to be trickier to apply than the glitters or other patterns. I’m getting better with them, though, and I wanted to share some tips here. First, here is a graphic that shows how to avoid bubbles and wrinkles:

Wrinkles and bubbles

These are good tips for all the sets, but especially the solids. I also will stretch the strip a little to remove some wrinkles that like to form along the edges of the solids, and also use a rubber cuticle stick to smooth them down even more. My nails are a little on the soft side so the solids crack easily on me. I have started to either double up the solids, or use a set of Clear as Day over the solids. This also helps keep them from chipping sooner, and the solids will chip before the glitters will with normal use. The solids as a single layer still outlast liquid nail polish by a long shot!


I hope you found these application tips to be useful. It’s funny to look back at my early pictures and see the things that make me cringe now and want to offer people tips! I will be posting videos of various applications as well, so stay tuned! Feel free to ask any questions or leave comments with your own tips and tricks!

3 thoughts on “Color Street Application Tips”

  1. Thank you for this great article about taking care of your nails.  I’ve learned a lot and will start applying it immediately!!!  I have never even heard of a glass nail file but I’m going to order one now.  As for nail polish remover, your side-by-side comparison has made me swear of acetone forever.  What good are pretty nails when the skin around them is dried out and gross?  What an eye-opener.  You’ve changed my whole outlook!

  2. I  found the tips on Color Street Application very useful. I have never spent the time to bother too much about how to apply the nail polish, what to use as a nail polish remover so the nail bed doesn’t dry out too much and how to push back the cuticle and how to apply the strips. I have never done my nails professionally either. The graphics give good discriptions of applications of nail polish colour, how to push back the cuticles and using the clean-up pen in case of mishaps.

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