How To Use & Style Angel Paper


No rest for the wicked right?! I’m back again but to talk about Marmite’s sister. You either love or HATE angel paper. I, personally LOVE it. Of course I do. It can literally take a set from “oooh, they’re nice!” to “HOLY GUACAMOLE, LOOK SHARON, LOOK AT THESE!!!”.

Today I’m going to talk about how I achieved these four looks below…

Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

(Crystal placement and Swarovski information can be found in two of my other blogs)

I’ve had so many questions on how I did these nails and I know that a lot of people struggle to create full angel paper nails. Let me tell you if you haven’t already attempted it, it’s tricky!! It takes patience, perseverance and repetition.

First of all, you want to choose what angel paper you are going to be using. We could sit here all day choosing what colour we want to use, but I’m talking about whether you choose to use a transparent Mother Of Pearl one, or an opaque colour. The one I used for all four nails above were transparent Mother Of Pearl sheets. This means that what you put underneath can be seen through the paper. So, if you choose a coloured angel paper, then it doesn’t matter what you apply underneath (acrylic wise), you can just go straight in with clear acrylic as a base, but if you go with a transparent one, think about what coloured acrylics you might want to put underneath.

  1. Start by laying down your chosen coloured acrylic. You do not want to add any bulk at this stage (or any stage really lol).
  2. When the acrylic is almost fully dry, take a small square of angel paper that is too big for the nail, press it into the acrylic (you only need the acrylic wet enough to stop the paper from moving around when sizing it up so wait until it’s gummy like) and cut the angel paper a little bit bigger than the whole nail (it will become smaller after the next stage) whilst making sure you follow the correct shape of the nail.
  3. Once you have the angel paper cut to shape, crumple the piece into a tiny ball (the more you crumple it, the more lines and shapes the angel paper will reflect in the finished result). Then unfold it so it is straight again.
  4. Now your angel paper is ready to go (this may take a few practices to get right), lay a thin bead of acrylic over the whole nail ensuring you cover the WHOLE nail. You can either do this to adhere the angel paper, or you can use a brush on glue. I personally prefer using acrylic to stick it down as you have more time to work with it.
  5. press the paper into the nail and make sure that all of the angel paper is stuck down. This is time-consuming but it is important that there are no gaps or pieces lifting up (they will end up being filed off or lifting from the nail).
  6. Once you’re happy with how secure the angel paper it, you’ll want to cut around the edge of the whole nail just to make sure that there are no bits of paper that are overhanging the nail. (Make sure at this point to leave about 1mm around the whole edge of the nail to let the acrylic underneath and the next layer of acrylic mesh together).
  7. Finally, cap the whole nail in clear to encapsulate the angel paper. Make sure to pay attention to the side walls and free edge as this is where the bottom side of the angel paper can completely come away from the nail.
  8. File, buff, cleanse and my preference to finish off the nail is to use Kiara Sky’s no-wipe UV gel topcoat. (Also sold on Annabel’s website)

Hopefully, that is not too long-winded, but when I tried to do it the first time, I failed miserably because nobody explained it to me in depth haha. Angel paper is always fiddly to use but if you struggle with the full nail of angel paper, then start by using it in small strips. They can really spice up a set of nails and help tie in colours together that you’ve used in a set. Below are some of the times I’ve used angel paper…

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

So, good luck if you managed to find the angel paper in each set… I know there’s a lot going on on these nails haha, but it hopefully gives an idea of how to use it in a design set. Again, like my last blog, I’m going to feature some of my favourite work that has been entered on ‘Nails By Annabel – Support Group’ using the collection of her angel papers available from


Credit – Annabel Maginnis, Liza Winter, Jasmine Goodridge, Katie Lockett, Kim James, Nadine Gobin, Kerrie Waite & Donna Sadler.

Love to you all xox



2 thoughts on “How To Use & Style Angel Paper

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