Do You Put Top Coat Over Rhinestones? The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Nail Art Last Longer

Are you tired of spending hours creating the perfect rhinestone design only to have it ruin after one wear? Well, you’re not alone. We all want our rhinestone-covered pieces to look flawless and last for as long as possible. One of the biggest questions that come to mind is ‘do you put top coat over rhinestones?’ It’s a question that has perplexed designers and fashion enthusiasts alike. But the answer is not so simple.

At first glance, putting a top coat over rhinestones might seem like a good idea. It will add an extra layer of protection and make the stones shine even more, right? However, there are a few things you need to know before you make that decision. For instance, the type of topcoat you use can be crucial to the longevity of your rhinestone design. If you use the wrong kind, you might wind up with a cloudy or dull appearance. That’s not something you want after putting all that time and effort into your design.

So, what’s the verdict? Do you or don’t you put top coat over rhinestones? Well, the answer lies in the details. There are a few things you need to consider before making that decision. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to master the art of rhinestone design and keep your pieces shining bright for as long as you want. So, let’s dive in and discover the dos and don’ts of putting top coat over rhinestones.

What is a Top Coat?

A top coat is a clear, protective coating applied over nail polish to provide a glossy finish and protect the underlying layers of nail polish. Nail polish may chip or fade over time, and a top coat helps to prolong the longevity of the manicure, preventing it from chipping and maintaining its luster.

Top coats have different formulations, often made of a blend of resins and other ingredients. Some top coats contain UV filters to protect the polish from sun damage, while others have fast-drying agents to speed up the drying process. Some top coats have a thicker consistency and take longer to dry compared to thinner varieties.

The use of top coat is essential to preserve the quality of nail polish and ensure a long-lasting, smooth finish that will have your nails looking fresh and healthy for days or even weeks.

What are rhinestones?

Rhinestones are a type of artificial gemstone made from glass or plastic. They are often used as decorative elements on clothing, accessories, and even in nail art.

  • They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a versatile embellishment.
  • Rhinestones were first invented in the Czech Republic in the mid-18th century and were originally made from rock crystal.
  • The term “rhinestone” comes from the fact that these stones were often used in imitations of diamonds, which were formerly called “rhinestones.”

Today, rhinestones are a popular addition to many fashion and beauty products. They add a touch of sparkle and glamour to everything from jeans and t-shirts to high-end evening gowns and bridal wear.

How do you apply rhinestones to your nails?

Rhinestones can add some sparkle and glamour to your nails. Here are three ways to apply rhinestones to your nails:

  • Option 1: Use a toothpick or dotting tool to apply glue on the nail and then place the rhinestone on top. Use a tweezer to hold the rhinestone in place if needed until the glue dries.
  • Option 2: Apply the rhinestones on top of wet nail polish or gel polish. This way, you don’t need to use glue. Simply place the rhinestone on the nail and press it gently to secure it in place. Finish with a topcoat.
  • Option 3: Use a pre-made rhinestone sticker. These are pre-designed stickers that have multiple rhinestones already arranged in a pattern. Simply peel off the sticker and place it on top of the dry nail polish. You can trim the sticker to fit the shape of your nail. Finish with a topcoat.

Do you put top coat over rhinestones?

Yes, you should always put a topcoat over rhinestones to ensure that they stay in place. The topcoat not only secures the rhinestones but also adds an extra layer of protection to your nail art. The topcoat can help prevent the rhinestones from getting caught on things and also help prevent them from falling off. Use a clear topcoat that can dry quickly and won’t smudge or smear the design. You can apply the topcoat over the whole nail or just on the rhinestone areas.

What topcoat is suitable for rhinestones?

When it comes to a topcoat for rhinestones, you want to choose one that dries fast, doesn’t smudge the designs, has a high shine, and helps to secure the rhinestones. A gel topcoat is the most suitable for securing and protecting rhinestone nails. There are many gel topcoats available in drugstores and online, but make sure you choose one with good reviews and is designed for use with rhinestones. You can also use a clear regular topcoat if you don’t have a gel topcoat. However, using a regular topcoat will not be as durable as a gel topcoat and will not last as long.

Gel Topcoat Regular Topcoat

  • Dries quickly
  • Long-lasting
  • Provides a high shine

  • Easy to find
  • Dries quickly
  • Provides extra shine

  • Requires curing under a UV or LED lamp
  • Can be more expensive than regular topcoat

  • Can smudge the design if not dried properly
  • Not as durable as gel topcoat

It is important to note that whichever topcoat you choose to use, make sure you apply it carefully so that it doesn’t smudge the rhinestone designs.

What are the benefits of using a top coat?

Using a top coat after applying rhinestones is essential in maintaining the longevity and appearance of your design. Here are the following benefits:

  • Protection: A top coat serves as a protective layer over your rhinestones and other embellishments, preventing them from falling off or getting damaged over time.
  • Shine: A top coat gives your design an extra boost of shine, making it look even more glamorous and eye-catching. Plus, it helps prevent any dulling or discoloration that may occur over time.
  • Smooth surface: When rhinestones are applied to nails, they can create a bumpy or uneven surface. Applying a top coat can help smooth out any bumps and create a cohesive, smooth look.

However, it is important to note that not all top coats are created equal. Some may cause yellowing or cracking, while others may take a long time to dry or not adhere well to rhinestones. It’s important to choose a high-quality top coat that is specifically designed for use with rhinestones and other embellishments.

Here is a table with some popular top coats that are recommended for use with rhinestones:

Brand Type Drying Time Notes
Seche Vite Fast-Drying 1-2 minutes May cause slight shrinkage but provides a glossy finish.
Gelish Top It Off Gel 3-5 minutes (under LED lamp) Provides a high-gloss shine and lasts up to 3 weeks.
Essie Speed Setter Quick-Drying 2 minutes (air-dry) Provides a glossy finish and is vegan and cruelty-free.

Overall, using a top coat over rhinestones is crucial in maintaining their appearance and longevity. Choose a high-quality top coat that is designed for use with rhinestones and other embellishments to ensure the best results.

What are the disadvantages of using a top coat?

While using a top coat over rhinestones may seem like a necessary step for ensuring long-lasting nail art, there are a few disadvantages to consider.

  • Dulling or discoloration: Some top coats can cause the rhinestones to dull or change color, especially if the top coat is not completely dry before application.
  • Smudging or smearing: Applying a top coat over wet rhinestones can cause them to smudge or smear, ruining the design.
  • Lifting or peeling: If the top coat is not applied properly or is too thick, it can cause the rhinestones to lift or peel off the nail.

It is important to note that these disadvantages can vary based on the type and brand of top coat being used, as well as the technique used to apply it. However, it is always a good idea to test a top coat on a small section of rhinestones before applying it to the entire design.

In addition to the risks mentioned above, there are a few other potential downsides to using a top coat:

Cost: Purchasing a separate top coat product can add to the cost of your nail art supplies.

Extra time: Adding a top coat requires extra time and effort in the nail art process.

Pros Cons
Protects nail art from chips and scratches Can dull or discolor rhinestones
Can add shine and smoothness to the nail surface May cause smudging or lifting if not applied properly
Can extend the life of a manicure Requires extra time and cost

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use a top coat on your rhinestone nail art is up to personal preference and experimentation with different products and techniques. It is important to weigh the potential risks and benefits and to find a method that works best for you.

Can a top coat damage rhinestones?

When it comes to adding top coat over rhinestones, there is always a concern about whether it will damage the bling or not. While some people believe that applying top coat can ruin the rhinestones, the truth is that a top coat is essential to secure the stones in place and protect them from falling off.

  • The first misconception about top coat damaging rhinestones is that it will dissolve the adhesive. Top coats are designed to dry quickly and form a protective seal over the surface of the nails, which means there is no risk of the adhesive melting away.
  • Another reason people worry about using a top coat over rhinestones is that they fear the chemicals in the top coat will dull or tarnish the stones over time. However, most top coat formulas on the market today are gentle and safe for use over nail art and rhinestones.
  • One way to ensure maximum protection for your rhinestones is to use a high-quality top coat that contains UV blockers. UV rays can cause yellowing and discoloration of the stones, so it’s important to safeguard them against sun damage and fading.

It’s also important to note that while top coat won’t damage rhinestones, it’s essential to apply it correctly. If you accidentally brush the top coat over the stones themselves, it can cause them to become cloudy or appear dull. To avoid this, apply top coat carefully, ensuring you only brush over the surface of the nails and not the stones themselves.

In conclusion, using a top coat over rhinestones is not only safe, but it’s necessary to protect your nail art and ensure it lasts as long as possible. As long as you use a quality top coat and apply it correctly, there is no risk of damage to your rhinestones.

Pros of using top coat over rhinestones Cons of not using top coat over rhinestones
– Secures rhinestones in place – Rhinestones may fall off or become loose
– Protects rhinestones from scratches and damage – Nail art may not last as long
– Can enhance the overall look of the design – Rhinestones may appear dull or discolored over time

If you want your rhinestone nail art to be the best it can be, always opt for a high-quality top coat to give it the protection and longevity it deserves.

How do you choose the right top coat for your nails?

Choosing the right top coat for your nails is essential to ensure that the rhinestones remain in place and your nails look perfect for longer. Here are some tips to help you choose the right top coat:

  • Check the ingredients – Look for top coats that contain polymers, which help create a hard and protective layer.
  • Drying time – Opt for a quick-drying top coat to avoid smudging or ruining the rhinestones.
  • Glossy finish – Choose a top coat that leaves your nails with a glossy finish.

Keep in mind that different top coats work better with specific types of nail polishes. For instance, water-based top coats work well with water-based nail polishes while oil-based ones go well with oil-based polishes.

Additionally, some top coats contain UV filters that protect your nails from damage caused by exposure to the sun.

Here are some top coats that are perfect for applying over rhinestones:

Top Coat Features
OPI Top Coat Quick-drying, high-gloss finish, long-lasting
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat Quick-drying, hard and protective layer, glossy finish, long-lasting
Essie Gel Couture Platinum Top Coat Long-lasting, high-shine finish, fast-drying, protects against fading and chipping

Remember to apply the top coat over the rhinestones and the entire nail to ensure the rhinestones stay in place. Applying a top coat once per day will also help keep the rhinestones in place and ensure that your manicure lasts for longer.

How Long Does a Top Coat Last?

One question that many people ask when it comes to applying top coat over rhinestones is how long it will last. While it may depend on the specific top coat you are using, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind.

  • A quality top coat can last up to two weeks without chipping or peeling, even when applied over rhinestones.
  • If you use a top coat that is specifically designed for nail art, it may last longer than a regular top coat.
  • How long your top coat lasts may also depend on how well you take care of your nails. Avoiding harsh chemicals and wearing gloves when doing household chores can help extend the life of your top coat.

It is important to note that while a top coat can provide a protective layer for your rhinestones, it is not a guarantee against damage. Over time, chips and cracks may still occur, especially if you are particularly hard on your nails.

To help prolong the life of your top coat and keep your rhinestones looking their best, it is important to maintain a regular nail care routine. This can include regularly moisturizing your nails and cuticles, keeping your nails trimmed and filed, and avoiding harsh chemicals whenever possible.

Wrap Up

Overall, a top coat can provide an extra layer of protection for your rhinestones and help them last longer. While the exact lifespan of your top coat may depend on the specific product you are using and how well you care for your nails, a high-quality top coat should last up to two weeks without chipping or peeling.

Top Coat Longevity
Regular Top Coat Up to 2 weeks
Nail Art Top Coat Possible longer lifespan

To ensure that your top coat lasts as long as possible, be sure to take proper care of your nails and avoid exposing them to any harsh chemicals or activities that could cause damage.

How do you remove rhinestones from your nails?

As much as we love the bling and sparkle of rhinestones on our nails, there comes a time when we need to remove them. Removing rhinestones from your nails may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done easily and safely. Here are some methods you can try:

  • Using dental floss: Slide a piece of dental floss under the rhinestone and gently saw it back and forth until it comes off. This method is effective for small rhinestones and doesn’t require any harsh chemicals.
  • Soaking in acetone: Soak your nails in acetone for about 10-15 minutes to loosen the glue holding the rhinestones in place. You can use a cotton ball soaked in acetone and place it on top of the rhinestone, then wrap the nail in foil for better results. This method is suitable for larger rhinestones and requires acetone, which can be drying to the nails.
  • Using a nail drill: If you have a nail drill, you can use it to sand off the top of the rhinestone, making it easier to remove. This method requires skill and practice to avoid damaging the nails or the surrounding area.

Regardless of the method you choose, make sure to be gentle and patient. Rushing the process can cause damage to your nails and surrounding skin. After removing the rhinestones, apply cuticle oil or a moisturizing cream to replenish the moisture lost during the process.

It is worth noting that if you have a gel or acrylic manicure with rhinestones, it is best to have it professionally removed at a salon to avoid damaging your nails.

Method Pros Cons
Dental floss Doesn’t require harsh chemicals, good for small rhinestones Not suitable for larger rhinestones
Soaking in acetone Effective for larger rhinestones, doesn’t require a nail drill Requires acetone, can be drying to the nails
Nail drill Easier to remove rhinestones, suitable for professionals Requires skill and practice, can cause damage if not done properly

Removing rhinestones from your nails can be a DIY project, but it’s important to know the proper techniques and tools to avoid damaging your nails. With a little patience and care, you can have your nails free of rhinestones in no time.

What are some alternative nail embellishments to rhinestones?

If you’re looking for unique nail embellishments to replace rhinestones, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking for something edgier or more glamorous, these alternatives will help you achieve the perfect look.

  • Glitter: One of the most popular nail embellishments is glitter. It adds a touch of glamour to any nail design and comes in a variety of colors and textures.
  • Sequins: Similar to rhinestones, sequins are small embellishments that can be applied to the nails. They come in a variety of shapes and colors and can add some serious bling to your nails.
  • Studs: Nail studs are small metal embellishments that can be screwed onto the nails. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are perfect for creating a metallic and edgy look.

If you’re looking for something more unique, you can try experimenting with different textures and materials to create a one-of-a-kind look. Some ideas include:

  • Feathers: Applying small feathers to your nails can create a boho-chic look that is perfect for music festivals.
  • Lace: For a more romantic look, try applying lace to your nails. This delicate material will add a touch of elegance to any design.
  • 3D objects: Another option is to apply small 3D objects to your nails. This could include small flowers, butterflies, or even miniature versions of your favorite objects.


No matter what your personal style is, there are plenty of alternative nail embellishments to rhinestones that can help you achieve the perfect nail design. Whether you opt for glitter, sequins, studs, or something more unique, experimenting with different materials and textures can help you create a look that is uniquely yours.

Pros Cons
Many different types of embellishments are available to choose from. Some embellishments can be difficult to apply.
Allows for more creativity and uniqueness in nail designs. May be more expensive than using rhinestones.

Overall, if you’re looking to switch up your nail art game and move away from rhinestones, there are plenty of other options available to choose from.

Do You Put Top Coat Over Rhinestones: FAQs

  1. Do you need to put top coat over rhinestones?
    Yes, it is recommended to put a top coat over rhinestones to protect them from falling off and to give them a shiny finish.
  2. When should you put top coat over rhinestones?
    After you’ve applied the rhinestones and they have fully dried, wait a few minutes before applying a top coat.
  3. Can you use any top coat over rhinestones?
    Yes, you can use any top coat over rhinestones but make sure it is a high-shine and quick-drying one.
  4. Can you use gel top coat over rhinestones?
    Yes, you can use a gel top coat over rhinestones but make sure to fully cure it under a UV/LED lamp.
  5. How many layers of top coat should you apply over rhinestones?
    One layer of top coat is enough to protect the rhinestones, but if you want a thicker and shinier finish, you can apply two layers.
  6. What happens if you don’t put top coat over rhinestones?
    The rhinestones may fall off easily and the design may not last as long as it should without a top coat to protect them.
  7. Can you put top coat over rhinestones on natural nails?
    Yes, you can put top coat over rhinestones on natural nails or artificial nails, but make sure to buff the surface of the natural nails to remove any oils and ensure good adhesion.

Closing Thoughts on “Do You Put Top Coat Over Rhinestones”

Now that you know the importance of putting a top coat over rhinestones to protect them from falling off and give them a shiny finish, you can confidently create beautiful and long-lasting designs. Remember to wait until the rhinestones are fully dried before applying a quick-drying and high-shine top coat, and you can use any type of top coat, including gel ones. We hope these FAQs helped you, and if you have any more questions, feel free to visit our site again. Thank you for reading!