Believe it or not, your nails play an important factor in pulling your overall beauty look together. And if you haven’t been able to make it to a nail salon as of late, chances are good you’re probably freaking out a bit. Lucky for you, we have some positive news. Press-on nails are the latest beauty trend that’s emerged to give your nails a professionally done look right at home. Of course, if you’re going to switch to wearing press-ons, there are a few questions you’ll need the answers to: How do you apply and remove press-on nails? How long do press-on nails last? What do they cost? Below, we’re giving you the full scoop on press-on nails so you can get well acquainted with this buzzy nail trend.
WHAT ARE PRESS ON NAILS?
If you’re still a bit confused about the press-on trend, we’re here to shed some light. Press-on nails are nothing more than artificial nails that are shaped to emulate natural nails. Typically made of acrylic resin, press-on nails come in a myriad of sizes and designs to suit your needs. From traditional square-shaped nails to long coffin nails, the possibilities are truly endless for a chic manicure.
Press-ons can come in solid colors to mimic the look of regular nail polish, but they often also feature elaborate nail art that you might not be able to freehand.
HOW LONG DO PRESS-ON NAILS LAST?
Now that you know the basics about this beauty trend, you’re probably wondering how long press-on nails last. When applied correctly, press-on nails can last up to two weeks. That’s right, they can totally last just as long and even longer than a traditional manicure. Of course, the key to rocking a long-lasting nail set comes down to your application technique.
HOW MUCH DO PRESS-ON NAILS COST?
If you’re looking to save money on the nail front, you’re in luck! Press-on sets typically cost anywhere between $8 and $13. A nice change of pace from how much you have to dish out at the nail salon, press-on nails are the ultimate budget-friendly pick.
HOW TO USE PRESS-ON NAILS
Ready to master the press-on nail trend? Pick up a press-on nail kit and follow along with our step-by-step tutorial to bring this look to life.
STEP #1: REMOVE OLD NAIL POLISH
While you may be excited to apply your press-on nails, you’ll need to make sure that your natural nails are clean and prepped. Start by removing any old nail polish from your nails, and you’re ready for the next step.
STEP #2: BUFF AND FILE YOUR NAILS
In order for your press-on nails to go the distance, you’ll need to add a little trimming action into your routine. Give your nails a good trim and make sure that they’re even. Next, reach for a nail file and shape your nails for a nice and smooth finish. Whether you opt for long nails or short nails, you should always keep your natural nails short, so your press-on nails can lay seamlessly.
STEP #3: SOAK YOUR NAILS
Now it’s time to clean things up a bit. Place your hands in a bowl of warm water for two to three minutes to give your nails a quick soak. Pick up an orange stick and push your cuticles out of the way for a clean-cut look. Follow up with a bit of cuticle oil at the base of your nails to keep them looking healthy and moisturized.
STEP #4: SELECT THE RIGHT SIZE NAILS
Once your cuticles have absorbed the oil, it’s time to break out your press-on nails! All press-on sets come with nails of various sizes. Simply size each nail to match your natural nails for the perfect fit. Once you have the right sizes picked out, place the rest of the nails out of the way.
STEP #5: APPLY YOUR GLUE
Using the nail glue that comes with the packaging, apply a small dot at the tip of your natural nail and just below the cuticle. Remember, you only need to use a tiny bit of glue. Using too much glue can ruin your press-on nails and shorten the life of your manicure.
Editor’s note: If you’re not a fan of using nail glue, there is another option. Press-on adhesive strips! Most press-on kits come equipped with nail glue and adhesive strips, so you can choose what’s best for you. Make sure to follow the instructions listed on the packaging for your desired results. Keep in mind, press-on nails typically last longer with glue.
STEP #6: PRESS YOUR NAILS ON
Place your press-on nail on your real nail and press down firmly for one to two minutes. Release and your nails should be perfectly snug. Repeat until you have a full set of press-on nails. Voila!
OPTIONAL STEP: FILE THE PRESS-ONS
Think your press-on nails look a bit too long? This step is totally optional, but you can always file them down—just like you would your regular nails. The only difference is you might need to use a nail file with a higher grit. Not only can you shorten the nails if needed, but you can also change the nail shape if you prefer something different. Alternatively, you can buy press-ons that have your perfect shape and length to begin with; that way you can skip the extra step.
HOW TO REMOVE PRESS-ON NAILS
Once your nail set has run its course, it’s time to learn how to remove your press-on nails! Read below for two easy ways you can do so.
1. ACETONE SOAK
One of the best ways to remove press-on nails is none other than an acetone soak. Clip your press-on nails to help speed up the process. Apply a bit of petroleum jelly on your cuticles to protect your nails during the acetone removal process. Pour acetone into a small bowl, place your fingers into the bowl, and let your nails soak for 20 minutes.
Once the time is up, check to see if your nails have lifted off your nail bed. If they have, gently peel off the press-on nails, and you’re all set. If not, continue to soak your nails for an additional five minutes, then try again.
2. HOT WATER SOAK
Not a fan of acetone? No problem! You can remove your nails with warm water and baby oil. Fill a small bowl with warm water and add a few drops of baby oil. Place your hands in the bowl and allow your nails to soak for 20 minutes. Once the nails are loose, you can gently peel off each press-on nail.
Next up: Congratulations, now you’re a press-on nail expert! In the mood to learn about another nail trend? Head on over to our article, Your Intro to Dip Powder Nails.