With so many shapes, styles, and finishes, press-on nails are one of the best inventions ever!
They are affordable, easy to apply, and way healthier for our nails than traditional gel or acrylic treatments. Plus, they can be removed relatively fast, and without the need for a ton of harsh acetone products.
Despite all these awesome advancements, a lot of us struggle to keep our press-on nails from falling off early.
Even when we think we’ve found the perfect set of press-on nails that fits our natural nail shape and matches our personality, they just don’t last as long as we want!
That’s why it’s time to go through some of our best tips to help those press-on nails hold strong. Stick to this game plan and you will get way more value and enjoyment out of each kit.
Prepare for the Perfect Application
You probably already know some of the rules for selecting press-ons.
Find a brand that fits your natural nails, doesn’t feel harsh on your cuticles, and works well with your nail glue or chosen adhesive solution.
Still, these basics will only get you so far. Preparation is key to making nails stick well.
It doesn’t matter if you use the strongest glue in the world or buy the most expensive press-on nail kit you can find. If you don’t prepare your natural nails before applying those faux ones, you’re going to have the same problems with lifting and separation over and over again.
Here are some essential steps you should take every single time.
- Spend at least a few minutes cleaning your nails completely, with plenty of soap and water. All bacteria need to be eliminated!
- Use orangewood sticks, cuticle pushers, nail brushes, or any other instruments you have to remove any extra bits of dirt or grime.
- Trim, file, and do whatever you do to attain a perfect nail shape. This is important for a solid application. If you choose to buff the surface of the nail, do so very gently.
- Use a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol to dehydrate and disinfect the nail and cuticle.
It may seem like a lot, but prepping your nails is one of the most underrated and overlooked aspects of using press-on nails. Tighten up your routine and you’ll notice that those nails stay on a lot longer, and feel better from day to day.
Application Tips from the Pros
Once you’ve completed all the key preparation steps, it’s time to apply those acrylics! Make sure you know exactly which press-ons fit on each nail, and organize them ahead of time so that you aren’t scrambling during crunch time.
According to the beauty blog As Told By Mika, the right application technique can help your press-on nails stay put for at least two weeks!
Here are the basic steps you should follow:
- Grab your favorite nail glue and apply a very thin coat to your nail. You don’t need much. A little dab of glue on the press-on nail is also advised.
- The cuticle is the first point of application, not the middle of the nail! Angle the faux nail so that it lines up at the cuticle and then proceed to apply pressure to the center.
- For at least 30 seconds, apply a good amount of downward force on the middle of the nail. Only after that should you pinch the sides and get that complete seal.
- Repeat the same process for each nail, then keep both hands dry for at least a few hours. Apply a protective topcoat for a bit of added coverage and shine.
Lots of acrylics professionals also suggest you bake your nails under a UV lamp for a few minutes after application. If you don’t have one of these, get out in the sun for the same effect!
As long as you steer clear of water for the first few hours after application, you’ll have a strong seal on each nail that will last a while.
The best press-on nails can also be cut and filed so you can get that perfect shape and make adjustments to fit your lifestyle.
Routines for Longevity
Some people seem to think that having press-on nails is an excuse to forget about proper nail care, because their natural nails are out of sight, out of mind.
We cannot stress this enough - nail maintenance and hygiene are more important than ever when you wear press-ons, especially if you want to make the most of your investment.
Avoiding excessive amounts of water is one pro-tip from Sarah’s Sparkle Nails blog, so try to limit your time in the shower or bath if possible when wearing press-ons.
If you are one of those people who washes their hands every time they walk back in the house, consider switching to hand sanitizer to kill the germs fast without too much exposure to warm water.
You also want to spend at least a few minutes every night examining your press-on nails for signs of lifting, splitting, cracking, or any other unusual activity.
Be able to notice the first signals that indicate a problem. It’s sort of like the check-engine light on your car - the sooner you address it the better. Ignore it for too long, and you’ll see things go south very quickly!
The main sign to watch out for is dehydration around the cuticle area. Hangnails and dead skin can mean things are drying out quickly, which spells bad news for your acrylics.
WikiHow suggests that you keep a little bottle of cuticle oil in your bag at all times to make sure that area is kept moisturized, but not overly damp.
You might want to make some adjustments to your daily lifestyle to keep those holds strong. In the office, try to type with your fingertips and not your nails. Be super cautious putting on clothes, doing the dishes, and everything else that requires hands-on contact.
Around the home, be very careful with your nails, especially if they are super long!
Pick up a lightweight pair of gloves for cleaning, cooking, or doing chores around the house to protect those nails from moisture and other nastiness. That bit of extra coverage can mean the difference between life and death for a set of long, elegant coffin or stiletto nails!
As you become more comfortable navigating life with long nails, this all gets a lot easier. You’ll be more at ease and less likely to accidentally damage your acrylics. Plus, you’ll figure out ways to make your nails last longer, like oils or little dabs of extra glue here and there.
Your Press-On Products Make Difference
If you’ve been in the fake nail game for a while now, you know that every product has its pros and cons. Some press-ons last forever but don’t look great, while the most stylish kits don’t seem to last quite as long on the nail.
We think we’ve hit the sweet spot with our Clutch Nails formula, which lets you wear the trendiest press-on styles for up to two weeks at a time with good maintenance.
If you fall in love with a certain press-on nail brand, be loyal! Since every company has a slightly different approach to production, it’s best to stick with what you know.
We do recommend you experiment with adhesives, however.
Nail glues come in a lot of different formulas, each with pros and cons. It’s possible that some solutions just gel better with your nail surface and the natural oils of your skin. Maybe adhesive strips or tabs are a smart option for you, as well.
It’s worth picking up a few products and experimenting to see what gives you the best, most durable hold for your press-on needs. In the world of faux nails, even getting a few extra days of use from a set is a huge bonus!
When it comes to press-on nails, you get out what you put in.
Some folks are fine with doing minimal upfront preparation and having their press-ons last only a few days at a time. Others want to squeeze as much life out of each set, then keep the nails in a protective case for future use.
We believe that you should aim for at least 10 days of good use for every set of press-on nails since you don’t want to be overdoing it on the glue, acetone, and other adhesive stuff.
If you select the best press-on nails for your natural shape and follow the guidelines we laid out for you, expect to see your investment go a long way!
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