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Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

Best press-on nails to affordably give your spring hands a glow-up

Chill Tips/Glamnetic/Kiss

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get great-looking nails with some of these amazing press-on nail kits

I love a good gel manicure as much as the next person, but visits to the nail salon can get quite expensive, especially when you consider manicure add-ons, such as designs and chrome finishes.

Luckily, you don’t have to empty your wallet in order to get a dazzling manicure. Press-on nails have come a long way and now there are lots of high-quality brands making long-lasting press-on nails in virtually any color, shape and design you can imagine. 

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How to apply press-on nails

When applying and removing press-on nails, it’s important to carefully follow the instructions printed on your kit to avoid improper application, which can lead to a shortened lifespan of your manicure, or worse, damaging your nails. Instructions vary slightly by brand, so it’s key to double-check the specific product you bought. However, a few general rules apply.

Prep your nails

To prepare your nails for a press-on nail application, use nail polish remover to get rid of your existing manicure, if you have one. Cut or file your nails to the desired length, which should be shorter than the press-ons you’re about to apply. You can gently buff your nails to create a smoother, more even surface. As a final prep step, I recommend cleaning your nails with nail polish remover one more time to make sure you get rid of any debris or oils that got onto your nails during cutting and shaping.

Select your correct press-on nail sizes

Before you apply your press-on nails, make sure to measure the nails against your bare nails to ensure you have the proper sizes. I recommend testing all 10 fingers ahead of application and laying out your chosen nails in the correct order so you don’t accidentally apply an incorrect nail. If you’re in between sizes, choose the smaller-size nail. 

Adhere the nails

Some press-on nails are applied using nail glue. If your kit comes with nail glue, apply a small drop to your bare nails, as well as a small drop towards the top of the press-on nail. Don’t use too much. Align the press-on with your cuticle and slowly press down, holding the nail in place for at least 30 seconds to allow the glue to dry. 

If your press-on nails have adhesive attached, remove the plastic and align the sticky part with your cuticle. Press down hard for at least 10 seconds. 

Remove the nails

Most press-on nails last between a few days to two weeks, depending on the brand and the strength of the glue. Make sure to follow your brand’s specific instructions when removing the press-on nails so you don’t risk damaging your natural nail. Many press-on nails can be soaked off with water or nail polish remover, while others include a special nail-remover liquid. 

Best press-on nails for spring 

Glamnetic Press-On Nails - Think Pink

This cheerful pink set includes 30 press-on nails in various sizes. The nails have a short, rounded shape that makes them easy to type with, though they can be trimmed and filed to your liking. They last up to two weeks per wear. 

Glamnetic Press-On Nails - Blueberry Icing

A twist on classic French tips, these almond-shaped press-ons have powder blue French tips. They have a glazed finish to add even more appeal. Thirty included nails come in 15 sizes and can be worn for up to two weeks.

KISS imPRESS No Glue Mani Press-On Nails - On My Mind

White and silver swirls with a touch of sparkles give these no-glue press-ons lots of flair. The chip-proof and waterproof stick-on nails remain intact for up to seven days. 

KISS imPRESS No Glue Mani Press-On Nails - All I Want

These purple and beige ombré nails make quite a statement, and the high-shine finish adds an elevated touch. The coffin-shaped, medium-length nails apply with stickers and can last for up to seven days. 

Static Nails Doe Reusable Pop-On Manicures

These holographic nails will attract so many compliments. (Trust us.) The best part of these oval-shaped press-on nails is that they can be worn for days or weeks and they can be reused if you remove them carefully. 

Static Nails Beach Bum Like Acrylic Reusable Pop-On Manicures

With a combination of solid hot pink nails and hot pink French tips, these warm-weather-ready nails are plenty fun. Bend- and crack-resistant, these durable, reusable nails last for up to 30 days. 

Chill Tips Limited Just Tips, Press-On Nail Kit

If you really want to draw attention to your fingers, try these tips with a lime-green design. The kit includes 24 nails in various sizes, and the press-ons (applied with glue) can hold for up to three weeks. 

Chill Tips Limited Mood Ring, Press-On Nail Kit

Drawing inspiration from a mood ring, these press-on nails feature multiple colors on each nail. They can be worn for up to three weeks when applied properly with the included glue. 

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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