No nails? No problem.
If I were to say the words “press-on nails” to you, it’s likely that your brain would conjure up images of middle school slumber parties where you and your friends turned a living room into a beauty salon with temporary hair dyes, body stickers and the aforementioned press-on nails. But the school days staple is having a major resurgence during quarantine. With all of us staying indoors and nail salons shuttered until further notice, we’ve all had to turn our hands (sorry not sorry) to taking care of our own nails. From DIY manicures and pedicures, to removing gel polish, it’s given us a newfound appreciation for our local nail technician. But if you haven’t managed to perfect painting your own nails (myself included), press-on nails are a relatively quick and easy way to ‘cheat’ your way to a salon-worthy manicure.
In fact, even glam queen Ariana Grande is getting in on the action. Earlier this week, the Thank You, Next singer posted two images to stories of a set of press-on nails she had been gifted by a Los Angeles based nail artist with the handle @bettyinacherry. In one of the shots, Grande showed off her perfectly manicured hand, with the caption “u are a gift @bettyinacherry thank u.”
When applying press-on nails, be sure to properly fit each nail. Gina Edwards, celebrity nail artist and ambassador for Kiss Nails, says, “The best way to apply press-on nails is to apply the nails on your dominant hand first which makes it a little easier for application. Also, measure the nail from nail groove to nail groove without overlapping the skin.” Her top tip for a perfect end result? “Make sure you cleanse your natural nails before applying by removing oils and debris for better adhesion. Also make sure to size all ten nails and lay out in number order before applying. This ensures you choose the best fit for each nail.”
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to application, too. Some sets require glue, whilst others use an adhesive layer to hold the nail in place. As for how either will treat your natural nails, Edwards explains, “There is no risk to your natural nails if you apply a press on with an adhesive layer, not glue. Glue nails may cause damage only if they are not removed properly.”
Speaking of removal, if your nails are still going strong but you’re ready for a new set, Edwards says, “If the adhesive is still holding well, don’t rip the nail off as that will damage the nails. You can use warm water and oil or add a little acetone under the nail. If your nails were applied with glue you need to remove with an acetone -based product and soak off for a minimum of 15-30 mins.” If you happen to lose one before you’re ready to take them all off, Edwards says, “For hygiene and optimal wear, its best to keep the nail off and reapply a new one,” adding that all KISS/imPRESS nails include ‘extras’ for mishaps and fallen nails for that very reason.
Here’s some of our favourite at-home press-on nail kits to try:
Your local Shopper’s/Rexall/pharmacy will also likely have an extensive selection of press-ons so be sure to visit the nail aisle on your next visit.