Are Press On Nails Better Than Acrylic?

There’s nothing better than having killer nails that can help give you an extra boost of confidence. If you aren’t a fan of your natural nail strength, shape, or color, then artificial nails are a great solution. The problem is that there are so many different types of artificial nails that it’s hard to figure out which methods are worth trying out. Two of the most popular ways to achieve dream nails are press on nails and acrylic nails. But which one is better? Thankfully, we are here to break it all down for you and help you decide which one is the best option for you.


What Are Press On Nails?

Press on nails are made of acrylic resin in a variety of different shapes, colors, and designs. They are applied to your nails either by a nail glue, double-sided glue strips, or an attached adhesive strip. They come with a variety of different sizes so that you can choose the best size for each of your fingers prior to application. 

Press on nails are designed to be applied at home and not at a salon. Application is also a relatively quick process that can be done properly in under ten minutes! Press on nails can last one to two weeks depending on how rough you are with them and if you care for them properly. 

Some press on nails are even reusable – so once it’s time for a reapplication you can just throw another dot of nail glue on and be good to go!


What Are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails have been used to obtain Instagram-worthy nails long before Instagram was even a thing. They are a great way to change your nail shape or achieve the appearance of longer nails thanks to the use of tips or nail forms during the application process.


Acrylic nails are typically applied in a nail salon by combining a mix of powder and liquid monomer. When combined, these materials form a blob that is then shaped onto your nail with a brush, air dried, and then buffed down to the desired shape before a final topcoat is applied to give the acrylics a shiny seal. Acrylic nails are known for their durability but they do generally need to be filled every two to three weeks depending on how quickly your nails grow out.  


We know what you’re thinking – what about gel nails? Gel nails are similar to acrylics but are more natural-looking and involve layers of polish that are cured by a UV or LED light between each application. Gel nails aren’t as damaging as acrylics but usually still need to be removed by a professional at the salon.


Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons when it comes to anything – and the same is true for acrylic nails and press on nails. Some people swear by acrylics while others hate them. It really just depends on your own personal preferences. That being said, if you are trying to decide whether to try acrylic nails or press on nails, here are some pros and cons of each to help you choose:


Acrylic Nails

  • Pros:
  • Very durable
  • Applied professionally along with a proper manicure
  • Customizable based on your length, shape, and design preferences
  • Can last up to three weeks before you either need to get them removed or filled

  • Cons:
  • Upkeep is very time-intensive and expensive since you have to keep going back to the salon for long sessions that can really add up over time
  • They can cause a lot of damage to your natural nails while they are on and the effects can last for a while even after they are removed
  • They need to be professionally removed using strong chemicals like acetone that aren’t exactly pleasant to be around
  • Depending on the style you get, they don’t look very natural if that’s something that you’re looking for

    Press On Nails

  • Pros:
  • You can apply them at home on your own in a matter of minutes instead of making regular hours-long appointments at the nail salon
  • They are more cost-effective than acrylic nails since you can apply them yourself
  • They come in a variety of shapes, colors, and designs so you know exactly what you’re getting instead of having to trust your nail technician to give you what you requested
  • They don’t damage your real nails
  • They aren’t difficult to remove

  • Cons:
  • They aren’t as durable as acrylic nails and they don’t last quite as long
  • Some brands can look cheap if they aren’t well-made
  • They can randomly come off if you use your hands a lot

    How to Apply Press On Nails at Home

    As you can see, press on nails are a great option if you are looking for something quick, easy, and affordable that you can apply on your own time. That being said, there is a slight learning curve when it comes to applying press on nails at home. However, if you follow these steps, you will become a pro in no time!

    1. First you need to prep your nails properly to provide a good base for your press on nails. This involves giving yourself a mini-manicure – trimming your nails, buffing them, pushing back your cuticles, cutting off any excess skin, and finally removing any leftover polish or adhesive residue from your nails with acetone or rubbing alcohol.

    1. Choose the right nail size for each of your fingers by comparing the different sizes in the kit. Pull these nails out and put them aside (in order) so that you can seamlessly apply them.

    1. Depending on how strong of a bond you want your press on nails to have with your natural nails, you can either choose to only use the adhesive that comes with the nails or combine that adhesive with a bit of nail glue to really create a strong and durable hold that will help make your press on nails last longer without falling off. If you choose to use nail glue, have that handy.

    1. Peel off the adhesive cover of the pinky nail that you selected, apply any extra nail glue if you want, and press the bottom of the nail right up against your cuticle. Slowly move your fingers upwards along your nail focusing on the sides and the middle until you reach the very top. Maintain pressure on the press on nail for about 30 seconds to ensure that you get a good hold.

    1. Move on and repeat the same process with the rest of your nails.

    1. Make sure that your nails avoid any contact with water (including washing your hands) for at least two hours after application to give them time to set.

    1. If you desire, you can add a top hardener coat to the press on nails to give yourself a better-finished product.


    When it comes time to remove your press on nails before they come off on their own, you have a few different options. 

    You can soak them in warm water for up to 15 minutes to loosen the glue and then use a pusher to go underneath them and separate the fake nail from your natural nail. 

    Another option involves using acetone which you can either soak your nails in or soak a cotton ball and wrap that around your nails until they are loose and ready to come off. 

    When done correctly, removing press on nails will not damage your natural nails – just make sure to apply some cuticle oil and moisturizer to the area afterward.


    Where to Buy Press On Nails

    Even though you might immediately associate press on nails with the cheap kind that you bought at Claire’s back in middle school, press on nails have changed and evolved into quality products that look professional and expensive. 

    We always recommend that you purchase press on nails from a specialized company that focuses on nails only, like Clutch Nails. They are dedicated to the game and they know it well enough to produce quality products that are worth buying. 


    Press on Nails

    Clutch Nails offers a wide variety of different shapes ranging from coffin to oval, stiletto, round, and square. They also offer different lengths, finishes, colors, and designs. Overall, no matter if you’re looking for a low-key natural-looking nail or if you’re looking for a long and bold electric blue nail, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for when you shop Clutch Nail’s user-friendly website.  


    The final verdict is that press on nails are better than acrylics because they are more cost-effective, more time-saving, and don’t cause any damage to your natural nails. Quality press on nails can still look amazing and last a long time if applied and cared for correctly. So instead of spending all your time and money at the nail salon, try press on nails instead. We promise that you will love the results and wonder why you ever tried acrylics!



    Leave a comment

    All comments are moderated before being published