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Here’s an overview of what happens when I try to grow my nails long: They start looking dirty almost immediately, they slowly move past my nail bed at a snail pace, and as soon as my nails get to a length where chicness is on the horizon, they break. Of course, I could head to a salon for some expertly done nail extensions, but who has the time? Besides, as much as I love having long nails now and then, I can’t deny that they make typing or buttoning up jeans slightly more complex. What I want is an easy, inexpensive, temporary set of claws that won’t rip off the top surface of my nails when they come off.
Enter press-ons, once hailed by girls in the early ’00s but quickly forgotten, along with low-rise jeans and butterfly clips. Seeing as we’re having an early naughts revival, press-ons are once again back in center stage, this time with a new level of cool and chic that they didn’t have a few years ago. Below, find nine of the best press-on nails that you can plop on and take selfies with all summer long.
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Reusable Press On Nails
For a classic look, these nails are easy to apply, stay on for around 2 weeks (3 if you’re being careful!) and come off easily with zero damage to your nail bed.
Best For The Minimalist
Square Pop-On Reusable Manicure Set
For the manicure minimalist who doesn’t want crazy designs or kitschy colors, these faux nails are so classic and cool that you’ll want to get them in every shape and color.
Best For Beginners
Oval False Nails Geometric Lines Press on Nails Abstract
Don’t sleep on the press on nail options on Amazon. These artistic designs are calling for an Instagram post starring you as the hand model.
Best For Nail Art
Checked Out Chill Tips
For a Gen Z design, these professional-looking press-ons are best suited to the ultimate cool girl who matches her nails to her Pinterest board.
Best For No Mess
imPRESS Color Press-On Manicure
A classic in the press-on game, this set comes with 30 nails so you can be sure to find one that fits every one of your dainty fingers.
Best For Sizing
The Instant Mani Press-On Nails
- Comes with 21 different sizes
Looking for a simple mani? If you have 10 minutes before you need to be out of the house, pop these on to look instantly refreshed. No one will know they’re not your natural nails.
Best For Selfies
Loverboy Press On Nail Set
Feeling groovy? This set of wavy nails is the perfect summer accessory. All of the options from Quickies are super cute and selfie-ready, so have fun picking out your new look.
Best For A Budget
Abstract Swirl Press On Nails
Classic with a twist? This set of press-ons are low-cost and classy, which is the combo we’re always looking for. They’re an easy way to increase your daily wow-factor.
Best For Damaged Nails
Magic Press on Nails Stay Palm
- Design may not suit everyone
If your nails are fragile and you’re scared of using nail glue, these come with a gentle adhesive that lets the press-ons stay on without causing any damage.
Best For Events
Press On Nails
Throw on a pair of these press-ons before any event you have in your life to make a statement like, “Yes, I am cooler than you.”
Best For Fancy Nails
Selfie Luxury Artificial Nail
If you want to rock a manicure that isn’t just a one-tone color, this set is for you.
What is the best way to apply press-ons?
“The best way to apply press-on nails starts with prepping your nails,” says Mcferran. “Push down on your cuticles and clean your natural nails with the alcohol pad in the kit. Then find press-on nails that fit your nail. Apply glue on both your nail and press and nails and apply.”
What’s the best way to remove press-ons?
“The best way to remove your press-ons would be to soak your hands in warm water with oil and dish soap for 10 minutes,” says Mcferran. “Then grab either your cuticle stick or use the edge of a press-on nail to gently pop off your the press-ons on your nails. Never force the nails to pop off because that can result in damage. If a press-on nail is being stubborn, soak for 5 more minutes before trying again.”
How can people make their press-ons look more natural?
“Definitely prep and clean your cuticles to ensure a seamless look. Also making sure to pick press-on nails that are slightly smaller than your real nails will help with sizing,” says Mcferran.
How can people avoid damaging their natural nails when applying press-ons?
“Making sure to follow the removal steps can help people avoid damage to your real nails,” says Mcferran. “Also following up with cuticle oil and lotion to keep your hands hydrate will also help.”
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