5 Common Color Street Problems (And How to Easily Fix Them)

It may or may not come to a surprise that there is a slight learning curve when it comes to applying and preventing common Color Street problems. It is not a hard product to master, but there are problems that I see come up frequently. And because of this a lot of people end up asking “can Color Street ruin my nails?” It’s important to troubleshoot when these problems occur to get the best application possible. You’ll love your nails more and they’ll love you back!

Updated November 17, 2021

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Let’s get to solving these Color Street problems and making sure you know how to troubleshoot on your own!

Why are my Color Street nails cracking?

This is one of the most common Color Street problems that I see in my personal use of the product. Rest assured this is not a problem with the nail polish strips themselves or your Color Street application. Cracking is a normal effect from your nails expanding and contracting. Nails are incredibly absorbent and take in water causing them to swell or expand. However, when they dry the nail will contract and shrink. Nail polish of any kind will succumb to this problem. No, I’m not saying you have to just deal with it!

There are ways to help prevent cracking, or at least prolong the inevitable. Solid colors tend to be the biggest offenders when it comes to Color Street nails cracking. They are thicker than their glitter counterparts making them less conducive to the expanding and contracting of your nail.

The best way to help prevent the cracking is to layer, layer, layer. You can double up on the same color by using the other side of the strip, apply a different color, or even a clear overlay like this one. You don’t even HAVE to use Color Street. Play around with different liquid topcoats such as this one for a matte effect. The point is, making your nails thicker and stronger will keep them from cracking (as quickly).

Difference between with top coat and Color Street without.

Why are my Color Street nails not sticking?

If this is one of your main Color Street problems, let me tell you that you’re not alone! Again, this is another huge problem I see from people and most of the time it is a problem with application. Your skin produces a lot of natural oils that keep it hydrated and healthy. You know all those fingerprints you see on windows and stainless appliances? That’s your skin oil. In order for Color Street to stick properly your nail must be free of these oils.

One of the very first steps to Color Street application is using an alcohol prep pad and one is included with every set. However, if after doing this step the strips still aren’t sticking there are other things you can do to remove that oil.

The next step I recommend is washing hands with soap and water making sure to get into the crevices around the cuticle. This will usually do the trick, but if that’s still not good enough or your nails still look shiny you can rub acetone nail polish remover over them. While I don’t usually like to recommend acetone remover (this non acetone remover is my favorite!) it is very good at drying things out which is what your nails need if they’re oily.

Another tip that I’ve seen other Stylists recommend is a base coat with Color Street. The strips seem to grip better when using one if they have oily nailbeds. Using a base coat in general is a good thing for your nails as well. I’ll mention this again later, but when using a strengthening base coat it can help prevent your nails from peeling and breaking due to weakness.

If after all of this and you’re still struggling with Color Street not sticking, there’s a rubberized base coat called ORLY Bonder. It essentially creates a stickier bond for the nail strip to attach to. Lots of people have had great success with this even with other brands of nail wraps.

Why does Color Street make my nails peel?

Color Street does not make your nails peel directly for the average person. While this Color Street problem is in fact a headache, regular nail polish can have this effect as well. It’s typically a matter of nail health rather than the type of nail polish you’re using.

Allergies are always a possibility with any product, too. If a medical professional has said you’ve had an allergic reaction to nail polish in the past it’s possible that you’re allergic to Color Street nail polish as well.

Nails are dead and therefore do not need to “breathe,” but if they’re consistently covered with nail polish and not given any breaks, the nails will start to weaken. Weak nails are prone to peeling, splitting, and breaking. Make sure to go “naked” for a couple days here and there. There are also physical health conditions that can weaken nails as well. If you have consistent problems with this, make sure to see a doctor. It’s always better to treat the root of the problem than cover it with Band-Aids (or Color Street).

Using acetone nail polish remover is another sure fire way to get your nails to peel. Your nails need oil for health and strength. This may seem counterintuitive since we remove the oils prior to application, but using an incredibly stripping remover like acetone later only makes the Color Street problems worse. Slap on another layer of nail polish and your nails never have a chance to regain their nourishment (unless you’re moisturizing like you should be!)

As much as I love Mineral Fusion nail polish remover, there have been some reports of nails peeling after using it for so long. If you suspect this to be the case for you try to switch up your remover. There are plenty of non-acetone removers to try. I’ve found that Zoya’s Remove+ works just as quickly as Mineral Fusion to remove Color Street.

For the love of God, DO NOT PEEL OFF YOUR COLOR STREET! I can’t tell you how many people come to me looking for troubleshooting help and when I ask them if they peeled off their strips they say yes! This is one of the Color Street problems that drive me nuts the most. When you peel off the strips, you’re taking layers of the nail with it damaging them. And like I said before, weak nails are prone to peeling, splitting, and breaking. Not to mention you just opened a spot where peeling can start.

Why does Color Street make my nails peel? Don't peel off nail polish strips. Use nail polish remover.

And as I said before when discussing difficulty sticking, using a strengthening base coat with Color Street can help it adhere better as well as keep your nails from peeling. A lot of Stylists and myself swear by this one to help Color Street problems. Just make sure it completely dries first or wait overnight before continuing with your nails.

Why is there wear at the end of my tips the next day?

Some people may not see this as one of the top Color Street problems, but some people hate it. Some people also consider this wear at the tips chipping when it is in fact NOT chipping. Color Street nail polish strips are 95% dry meaning that they are still 5% wet. When you apply them we suggest waiting 30 minutes to let them “cure” to the nail (check out these other amazing Color Street tips!). During this curing time, the strip fully dries and shrinks onto the nail.

This is completely normal! Do not fear it!

However, if you want to fix these Color Street problems because it drives you nuts seeing the ridge, there are a couple things you can do. The first one is to simply file away or clip off the excess nail that is exposed past the Color Street nail polish strip. This is what I typically do if I decide to do it at all.

The other method is a little more involved. It requires you to wrap the strip completely over your nail and let it sit there while it cures. You don’t file away the excess until at the point where it has already dried and shrunk (which is about 30 minutes).

Why is there wear at the end of my tips? Tuck excess Color Street strip underneath your nail and let dry. Then file excess away.

How do I make my Color Street last longer?

This question is like the holy grail of Color Street problems. Everyone wants to know how to make their manicures last longer and it’s not specific to just Color Street users either. Following all the tips above as well as some others here, you’ll get good longevity. However, there are always things you can do to even enhance that.

Always make sure your strips are at room temp before application to avoid Color Street problems. If they’re cold they will be brittle and will not want to stick to your nail. Make sure to always push your cuticles back and apply the Color Street strips to the nail ONLY! If you have any of the strip on the skin or cuticle the strip will eventually lift and chip off. If you’re using liquid top coat always remember to “cap the tip” which means to apply nail polish over the tip the nail to seal it all above and below.

Let me know what other Color Street problems you come across! I want to help you get the best out of this amazing nail polish.


StyleCaster.com “5 Ways Your Nail Polish Habit is Ruining Your Nails
BYRDIE.com “How to Prevent Your Nail Polish From Cracking and Peeling

35 thoughts on “5 Common Color Street Problems (And How to Easily Fix Them)”

    1. How old are they? If they are a new, less than a year old and un opened package, message Color Street. They will send you a new set. If they have been already opened or more than a year old, the company does not garentee them.

    1. They are definitely long enough to use on long nails up to a point. They are roughly about 2-2.5 inches in length. Any design on the strips usually only goes to the halfway point before mirroring on the other side of the strip. If you have very long nails, you’ll likely only be able to use the glitters and solids. Hope this helps!

  1. How can you store extras? They always seem to be dried out & stiff making them unable to go on smooth. Which is a bummer since I usually just throw them away.

    1. Hi Jaime! Color Street nail polish strips do dry out when left exposed to the air as you’ve noticed. In order to uses the left over strips on your nails you’ll have to save them. Check out my article here about the best ways to do that. You can also attempt to revive dried out strips as well which I have explained in this article. Hope these tips help!

    2. Jaimie, the best way to store unused nail polish strips is in the original plastic and use a hot flat iron to seal the end. Hopes this helps.

  2. i have a big issue with the top on my nails by the cuticle getting stuck in my hair. Like the whole time. Day 1-14. Any solutions to this? I am not covering my cuticle if anything I give some extra room. It is not every nail and not always the same nail.

        1. Hi Amanda. So what I mean is if you have short nails you can cut the strip in half and use one half on the nail first. Then you can use that second half and place it right on top of that first nail strip. That way you “double up” and have 2 layers of Color Street on one nail. Hope that helps!

  3. Darcie Bardini

    Curious here. Been using about 8 months and have paid attention to the coverage on each side of nail. When I put them on they fully cover but next day or 2 it seems they have shrunk. I do not stretch and I keep my hands soft with moisturizers. I let them set before putting on clear as day and let set again before going about my business. Any suggestions?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Darcie!
      So as Color Street is only 95% dry, they do finish the drying and curing process once on your nail. This causes the strip to slightly shrink and fully adhere onto the nail. This is completely normal. If you notice it at the end of your nail, you can wrap the strip completely around to the underside of the nail and leave there until it fully dries. Hope that helps!

  4. Mine have been cracking after just a day or two and I do use a top coat! I’m so sad about it because it seems like it lasts just as long as regular polish.

    1. Hi Billie! I’d love to help you troubleshoot this problem, but your email address doesn’t seem to work. In case you see this again, have you tried double layers of Color Street AND a top coat? Are you nails generally on the flimsy side? What type of top coat are you using? I’d also love to see a photo of the cracking in case that can give me some clues.

    1. Hi Wanda,
      Sometimes they are a little more wet/sticky than they should be. If you come across a set that way, stick them in the freezer for 30-60 seconds and they should stiffen up enough to make them easier to use. Hope this helps!

  5. Some of my nails are wider than the nail strips in the package. Will your company start making wider strips for women with wide nails? Your company makes narrow strips for children, why not wider strips for adults with wide nails?

    1. Hi Mary, at this time there is no indication of new sizing unfortunately and we have not made any new petite designs either. I’m hoping in the future they will offer more sizes and shapes. However, have you tried turning the strips on their sides and using them that way? I’m not sure if you have long or short nails as that will only help those with short and wide nails. You could also use the pedicure strips as those have some wider strips for the big toe, but I know the colors are very limited.

  6. Most of my nails bubble after applying or using a top coat the next day. Why does this happen? I prep the nails according to the instructions and let them cure over night. As time goes on, more bubbles seem to appear until they cover the entire nail…..why???

    1. I’ve never heard of bubbling happening with Color Street, but I’ve definitely experienced it with other nail wrap brands. My first thought would be that this particular top coat you’re using is reacting with the strips and it wouldn’t matter how long you let the Color Street cure. I would try another brand. I will have to ask around to see if anyone else has had this experience before to learn how to better help!

    1. Yes you should be able to put your Color Street on top of that nail hardener. If you have problems with it sticking, just buff the shine off the nail from the hardener and reapply!

  7. I know that peeling CS off will peel away layers of your nail, but wouldn’t that also happen with some of the other brands you mention like Dashing Diva, where you literally use a stick to peel them off your nails? How do those “peel off” types of nail strips not ruin your nails as well?

    1. That’s a really great question! I’m not sure I have the answer, but it would come down to what exactly they use as an adhesive. Dashing Diva peels off with the assistance of cuticle oil (or likely any oil such as olive oil). It probably chemically reacts releasing the adhesive from the nail. It’s possible it will still take some of the nail layers with it, but not as much as if you were to pick away at just nail polish.

      Color Street doesn’t use any sort of adhesive – just semicured polish. Nail polish doesn’t react to cuticle oil which is why it would take nail with it. Hopefully that’s helpful!

    1. The best way is to either use your thumb nail to push down around your other nail perforating the excess strip. Another method would be to use a cuticle stick to do the same, push around the edges of the nail to remove any excess. And you’ll want to do this before it has a chance to cure. It will be much more difficult to remove after it’s firm.

  8. The clear strip over the polish is stuck to polish and won’t come off..full pk of Colorstreet wasted..why does this happen?

    1. Hi Marilyn! I’m so sorry that happened! Sounds like either the strips got too hot and melted at some point or there was a manufacturing error. You could reach out to Color Street to see if they can replace it for you.

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