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Rhinestones How-To Library
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Using Rhinestones in Nail Art and Beauty

Since the revelation of crystals on nails, folks have snatched up the idea as an affordable luxury and have run with it. With nail art, doors to first class designs are open to everyone, and celebrity quality and style can be attained by even the DIY consumer. Note, though, that the designs that are shared as inspiring feature real crystal—not dull plastic stones. Be sure you are getting quality crystal rhinestones by asking for Swarovski by name. Crystal is made from glass, but unlike glass rhinestones, crystal will act as a prism, breaking the light up into little rainbows within the facets. Crystal sparkles more brilliantly. On nails, one pure, animated crystal can make the entire look. Try to say that about cloudy plastic.

Swarovski® crystals are available in 129 colors and 24 shapes small enough to use on nails, including flat back pearls. We have created a separate website to simplify shopping for nail distributors, and inform and inspire nail artists and techs:

Applying Swarovski crystals to nails requires a key step to maintain the brilliance unique from other, duller rhinestones&emdash;do not apply color or topcoat over the stone. Nail techs using plastic (acrylic) and glass rhinestones add shine by painting a layer of shiny topcoat over the top, but you do not need this with Swarovski crystals. In fact, the scientifically proven brilliance is diminished when topcoat is applied over the crystal! For a simple, step-by-step tutorial to apply Swarovski crystals to either polish or gel manicures, please visit

This site also provides application aids. We recommend using a wax-tipped tool to pick up the crystal rather than a tweezer. Tweezers may transfer excess glue or wet topcoat to the next crystal you try to pick up; a tool such as the Crystalline Pick-Me-Up adheres to the face of the crystal, not the sides. It makes placing teeny tiny crystals into your nail design a breeze. We also have storage options with locking compartments. (You’re not the only one who has knocked over your container of rhinestones…)

For additional application details, tools, design ideas and an incredible selection of Swarovski crystals sized for manis and pedis, please visit presented by Rhinestones Unlimited.

See other sections of our How-To library for help with the design or application of rhinestones on apparel, accessories, home goods and more.

Visit our Inspiration Gallery and Pinterest page to see creative uses of rhinestones in hair, beauty and art!

Rhinestones Unlimited: Learn. Shop. Sparkle.