Blame it on boredom, or the fact that appointments with our nail techs have been painstakingly pushed back for months, but it seems that everybody has become their own manicurist in recent months. In particular, it seems that many have gotten creative in lockdown, turning to nail decal and stickers that not only offer up a new and exciting activity to tackle in lockdown but add an eccentric and entirely unique twist on the traditional manicure.

In the midst of Australia’s lockdown, friends and now business partners Crimson Dunstan and Bridie Alman decided to tackle the need for more accessible and Instagram-worthy nail art that didn’t require anything other than some clear nail polish, a pair of tweezers and just a little bit of creativity.

The result was their newly launched Bondi-based nail art company, Flowerbed Nails, which sells playful stickers in an array of designs. The duo’s first collection, the Launch Party Collection, was designed in collaboration with branding and design firm After Hours and is a timely take on ‘90s nostalgia, featuring a mix of red and green chillis, smiling faces, florals and more.

After being sucked in by the brand’s takeover of my Instagram feed, with seemingly everyone keen to get on the nail art trend, I wanted to give the stickers a go for myself. After all, my nails had been looking a little sad the last few months.

Each order comes with one sheet of 110 stickers (so you really can get creative as you like) and last up to two weeks. They’re also bucking against outdated gendered beauty norms and make clear that the stickers were made for everyone, as well as the decals being vegan and cruelty-free.

Because I’ve been in lockdown, my nails were already bare so I didn’t need to prepare much to try these out for the first time. The instructions were simple enough too, suggesting that prior to applying the decal it’s best to buff the nails and apply a clear base coat, which will help with the longevity of the stickers.

Once you’re all good to go, just peel off your chosen design—this works best with a pair of tweezers—and stick to a clean, dry nail, push down on the decal and top it off with clear nail polish. It really was as simple as that, and for someone with no artistic ability whatsoever, this was so simple and quick, it felt like I was missing a step. But no, they’ve just made it that seamless.

The brand suggests using a good quality clear top-coat and avoiding soaking your hands in hot water after application, which will allow the stickers to last the distance.

And while I decided to keep my nails polish-free, you can pair the stickers with your favourite nail colour underneath to add to your mani, and they’ll still remain firmly in place as long as you finish it off with that clear coat.

If you’re over your go-to lockdown activities, this was a welcome distraction and I actually loved the results, continuously looking down at my fingertips and taking countless photos when the light hit just right.

For all future collections, Flowerbed Nails will be collaborating with fellow Australian artists, musicians and creatives to create their newest designs—so we can’t wait to see what the pair have in store for us next.

Image Credits: Flowerbed Nails, After Hours