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My beauty routine is equal parts bougie and cheap; a little department store and a little drugstore. Open up my gym bag, and you’ll find a pack of Neutrogena makeup remover wipes under my $64 pumpkin seed brightening serum. The point I’m trying to make is that variety is the spice of my beauty life, and I make no apologies for it. One of my biggest gripes with beauty elitists is the assumption that press-on nails are somehow a step down from acrylics or a gel manicure.
I’m not sure how we came to that conclusion, but press-ons don’t deserve the bad wrap. For one, they save you time. Why sit in a salon chair for one to two hours when you can pop those babies on and walk out the door in minutes or less? They’re also a fraction of the price and pre-painted so you don’t have to worry about dry time and chipping. In fact, one of the most enduring red-carpet beauty secrets is the use of press-ons instead of full-on manis when a celeb wants to protect her nail beds or be able to switch her polish without the lag time.
So whether you’re low on cash, low on time, or simply want to take press-ons for a test-drive, we’ve curated a list that includes plenty of sleek designs, from minimal to the most extra. But before that, here are three quick tips for application:
Apply a base coat. Before gluing or sticking on your press-on nails, protect your nail beds by painting them with a strengthening base coat.
Remove moisture. We love our cuticle oils as much as the next person, but residue from oils, lotions, or creams can weaken the strength of nail adhesive. Before applying your press-ons, make sure your nail beds are dry and clean by wiping them with a nail polish remover (even if there isn’t polish there).
Remove them carefully. Whenever you decide it’s time to remove the press-ons, instead of pulling them off and potentially damaging your natural nails, soak them in warm water first to loosen the adhesive or apply oil along the cuticles to more easily slide them off.
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Nails of LA The Muse
Celebrity nail artist Brittney Boyce launched this chic minimalistic nail line featuring some of the most popular trends. This is one of our favorite designs.
Kiss Gel Fantasy Nails Fanciful – Pack Of 2
Upgrade light pink nails with these sparkly press-ons that are the perfect length and shape.
Daisy Beauty Lab The Nudes Press or Glue On Nails
Looking for trendy nude nails? Choose from glossy or matte nails in more than 35 shapes.
Dashing Diva Magic Press Full Spectrum Press On Gel Nails
These longer, almond-shaped nails are giving us Kylie Jenner vibes.
Clutch Nails – Press On Nails – Miss Chella
These almond-shaped talons have a trendy ombré print—and sparkles!
PopSockets Nails Starry Skies
Match your nails to your Popsockets with these fun press-ons.
Kiss Jelly Fantasy Translucent Nails
Celebs including Demi Lovato love a jelly manicure but they can be pricey. Pop these babies on to get the look for way less.
Me: Muse 24pcs Air Flex Reusable Nails
Choose from 25 bold shades, including this perfect white set.
ManiMe Mei’s Party
Japanese nail artist Mei Kawajir created these bold talons that will get you all the compliments.
Static Nails Cheetah French Mani Almond
The french manicure is back and this cheetah-printed set is about as on-trend as you can get.