Reusable Press-On Nails: Some of Our Favorites and Why

Have you ever had a set of press-on nails that just perfectly suited your personality and style? We all strive to recreate that feeling again and again, but it can be hard to achieve!

That’s why we are big advocates of reusable press-on nails. If it ain’t broke, why replace it?

Today we are going to discuss a super-important topic in the press-on nail universe: maintaining and removing your faux nails the right way for repeat applications and continued use.

It’s a time-saver, a money saver, and is overlooked by so many people in the community.

Let’s talk about the best way to preserve your reusable press on nails, and offer some tips from the pros that you should always keep in mind.

Proper Application and Maintenance

Applying and maintaining your press-on nails is critical, regardless of whether you plan to wear a set just once, or if you plan to reuse them multiple times.

Let’s run down a quick list of tips to apply your press-ons the right way.

  • Take the time to clean your nails and fingers thoroughly, with plenty of soap and water before application. Use some little instruments to remove every last bit of dirt.
  • Use a nail file to shape your natural nails to perfection, then very gently buff the surface of the nail to create an even landing zone with a bit of grip.
  • Dab the nail and cuticle with rubbing alcohol to slightly dehydrate the area and ensure that no bacteria gets trapped.
  • Apply a very thin yet complete layer of nail glue to both your natural nail and the press-on. You don’t need more than one dip in the bottle.
  • Angle the press-on nail downward as you align it with the cuticle, then apply pressure to the center of the nail so it lays flat.
  • Press firmly for at least 30 seconds with consistent force, then pinch each side of the nail to ensure adhesion from all angles.
  • Once all ten nails are complete, let them dry and be sure to avoid exposing them to water for at least a few hours.

Follow these instructions every time you apply press-on nails, and you’ll have a much easier time maintaining them for multiple uses.

The problem we see too often is haphazard application, which can damage the press-on shell and leave them unusable for repeat showings.

Most commonly, folks tend to overdo it on the glue. This can cause excessive buildup on the press-on nail, which is often impossible to completely scrape off.

Again, a light coat of glue and maybe a bit of clear polish is enough to keep those nails on for at least a week, then you can use them in the future after removal.

You may be surprised to see how effective just a small dab of glue can be.

Removing Them the Right Way

Now that you know how to properly apply press-ons to keep them on point, we have to talk about removal.

This is where a lot of people mess up their otherwise pristine press-on nails. They get too eager to take them off, and end up ruining the shell! It’s a shame, but we’ve got some tips to help.

The first thing to do is avoid the acetone. According to Brunette on a Mission, acetone solutions eat away at the acrylic material of the press-on nail, and isn’t great for your skin, either.

Instead, look into non-acetone nail polish removers, or try out some home remedies that can help break down the adhesive while maintaining the shape and color of the faux nails.

Vinegar and lemon make for a good natural alternative to acetone, as does hydrogen peroxide with warm water. Different glues will interact with certain solutions in different ways, so experiment with a bunch of variations and see what delivers the best results.

When you do find a winning formula, take your sweet time as you soak them down. Throw on a TV show or podcast, because you’ll want to keep your hands in the basin for at least 20 minutes. Whatever you do, don’t pick, poke or pry at the nails. Let nature do its thing.

The moment you feel the pressure of the faux nails lift, you can start to maneuver them off, just be extremely gentle and slow down if you find yourself pulling too hard.

The last thing you want to do is harm your natural nails, and you don’t want to snap those acrylics either. Allow yourself plenty of time to remove each one and don’t rush it. 

When each nail has been successfully removed, examine each one with a close eye to make sure they are not damaged or scratched in any way.

Dry each one individually with cotton swabs or paper towels to make sure there’s no lingering moisture, and do your best to scrape away any of the glue and gunk that has accumulated underneath.

The Best Way to Preserve Press-Ons

Once you’ve mastered the removal process, you want to keep those press-on nails in pristine shape for future use.

Instead of just tossing those faux nails in a drawer with a bunch of other random junk, you should come up with ways to keep them safe from harm and ready for reapplication at any time.

We recommend you invest in a small plastic or metal case that you can use to keep those nails safe from the elements. It doesn’t need to be big or fancy, just make sure it closes shut and has a tight seal that will keep out air, water, and germs.

When it comes time to reapply those safe-kept reusable nails, NHQ London suggests skipping the glue and using adhesive tabs instead.

The truth is that many nail glues are tough to scrape off from the bottom of adhesive nails, and adding more to the mix does not improve the situation. Adhesive strips are a good workaround for this dilemma and are super easy to figure out.

Press-On Nails Built to Last

Not all press-on nails are suitable for multiple uses, and you need to learn which materials hold up over time. Experiment with a lot of different styles and see which ones last.

We’re proud to say that Clutch Nails are among the best in the business when it comes to multiple applications. They work great with glue the first time around, and adhesives strips allow you to pull off at least two repeat performances.

If you play your hand right, you can get well over a month’s worth of use from a single set of press-ons, and each kit only costs you around ten bucks. Talk about value!

Just remember to maintain your natural nails by trimming, buffing, maintaining a strong hygiene regimen, and all that other good stuff. This will help you get more out of each press-on session.

Eventually, you will be forced to retire that set of press-on nails that you love so dearly. It’s tough to say goodbye, but be glad that you got so much use out of a single set!

If you are totally in love with a particular set of press-on nails, we recommend picking up a couple of extra kits, just for good measure. Build up that collection and never run out!

Test a bunch of different shapes and styles, because each one has a slightly different fit and will work better for your unique natural nail shape.

According to WikiHow, short nails are generally meant to last longer, since they are less likely to break and aren’t so vulnerable to the wear and tear of daily life.

It’s also smart to select flat-tipped nails with square or oval shapes since these are far more resilient than more aggressive styles like stilettos.

We’re not saying you should hold back from wearing the flashy styles you love most, just be aware that the more low-key looks are better suited for repeat uses. 

Also, the better you get at learning to live with press-on nails, the longer they’ll last. As you get familiar with them, you will see fewer scrapes, scratches, and enjoy extended lifespans, no matter which shape you choose. 


The only thing better than a great set of press-on nails is getting to use them time and time again! For those frugal folks out there, this is the best way to rock fresh styles and turn heads without breaking the bank.

Once you learn how to apply, remove, and maintain press-on nails the right way, you can make them last longer than you ever thought possible.

If you have a press-on nail obsession as we do, you’ll want to check out our social media inspiration page and follow us on Instagram ASAP.

Also, sign up for our email newsletter so you never miss an update or product launch. These press-on nails fly off the shelves, so don’t miss out!



NHQ London

Brunette Mission


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