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Crazy Foil Fun (And the best Transfer Foil Topcoat)

(Who needs holographic nail polishes?! Not me, apparently.)

I ALWAYS get multiple questions and compliments when I wear foil nails out because most people have never seen anything quite like them. (They look very sci-fi and dramatic.) If you love the way they look but get frustrated by how topcoat seems to ruin, dull, smear, and dissolve the designs, here’s the perfect solution!

Images from top:

  • Magenta holographic glitter from this set:
  • Gold Starburst holo: #45 from
  • Silver holographic dots (un-numbered from eBay) - try Silver Dots from or #12 from
  • Copper (unnumbered from eBay) - Try’s Sunset

If you need more info on applying nail foils, I recommend this video by NailNation3000. One of the most informative ones around! 

Here’s something I’d read about awhile back. Use a water-based gloss sealer or varnish for arts and crafts, instead of a clear topcoat.

I bought Plaid FolkArt Outdoor Gloss Sealer (it’s a few dollars for a large bottle that lasts forever), which is a durable, non-yellowing polyurethane varnish from the art store. There are tons of similar alternatives. Just make sure you look for water-based ones.


  1. Just paint it on with a soft, small paint brush after you do your transfer foil.
  2. Let it set for about 30 minutes before you wet your hands or use them for chores and other activities that might exert pressure on your nails.
  3. Anything that gets on your skin can be washed away with soap and water while still wet. (Anything that sets and dries is permanent.)
  4. For longer and stronger wear, do a 2nd coat after the first has had at least 30-60 minutes to dry, and then make sure you give it about an hour before you shower, wash dishes, go to bed, etc.The longer you give it to “cure”, the longer it will last without any wrinkles or cracks.
  5. [Optional] Seal in the very tip with a polish that sort of matches the foil color. This seals in the free edge and prevents varnish from peeling away after some wear and tear.



Image:’s Ice-Blue Crush

  • Final tip: Gloss varnish or sealers aren’t as hard as regular topcoats, so you should not expect your foil manicure to last as long as regular manicures unless you really don’t do any chores or exert pressure on your fingers at all.
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