Apply nail strips over acrylic, gels, shellac, base coat or nail strengthener?

Apply nail polish strips over liquid polish

If you’re like me and suffer from weak and brittle nails that are always chipping, breaking or flaking then chances are you like to use nail strengthener too. If you’re also addicted to  nail polish strips (like I am) then you’ll be happy to know it’s ok to use nail strengthener underneath your nail strips.

In other words, you can apply Nail Polish Strips over the nail strengthener. In fact if your nails are really brittle, I think it’s a good idea. I do it all the time.

You could also apply the strips over a base coat but I don’t see any need for it. The 100% real nail polish strips are base, color, and top coat all in one strip, so no need for a base coat.

Some people apply liquid top coat over the nail polish strips for added durability. But again this is just a matter of preference because the strips already have a top coat.

One more option that some people utilize is to apply Clear As Day nail strips to make their manicure last longer. As the name states, they are clear nail polish strips. They come in 4 rows of 8 instead of 2 rows of 8. So you get a total of 24 strips.

What about Gels, shellacs, and acrylics?

Gels, shellacs, and acrylics are a fun treat. Here are some things to know.


Acrylic nails create a hard protective layer over your natural nails. The product hardens as it is exposed to the air and is transparent. Because they are transparent, acrylics provide a perfect blank canvas for applying nail color. They are hard, last long and easy to remove. But they can damage your nails and the application process involves fumes and chemicals.


Gels are brushed onto your nails in three steps,  a base coat, color, and top coat. Each coat is cured under the UV light for a few minutes. Gels last up to 14 days and are more flexibe than acrylics. They are also easier to remove but can also result in nail damage. They are usually more expensive and repairing a break at home is difficult.


A gel manicure and Shellac are basically the same thing: long-lasting polishes cured through UV lighting, just like Gels.

The difference is that gel is the generic term for nails done under a UV lamp, and Shellac is a brand of gel nails by the company Creative Nail Design (CND). You will get the same atural look combined with the shine associated with gel nails.

Nail Polish Strips with Acrylics, Gels, and Shellacs

If you choose to have acrylics or gels applied to your nails, don’t worry you can still use your fave  nail polish strips. Simply apply right over your acrylics or gels to change it up or for a special occasion. Remove the nail strips as you normally would when you are ready.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, comments or concerns.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Rochelle

    What nail strengthener base coat do you recommend using with colorstreet nail strips?

    1. prettychicnails

      My favorite is Nailtiques Formula 2+ Nail Protein – 0.25 fl oz. I use 2 coats before applying my Color Street nail polish strips (be sure to allow it plenty of time to dry). It’s available at Target and Amazon.

  2. Daphne wedig

    If I have shellac nails and apply Color Street nail strips, how do I remove the nail strips from my shellac nails when it’s time to change them?

    1. prettychicnails

      You can remove Color Street with regular nail polish remover. It should not harm your shellac nails.

    2. prettychicnails

      You can remove Color Street with regular nail polish remover. It should not have effect your shellac nails.

  3. Meghan

    For the colorstreet clear designs that go over a base color does the base color have to be color street or can it be regular nail polish?

    1. prettychicnails

      Since Color Street is 100% real nail polish, I don’t see why you couldn’t put the clear overlays over regular nail polish. I would also add that since Color Street is longer wearing, your manicure would last longer if you used Color Street nail strips underneath also.

  4. Sue K

    Can I apply Color Street nail strips over dipped nails?

    1. prettychicnails

      Yes, you can

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