The Ultimate Press-On Nails Guide: Tried, Tested And Reviewed For 2024

For those who love to change up there nails frequently with absolutely no hassle, look no further than press-on nails. Yes, press-on nails. Although, press-ons might seem like a flash from the past, they’ve since been given a modern update. Now coming in a range oflovely designs, trusty press-ons, have got our back for any occasion. Got a holiday coming up? Opt for a gorge summer set. Loking for something great for everyday? French manis always do the trick. And they are literally as described: press-on. Cheaper, quicker and efficient, best of all you can do it yourself at home.

How do press-on nails work?

Typically made from gel or acrylic, press-on nails and are applied over the natural nail using an adhesive. It’s that simple. You can find them at your local beauty supply store for just under £10. Kits will typically include nails (obviously), a file and the glue. They also come in a range of colours andnail shapes to suit what you’re going for!

How long do they last?

The longevity of press-ons depend on a few different factors, such as the quality of the nails, and how well they were applied and after care. Press-on nails are meant for short durations and can last for around 5-7 days, sometimes even longer with proper care and maintenance. To make sure your press-on nails last as long as possible, here are some tips:

  • Opt for high-quality press on nails.
  • Make sure your natural nails dry and prepped before applying the nails.
  • When applying make sure to press down firmly and hold for a few seconds to ensure they stick properly.
  • Avoid exposing your nails to water for at least an hour after application to give the adhesive time to set.
  • Be careful with your hands and avoid activities that could cause the press on nails to lift.
  • If a press on-nail does start to lift, try applying a small amount of nail glue or adhesive tape to keep it in place.

We spoke to Chaun Legend, renowned celebrity nail technician and Artist in Residence at Lottie London on a few tips on how to make them last even longer. He said, ‘when applying press on nails, to make them last longer I usually tell people to make sure the nails are clean. clean it with alcohol, push the cuticles back, add the adhesive, and just stick it on. You then need be gentle!’

And if you are a lover of long nails he said a good tip to navigating life with extra-long nails is to invest in a pair of tweezers. He added: ‘Put a set in your car. Put one in your purse. Tweezers will help you when you’re at the parking meters or at the gas station or if you drop something!’

Adhesive stickers or glue

When it comes to applying press on nails, both adhesive stickers and glue have their pros and cons. Adhesive stickers are convenient and mess-free, making them ideal for quick applications or beginners. However, they may not provide as secure of a hold as glue, especially for those with oily nail beds or for long-term wear. On the other hand, glue offers a stronger hold, ensuring that your press ons stay in place for longer periods (often stretching to a week). It also allows for more precise application and customisation. All in all, the choice between adhesive stickers and glue depends on personal preference, desired wear time, and individual nail type.

How can I remove my press on nails without damaging my nails?

‘My pro tip for removing my press-on nails is to use oil and water to remove – it makes the process seamless. To remove, you just soak the nails in water with a little bit of oil — and be patient — they’ll lift up’, said Chaun Legend, Lottie London’s 2024 Artist in Residence.

Shop: The Best Press-on Nails

Renee Washington Digital Fashion & Beauty Assistant: ‘If you’re into the classics and you love square shaped nail, consider this basket-worthy find. They have so many different sizes and I’ve managed to find a combo that fits my nail bed so well. I love cleaning up my cuticle when I put these on, it gives a real salon finish.’

Renee Washington Digital Fashion & Beauty Assistant: ‘Lottie London know a thing or two about the nail game – just check out these press ons! They’re really easy to put and look like you visited a salon to get them done. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Vegan glue lasted, especially someone for me that does a lot of chip-worthy tasks. And one thing I also loved about Lottie London press-ons is that they have tons of trendy designs, so you can definitely find something for you.’
Renee Washington Digital Fashion & Beauty Assistant: ‘You can never go wrong with a natural nude set. This one is particularly great for everyday use, and the coffin shape is beautiful. It’s almost like the no makeup , makeup look but for your nails. To apply simply put the glue on your desired press on, and hold the nail bed for about 10 seconds. Kiss are an OG in the nail game, so I love that you can easily pick these up in most beauty supply stores. The only downside to these is that I wish they were a bit thicker.’

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