Press On Nails – What Are They, Benefits, Best Products

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Nail art is becoming increasingly popular, and people are looking for ways to achieve a professional look without going to the salon. One option that is gaining in popularity is press-on nails. Press-on nails or stick-on nails have come a long way from the tacky options of the past and are now a quick and easy way to have a manicure at home. 

This blog post will cover what press-on nails are, their benefits, the difference between press-on and glue-on nails, things to consider for glue-on nails, and how press-on nails work.

What are press-on nails?

Previously, we’ve discussed silk warp nails, which are a type of artificial nail.

Press-on nails are also a type of fake nails that you can do at home. 

They are made of different materials such as acrylic, gel, or plastic. Press-on nails are pre-designed, painted, and shaped in various styles, making it easy for you to choose your desired look. 

Some press-on nails come with an adhesive backing that allows them to be applied without glue, while others require special glue to attach them to your natural nails.

Press-on vs glue-on nails

There is often confusion between press-on and glue-on nails, but they are not different types of nails. Glue-on nails are merely another term used to refer to press-on nails. Press-on nails can be applied with adhesive backing or glue, while glue-on nails are only applied with glue. 

The distinction is important because some people prefer adhesive backing, while others prefer glue for more durability.

Benefits of press-on nails

Press-on nails offer several benefits. They are a fast and easy way to achieve a perfect manicure without the need for professional help. They are available in various designs, styles, and lengths, giving you the flexibility to choose your desired look. 

Press-on nails also offer cost savings as they are much cheaper than getting your nails done professionally. They can be removed easily and without causing any damage to your natural nails, and they are a great option for those with weak or brittle nails that cannot withstand the pressure of gel or acrylic nails.

Things to consider for glue-on nails

If you prefer glue-on nails over adhesive backing, there are some things you should consider. Firstly, it is essential to choose a high-quality glue that will not damage your natural nails or cause an allergic reaction. Secondly, you should ensure that the glue is applied evenly and thinly to avoid any lumps or bumps. Finally, it is crucial to remove the glue-on nails correctly to avoid any damage to your natural nails.

How do press-on nails work

Press-on nails work by attaching them to your natural nails with either adhesive backing or glue. The adhesive backing is a temporary solution that lasts for a few days, while glue can provide a more long-lasting result. They come in different shapes and sizes, and you can choose the ones that fit your natural nails perfectly. 

The application process is quick and straightforward, and the results are immediate. You can achieve a professional-looking manicure without leaving your home. 

Some of the best press-on nails on the market are Impress Press-On Nails, Kiss imPRESS Press-On Manicure and Static Nails. These brands offer a wide range of designs and styles, and their products are easy to apply and long-lasting. They also come with adhesive backing, which makes the application process much easier.

How long do glue-on nails last?

Glue-on nails can last anywhere from 5 to 14 days, depending on the quality of the glue and how well they are applied. It is essential to follow the instructions carefully and avoid activities that can cause the nails to lift or break.

Do press-on nails come off easily?

Press-on nails can come off easily if they are not applied correctly. Proper application is essential to ensure that the nails adhere properly to your natural nails. If not applied correctly, the nails can come off easily, especially during activities such as washing dishes or showering.

Do nail salons offer to do press-on nails?

You may be wondering – do nail salons do press-on nails?

Press-on nails are not an official service offered in nail salons. However, some nail technicians may offer to apply them for an additional fee. It is essential to discuss this with your nail technician beforehand and ensure that they have experience with applying press-on nails. 

Some positives of getting press-on nails done at a salon include having a professional apply them, saving time and effort, and being able to choose from a wider selection of nail designs. Some negatives include the additional cost, the possibility of limited design options, and the potential for damage to your natural nails if not applied correctly.

Do glue-on nails damage your natural nails?

You may have heard theories that glue on nails damages your nails. But do press-on nails ruin your nails in reality?

Glue-on nails can potentially damage your natural nails, and even cause a “green nail syndrome”, if not removed correctly. It is important to avoid peeling or ripping off the nails as this can damage the nail bed. It is also important to use high-quality glue that will not cause an allergic reaction or damage to the nail. 

When removing the nails, it is essential to soak them in acetone or use a nail polish remover that contains acetone, as well as to avoid forceful removal.

How to apply press-on nails

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If you’re ready to apply press-on nails, take the following steps: 

  • Start by cleaning your nails – Use nail polish remover to clean your nails and remove any natural oils that could prevent the press-on nails from adhering properly. Use individual wipes for each nail to avoid spreading the oils to the rest of your nails, as this can reduce the life of your press-on nail manicure.
  • Find the right size – Match each press-on nail to the corresponding nail on your fingers to ensure the best fit.
  • Apply the adhesive – Apply a small drop of adhesive to the center of your nail. Be careful not to apply too much, as this can cause the press-on nails to slide around.
  • Press on the nail – Line up the press-on nail with your natural nail and press down firmly, starting from the center of your nail and working your way out to the sides.
  • Secure the edges – Use a cuticle pusher or your finger to firmly press down the edges of the press-on nail. This will help to ensure a tight seal and prevent the press-on nail from lifting or falling off.
  • File and shape – Use a nail file to shape the press-on nails to your desired length and shape.
  • Add polish – You can apply regular nail polish over press-on nails or leave them bare, depending on your preference.
  • Allow the adhesive to dry – Wait at least 30 minutes for the adhesive to dry completely before exposing your nails to water or other activities.

Do you need a base coat for press-on nails?

A base coat is not necessary for press-on nails, but it can help the nails adhere better and prevent staining on your natural nails. Whenever possible, it’s always recommended to use a base coat to protect the natural nails. 

How to make press-on nails look natural and last longer

Some tips for making press-on nails look natural and last longer include selecting nails that fit your natural nail size and shape, using a base coat to help the nails adhere, trimming and filing the nails to your desired length and shape, and avoiding activities that can cause the nails to lift or break.

How to safely remove press-on nails

There are many different ways to approach press-on nail removal. However, two of the most popular tactics for safely removing press-on nails are using acetone and solvents and a cuticle pusher.

Soaking in acetone

If you decide to use a nail polish remover or acetone, here are the steps you’ll need to take: 

  • Step 1: Fill a bowl with acetone and place your fingers in the bowl.
  • Step 2: Soak your nails for about 15 minutes or until the press-on nails start to loosen.
  • Step 3: Use a cuticle pusher or nail file to gently lift and remove the press-on nails.

Using solvents and a cuticle pusher

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Here is a step-by-step list for safely removing press-on nails using the warm soapy water and cuticle oil method:

  • Step 1: Fill a small bowl with warm water and add a few drops of hand soap to create a soapy solution.
  • Step 2: Soak your fingertips in the bowl of warm soapy water for about 10 minutes. You can try gently rocking the nails back and forth to help loosen the adhesive.
  • Step 3: After soaking your nails, remove them from the water and try to peel off the press-on nails. If they do not come off easily, proceed to the next step.
  • Step 4: Apply a few drops of cuticle oil to the areas just under the press-on nails and let it soak in for a few minutes.
  • Step 5: Use a cuticle pusher to gently loosen the press-on nails. Start by rolling the pointed end of the cuticle pusher back and forth between your natural nail and the fake nail, working from the cuticle toward the tip of your nail. Avoid starting from the tip and working backward.
  • Step 6: Once the press-on nails are removed, use the cuticle pusher to scrape off any remaining adhesive on your nails.
  • Step 7: If the adhesive is difficult to remove, you can try soaking your nails in warm water again or using a bit of nail polish remover with a cotton ball.


Can you reuse press-on nails?

It depends on the condition of the press-on nails and the adhesive. If they are still in good condition and the adhesive is intact, they can be reused.

Can you put press-on nails over nail polish?

It is not recommended as it can affect the adhesion of the press-on nails. It is best to apply press-on nails to clean, dry nails.

Are press-on nails tacky? 

Press-on nails can have a tacky layer on the back that helps them adhere to the natural nail.

Can you shower with press-on nails?

It is not recommended to expose press-on nails to excessive water or steam as it can weaken the adhesive and cause the nails to come off.

Can you use clear nail polish as nail glue?

Clear nail polish is not a strong enough adhesive to hold press-on nails in place. It is recommended to use nail glue or adhesive tabs designed specifically for press-on nails.

What about using a top coat as nail glue for press-on nails?

A top coat is not a strong enough adhesive to hold press-on nails in place. It is recommended to use nail glue or adhesive tabs designed specifically for press-on nails.

Can you put press-on nails over gel polish?

It is not recommended to apply press-on nails over gel polish as it can affect the adhesion of the press-on nails. It is best to apply press-on nails to clean, dry nails.

Can you paint over press-on nails?

Yes, you can paint over press-on nails with regular nail polish. However, it is recommended to use a non-acetone nail polish remover when removing the polish to avoid damaging the press-on nails.

How to stop press-on nails from hurting?

Press-on nails should not hurt if they are applied correctly. If you experience discomfort or pain, it may be due to improper application or a poor fit. Try adjusting the placement of the nails or using a smaller size. If the pain persists, remove the nails and give your natural nails a break.

Featured image credit: Pinterest