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The Best Press-On Nails

Last updated on January 9, 2023

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Our Picks For The Top Press-On Nails

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

KISS imPRESS Color Super Slim Press-On Nails, 30-Piece

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imPRESS Color Super Slim Press-On Nails, 30-Piece

Choose from a variety of colors and lengths with this press-on nail solution. The removable backing lets you press each nail into place without using glue, making them easy to apply on the go. The curved design makes it more naturally blend with the curve of your fingernail for a natural look.

Overall Take

Easy ApplicationIf you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to your nail woes, check out this option, which lets you remove the backing and press on with no glue

 Runner Up

ZEYER Long Acrylic Press-On Nails, 24-Piece


Long Acrylic Press-On Nails, 24-Piece

This package includes 24 artificial nails in the extra-long, ballerina design. You can choose from a variety of themes, including those with butterflies, dragons and rhinestones. Included with the nails are adhesive tape and a nail file, all in a transparent box.

Overall Take

Fun Design OptionsStand out with this set of nails that comes in a variety of bold, trendy designs like rhinestone butterfly and black gold foil.

 We Also Like

Coolnail Glitter Shimmer Press-On Nails, 24-Piece


Glitter Shimmer Press-On Nails, 24-Piece

Choose from a variety of lengths and styles with this press-on nail option. You’ll find shimmery glitter, bold colors and neutrals in lengths from a half an inch past the nail tip to extra-long and pointy. The set includes 24 nails with adhesive tabs for easy application.

Overall Take

Classy and ElegantIf you’re looking for longer nails that are great for everyday wear, this set of press-on nails in a more neutral design could be a great fit.

 Strong Contender

Expressions Days Of The Week Press-On Nails, 84-Piece


Days Of The Week Press-On Nails, 84-Piece

Children can have fun with press-on nails, too, with this kit, which includes seven sets with designs for every day of the week. The colors are vibrant and the patterns are bold to make them fun for kids ages 3 and up. The self-adhesive eliminates the need for glue, but adult supervision is recommended.

Overall Take

Great GiftSurprise the young person in your life with this fun press-on set designed for children.

Buying Guide

Growing and maintaining long nails can be challenging. If you live an active lifestyle, you may find that as soon as you achieve the length you want, you break one and have to start over again.

That’s where artificial nails can help. You can use them to replace that broken nail while you wait for it to grow back out or simply cover all your nails. You can go to a salon, but manicures cost money and take time. Press-on nails are a much more affordable alternative, and you can apply them in the comfort of your home.

But artificial nails do come with some risks. Allergic contact dermatitis is a common issue, so it’s important to test the glue before you apply it to all ten nails. The glue in the nails may also cause damage to the nail over time, so you may want to limit use. That glue can be damaging if it gets in your eyes, nose or mouth, so also make sure you keep your hands away from your face until you can wash them.

Application with glue can be messy. Many press-on nail sets come with the adhesive already applied to the back of each nail. Simply pull back the strip and apply. This allows you to do your nails on the go, without having to worry about the mess you’ll leave behind.

The biggest issue with press-on nails is duration. Losing a nail in the middle of your workday, during an evening out with friends or while on a date can be embarrassing. Choosing a nail with adhesive that’s strong enough to hold the nail in place is a great start. But creating a clean, smooth surface will also boost your chances of a lasting hold. Clean each nail bed and moisturize it, letting it dry thoroughly before applying your artificial nails.

What to Look For

  • To reduce nail damage risks, consider taking some time off between applications. You may even want to use them only for special occasions. Moisturize your nails with a product like coconut oil or olive oil between uses.
  • You can buy press-on nails and file them to the desired shape, but you’ll save time by choosing the shape you want from the start. For longer nails, shapes include square, oval, round, stiletto and coffin. Both stiletto and coffin nails come in varying degrees of sharpness to help you get that exact tip you prefer.
  • You’ll find press-on nails in a variety of colors if you want that polished look. Another option, though, is to purchase a nude or light color and paint over it with your favorite nail polish color. It might be easier to polish them before you apply them. Either way, make sure you allow plenty of time to dry.
  • Filing the artificial nail can help better blend it to your own nail beneath. Many press-on nails come with a nail file. If not, make sure you have one on hand.
  • If you choose press-on nails with glue included, check to ensure the glue is strong enough to hold while also being easy on your natural nails. You can always purchase nail glue separately to get the best solution for you.
  • The curve of an artificial nail is a big part of its performance. You’ll want one that follows the natural curve of your nail, but if you opt for a longer nail, you won’t want one that curves too much along its length.
  • Some press-on nails come off easily when you’re ready to remove them, but it’s important not to force it. Instead, fill a small bowl with acetone-based nail polish remover and soak each nail to loosen it until you can easily pry it off.

More to Explore

It may seem hard to believe, but the artificial nail industry got its start thanks to dentists. It dates all the way back to 1934, when Chicago dentist Maxwell Lappe combined acrylics to create a molded nail that he could give to his nail-biting patients. In the years to follow, other dentists joined in, providing acrylic nails to patients for decades.

But those earlier acrylic nails were designed more for function than attractiveness. They looked much more artificial than the acrylic and press-on nails seen today. Today’s acrylics owe their thanks to another dentist, Fred Slack Jr., who was working in a dental lab when he cut his thumbnail. He combined aluminum foil and dental acrylic to fix the nails and discovered the material was surprisingly effective. Soon after, he patented the first acrylic fingernail.

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