Best Press on Nails (A Nail Enthusiasts Ultimate 2017 Guide)

When I was 13 years old, I grew out my nails. I spent so much time taking care of them and the results were here. I was so happy about that. Finally, I had healthy natural nails. They were long and beautiful. With my luck, I had them for about a week, and just before the most important event in the year, I broke my nail. This was the worst thing that could happen to me I thought. This was an urgent situation, and I had to find the fast and simple solution. I didn't have time to do anything else so I tried the best press on nails.

I bought a kit of some generic brand press on nails which were transparent and decided to paint them over. I choose some great nail polishes and I have to admit that it didn't look bad at all. But unfortunately, they all fell off and it looked like a mess. It was pretty scary. I gave up on them until recently. Maybe I didn't know how to apply them properly. I am that kind of person who thinks that anything deserves a second chance. After all, it's 2017 now and press on nails couldn't have gotten any worse.

What are Press On Nails?

What do we know about these products? These are artificial nails, also known as fake nails or nails extensions. They are used like coverings placed over fingernails. They are made from different materials and there are so many various types of these products. So, you can be sure that you can find the right one for you. They can look like a simple French manicure, they can be transparent so you can apply any nails polish on them. Another alternative is a finished look, you can put on your nails, truly creative and colorful. But why would anyone decide for these nails? I have already shared my situation, why I have decided for them at that time, but you can choose them anytime.

Best Press on Nails Brands

Kiss Press on Nails - (The most common Brand)

White Oval Press on Nails

oval press on nails

Revlon Press on Nails - (Canadian Yay)

imPress Press on Nails - (The most addicting brand)

Press on Nails at Home or at a Salon?

Having a nail manicure treatment at salons can be expensive and it sometimes takes so much time, so this is for sure faster way to get your nails done. Your nails technician can do this for you, but applying press on nails yourself is a lot cheaper than going to a nail salon.

You can get a whole kit for the price of a nail salon treatment and practice for your next slumber party! It'll take you about 40 minutes to do it for the very first time, and as quick as 20 minutes once you get used to it. It's almost the same amount of time as it would take to get to the salon, get them glued on, and get back home. I recommend trying this out yourself. It's more fun this way.

This is also great while you are trying to grow your nails long, because if you choose acrylic manicure treatment or gel manicure that will damage your nail. You can be sure that you won't get long and healthy nails after these treatments. Your nails will be in the even worse condition than they were before. But, if you use press on nails, your natural nails can grow up normally, and this will even protect them in sort of way.

Biting Nails?

One interesting advantage is also that Press on Nails will surely tear away at your habit of biting nails. You can't feel them like you would your own nails and who knows what's underneath. I cringe at the thought of what I could find after 2 or 3 days of wearing them.

Who are Press On Nails for?

I recommend using press on nails for anyone on a tight schedule or who work a lot with their hands. In my case, when I cut my nails too short by accident, I can't be bothered to wait the week or two for them to regrow. I'm going to either have chubby and pretty nails, or long and sexy. I choose the latter.

I use press on nails when I'm not having the best day with my nail art brush, however, nail stamps and stickers are great alternatives too for solid colors.

How long do Press on Nails last?

Just like with any regular nail polish, gel, or shellac, it matter what you do with your hands. On average, expect imPRESS press on nails to last for about 10 days. Kiss press on nails, 5-7 days.

How to Apply Press On Nails?

1. Prep your nails the same way you would for a manicure.

2. Clean them, trim them, file them. Push back and trim your cuticles. Be careful with your cuticles please!

3. When trimming your nails leave a bit of length to make it slightly easier to apply the press on nails.

4. Arrange your press on nails to match your natural nails. They come in different sizes for different fingers. Most of them have the numbers on the back, so my advice is to write them down the first time you size yourself, and then every next time matching them will be easier and faster. Most kits have a pair that will fit perfectly. However, once you run out of those, you will have to trim down the longer ones.

5. You can choose between different shapes like oval, round and square shapes and colors. If you choose French manicure you can paint over any nail polish. It can look really natural if you choose the right color and the shade. And one important advice is not to forget to match your nail shape with color, because if you match for example almond shape and too colorful look this sometimes can look too extravagant.

Sometimes less is more! When you choose press on nails, you can get real nail art. There can be so many creative and interesting looks (to be honest, there is big chance that you nail technician wouldn't know how to do some of the designs)

Be advised, some people have had nail damage due to the glue. You may use a strengthening base coat to protect your natural nails.​

Nail Tek Natural Nail Strengthener Base Coat

7. Buff your nails.

8. There are 2 different ways to apply the press on nail. One is to glue it with nail glue, and the other is to peel off a sticker and to just press it on your nail. imPRESS products are literal press on nails. This glue can sometimes damage your nail bed or the skin around the nail so I think that the stickers are better. These stickers sometimes come with false nails but you can also buy them separately. You usually get 24 stickers in the pack so you can use them twice. They also come in different sizes so you need to apply them to your nails, and then trim to the size. After that, you need to peel off the plastic and stick on the fake nail. Then you have to press down as the tabs are pressure activated. The great thing about these stickers is that that make your fake nails reusable because they don't live a trace like glue. They are totally harmless.

However, if you decide to use the glue you need to have a cotton swab beside you to remove any glue that seeps out from under the press on nail.

If the glue burns, your natural nail surface is too thin and I highly suggest you wait until they fully recover from the filing before trying again. Avoid using any nail polish, gel, or shellac for a week or two. The glues aren't all the same, so you need to make sure that you choose the one which has a good quality.

Read more here regarding best glue for press on nails.

9. Cut them, file them or paint them! You can always paint them prior to gluing them on your nails, however, this might cause chips in the paint when you begin cutting or filing them.

How to remove Press on Nails?

If we're talking about acrylic nails, you can read my instructions on how to take off acrylic nails here. However, the instructions below are strictly for press on nails.

There are two ways to do this, using warm water or acetone.​

Remove Press on Nails with Acetone

1. Fill a glass bowl with nail polish remover. Choose the one who contains acetone because only acetone can dissolve the adhesive.

2. Place petroleum jelly on your skin around your nails. This is to prevent the acetone from drying your skin.

3. Dip your fingers into the bowl​ for 15-20 minutes. This process should loosen the adhesive.

4. Then you can try to remove the press on your nails try to peel them off. If they are not ready to repeat this process.

5.​ Continue the process by looking at step 9 on how to take off acrylic nails.

Remove Press on Nails with Warm Water (Really slow process)

1. Fill a glass bowl with warm water, keep it warm the entire time. Add a few drops of a hand soap in it. Soaking your press on nails in warm soapy water may help to loosen them.

2. Dip your fingers into the bowl for 20-40 minutes. You might have to add more warm water as it'll cool down. You can try to rock the nails back and forth slightly while they are in the warm soapy water. This might help to get some water to the adhesive and loosen it.

3. After soaking them in the water get them out and try to peel them off.

4.​ Continue the process by looking at step 9 on how to take off acrylic nails.

Press on Nail Tips

  • Avoid cutting your cuticles until they bleed!
  • Keep an extra bottle of nail glue with you at all times!
  • Sharing tools is a big no-no. This is how you transmit fungus and bacteria unless you properly clean everything and throw out the used equipment.
  • Educate yourself on some nail salon safety!

A lot of people are very imPRESSed by the Broadway Press on Nails

Best Press On Nails FAQ

Can I shower with Press on Nails?

Yes, you can, just don't shower immediately after gluing them to your natural nail. It takes some time for the glue to dry.

Will the fall off in the shower?

No they should not. Obviously it can happen if they're beat up and the water comes in contact with the glue.​ Avoid using really hot water!

If I have long nails, can I use press on nails?​

Yes, but you will most likely need to trim down your natural nails. Your natural nail can't be longer than the fake one. You can always choose long fake nails and solve this problem. Don't forget to match the shape with your natural nail shape. This is really important if you don't want to make your natural nails shorter.

Does the glue damage your nails?

It depends on what kind of glue you use. Generally, the glue will damage your nails if you're a constantly applying press on nails. Remember to let your natural nails breathe! It is also important to gently remove your fake nails. The removing process will damage your nail bed the most if you are too rough and have no patience.

Do press on nails look different then gel or shellac?

If you apply them properly, no one will be able to tell the difference. Sometimes it can look really natural. It's all up to you. It depends on your decision what kind of press on nails you choose.

What is the best alternative to Press on Nails?

Properly done acrylic nails​, but they will do some damage to your nails.

Can I apply Press on Nails on Shellac?

Yes.​ As long as it's real CND Shellac, you won't have issues. To remove press on nails or fake nails from shellac, just soak your nails in warm water. Don't use acetone, this will begin the removal process of your shellac.

Where can I buy Press on Nails?

Amazon, Etsy, Wal-mart. If you want them quick, go to wal-mart, if you want to read reviews, go on amazon. If you want press on nails with designs, go on etsy.

What are Press on Nails made of?

Press on nails are made of plastic plates and if they come with a design, it's usually nail polish on top.

  1. Hello, please can you help me. I am a crossdresser and would love false nails on for one night per week when going out. Can you advise what would be my best choice .
    Thankyou ever so much if you can advise please.

    Kindest Regards,

    Holly x

    1. Hi Holly! Thank you for asking.

      I’d go with imPRESS. My recommendation is to go to a store and try to see how well they fit your nails, just eyeball it.
      Christian Siriano just released a brand new line! Those look fun 🙂

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