How to Make Press-On Nails Last?

Millennials have a lot to worry about. With the rave of social media, their appearance has added to the list of their worries. For those that love nail art, finding the time to have their nails done can be an issue. Even when they have the time, spending upwards of $50 every two weeks in the salon is way out of their budget. The solution? Say hello to press-on nails.


Press-on nails are affordable, trendy, fashionable, and easy to wear. The DIY trend has been around for decades now. They can help you to cut back on your nail spending. Most people that use press-on nails don’t set foot in a nail salon for months. However, with the right glam finish, you will think they have spent a fortune to get their nails done. Interestingly, it does not take long to master the act!  

Many people develop concerns about how long an application will last. Although press-on nails are highly affordable, you don’t want to feel embarrassed when one of your nails falls off in public. Depending on how fast your natural nails grow and the kind of tasks you do, a complete set can last you up to two weeks. 

What Are Press-On Nails?

As the name states, press-on nails or glue on nails are artificial nails made from acrylic resin. Sometimes also called fake nails. Different manufacturers make use of different acrylic resins, leading to a slight difference in the products. Understanding what they are will help you to better appreciate the product and note the reasons why the steps that follow are important. 

Do Press-On Nails Have Any Benefits?

Press-on nails have a myriad of benefits over acrylic nails— part of the reason why they are becoming increasingly popular.

  1. They are highly affordable. The price for a set can range from somewhere around $9 at the drugstore to about $30 depending on the manufacturer
  2. Once you’ve mastered the art, it only takes a few minutes to prepare your natural nails and apply the artificial nails because there is no dry time
  3. Removal is easier with press-ons versus acrylics, also less damaging to your nail beds
  4. From matte to shimmer to ombre to chrome nails, the combination of low cost and variety makes it easier for you to flaunt multiple nail designs within a short period 
  5. They are reusable

Steps on How to Apply a Press-On Nail

The healthier your natural nails, the longer your press-on nails are likely to last. Therefore, it is important to rev up your hand hygiene. Almost everything you’ll need will be included in the box because press on nails come as a kit. The kit will usually have nail glue, buffer, and nails. The contents of the kit may differ as you move from one manufacturer to another. Some of the things you will need are as follows:

  • Cuticle nipper
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • Metal pusher
  • Nail file
  • Nail cutter
  • Cuticle oil
  • Glue 
  • Press-on nails

Press-on Nails

1. Find your match 

You need to take out the false nails from the nail set and size them up on your fingers to find the ones that fit for each fingernail. Line them up on the table or surface in front of you in such a way that you can easily tell which of the falsies is going to go for each finger. 

2. Prepare your falsies 

Apparently, some of the press on nails may not perfectly fit some of your fingers. When this happens, simply use your buffer and file them to shape. You can also use the buffer to get them to a desirable length.

3. Prepare your fingernails

Preparing your fingernails involves washing them thoroughly and drying them on a clean towel. Get rid of any residual polish. Use a metal pusher to push back your cuticles. Follow this up with a cuticle nipper to clip any overhangs. 

4. To buff or not to buff

Most of the tutorials will tell you to buff the surface of the nail. This will create a slightly coarse surface that helps the false nail better adhere to your natural nails; it is important to note that this may damage your finger over time. If you apply a coat and let it dry, you can slightly buff it to create a protective layer between your nail and the glue.

5. Apply the nail glue and press on nail

Lastly, make sure you apply the glue to both the nails and your finger. Once you place the falsie on your fingernail, press it down for 30 seconds to a minute so that it sticks properly. It is always a good idea to start with the pinkie and work your way up to the thumb—just for the sake of convenience. 


How long do press on nails last?

The simplest steps often make the greatest impact. Here is how you can make your press on nails last up to two weeks!

  1. Before applying your falsie, use rubbing alcohol to make sure there is no residual natural oil on your nails. The smallest amount of natural oil or residual polish will decrease the integrity of the glue
  2. Avoid contact with water for at least 2 hours after the application. We recommend scheduling your manicure procedure at night, just before going to bed. 
  3. The quality of your glue matters. Your press on nail kit may come with glue, but it is always better to keep another glue handy—especially a product that you trust. Make sure you carry a bottle of glue wherever you go in case any of the press ons decide to pop off
  4. Massaging a cuticle oil into your fingers always helps. It helps to improve the health of your nails
  5. Applying a top coat will not only give your nail a shiny and professional finish but also help your natural nail and your falsie to stick better. Topcoats tend to harden the nail surfaces which makes them more durable
  6. Choose shorter press on nails over the longer ones. Unfortunately, the majority of the products in the market are long. However, you can always cut them down to your desired length using a nail cutter
  7. Avoid swimming. As chlorine has been shown to soften and discolor fake nails. One way to help combat that is to apply a top coat (like we suggested above) before you go swimming, as an extra line of defense. We want to make sure to protect that fabulous nail art.

How to Get Rid of Press-On Nails

Eventually, you have to get rid of the press-on nails. Never pull on your falsies to get them off. This can cause severe harm to your nails—and it’s extremely painful. There is more than one method of removing your press-on nails. Below are some of the common methods in the removal process.

1. Acetone Method

This is sometimes called the double boiler method. Fill a bowl with hot water. Place a smaller bowl filled with acetone in the larger bowl. The hot water should warm the acetone up. Once the acetone is warm, place your hands in it for 5 to 10 minutes. The false nails should come off or become weak enough for you to pluck them out effortlessly. Acetone can cause severe drying of the skin. Therefore, it is important to moisturize your skin at the end of this process. 

2. Cuticle Oil Method

While cuticle oil is generally used to moisturize your fingers and nails, it can also act as a removal agent for press-on nails. Use tweezers to pry open an edge between the press-on nail and your natural nail. Apply a few drops of your cuticle oil in the opening as well as all the areas under your press on. Give the oil some time to do its work. Rock the nails back and forth to know when they are loose enough to pull out.

3. Buffer Method

This might seem a bit crude, but it works. You can use a buffer to file away the press on nails when every other acetone-free method fails. Just be careful when you feel you are getting close to your natural nails, so you don’t harm them. 

4. Soak in Warm Soapy Water

Glues don’t like water. Therefore, soaking your nails in warm soapy water can help to remove the press on nails without harming your natural nails. Place some detergent in warm water and shake to form a lather. Allow it to soak for up to 20 minutes or as long as required. 

Press-on nails are reusable, which makes them a super saver. If you plan to reuse your press-on nails, make sure you separate them from the unused ones in the kit. You can now join the artistic nail trend on Instagram without having to bore a hole in your pocket and even have them shipped right to your door every month!
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