Love the look of having your nails done, but can’t always make it to the salon? Want to be able to quickly change the look of your nails for events or even on the daily? It’s time to get acquainted with press-on nails. With plenty of patterns and designs to choose from, press-on nails are the easiest way to make your hands stand out. Whether you want short, long, almond shaped or coffin shaped, there’s a press-on nail kit for you. Plus, they’re easier to remove and don’t cause as much damage to your nails as acrylics do. Check out our best press-on nail tips to get the salon look at home.
10 Genius Press On Nail Tips and Hacks
1. Pick the Right Brand
There are plenty of press-on nail brands out there, and the quality definitely matters to ensure longevity. KISS is one of the most popular brands around and has amazing options for nude press-ons and French tips, as well as different shapes and lengths. Glamnetic press-ons are also super high quality and available in tons of different colours and designs from butterflies to marble to colourful French tips. PaintLab is another amazing brand, especially if you’re a fan of nail art. They boast designs from florals and avocados to hearts and strawberries.
2. Prep Your Nails
To ensure your press-ons adhere properly to your nails, the right preparation is key. Once you’ve clipped your nails and removed any previous polish, push back your cuticles to remove excess skin, then cleanse your nails with an alcohol prep pad. This ensures there’s no oils or dirt on your hands. You can also press a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol onto your nails to clean them.
3. Choose Your Nail Size
Press-on nails come in different sizes to fit your fingers. Choose your nail sizes before you start applying them so you’re not trying to find your size with wet glue on your hands. The press-ons should not be wider than your nail bed- you want them to fit snuggly underneath the cuticle. You may need to file the sides of the press-ons to fit your nail beds for a more perfect match. Just make sure to wait to file until you’ve applied the entire set. Contour the nails from the sidewalls for a more natural look.
4. Shape and Length Matter
When deciding on your press-ons, really think about your lifestyle and what you do with your hands on the daily. If you’re constantly typing, washing dishes, or doing some sort of manual labour, super long nails likely aren’t the right fit for you. You’ll probably be better off with a shorter, more natural nail length and shape. Otherwise, you can likely get away with press-ons that are longer and more tapered.
5. Proper Application Makes All the Difference
Try applying your nails with your non-dominant hand first, as it will be easier to apply the press-ons with your natural nails than with longer nails. You may also consider leaving your thumbs for last for easier dexterity. One finger at a time, cover your whole nail with a thin layer of glue. Gently apply pressure evenly over the press-on for a great seal and wait 30 seconds for the glue to set.
6. Keep Your Nails Dry
To ensure your nails last as long as possible, try not to submerge your nails under water. Press-ons are designed to come off with soap and water, so letting them sit in soapy suds for longer periods can shorten their longevity. Skip baths while you’re wearing press-ons and wear rubber gloves while you’re washing dishes to protect them.
7. Remove Gently
It’s important to remove your press-ons properly and gently to prevent damage to your nails. First, soak your nails in warm, soapy water (a liquid dish soap works best). Keep your fingers submerged for 15 minutes. At 10 minutes in, you can start loosening the tips from your actual nails by pressing the tips up and down. Do this very gently. For a quicker process, you can also do this with a few inches of pure acetone. You can then use an orange wood stick to gently lift off the press-ons. If they don’t easily come off, soak them again for a few minutes. You can also try a drop of cuticle oil under the press-on to help create slip.
8. Be Picky with Your Glue
Although most press on nail kits come with double-sided tape or glue, consider using a better glue for better stay power. The KISS Powerflex Brush-On Glue bonds quickly and brushes on evenly to prevent air pockets. The Mia Secret Nail Glue is also known to be one of the best, leaving you with long-lasting salon-like nails every time.
9. Sometimes Tape is Best
Glue is the best option if you want your press-ons to last for a long time, but if you want to be able to change them quickly (on the daily or for a certain event), the double sided tape that comes with the press-ons is perfect. The tape lasts for about 7 hours without issue. They only require a warm water soak, nail oil and a gentle tug to remove. A quick note to prevent pain: pull the nail down and outward rather than ripping them off side to side.
10. Re-Hydrate Your Hands
Press-on nails are much less likely to damage your nails than acrylics, but the removal process can still lead to some dryness. Make sure to use a good moisturizer like the Weleda Skin Food Ultra-Rich Cream after you remove them to keep your skin barrier in tip top shape. You can also re-hydrate your nails with a good cuticle oil.
Press-on nails are the best way to get the salon look without the time and money it takes to actually go to the salon. Be sure to use our tips and hacks for the perfect at home mani!
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