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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.
Glamnetic Press-On Nail Kit
For the first time, Sephora is selling press-on nails. This option, with its cool white swirled design, is so on-trend.
Good Vibes imPRESS x Alice + Olivia Press-on Manicure
This designer nail collaboration screams luxury. But you can put them on right at home for under $10.
Olive & June Press-On Fake Nails – Almond Medium BP – 42ct
You can now find Olive & June’s chic press-ons at Target, including these cute sky blue mani. And trust us — they last.
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.
PopSockets Nails Starry Skies
Match your nails to your Popsockets with these fun press-ons.
Kiss Jelly Fantasy Translucent Nails