The perfect press-on

Raise of hands if your first manicure was a set of press-on nails from the drugstore! Recently, the press-on manicure has made an epic comeback and we are here for it. ⁠

If you don’t keep your nails long due to your job or simply for your personal preference but you like to show off a longer mani for special occasions, then chances are you’re already well acquainted with press-on nails. Fake nails allow you to change up your nails as often as you’d like with minimal-to-no damage to your real nails: whether you love the convenience of a good set of store-bought ones or you like to design your own, fakies have something in store for everyone.


Press-on nails are advantageous for more reasons than we can list. You can use them on top of your day-to-day manicure (yes, even a gel one!) for special events, and they will not damage your nail at all if applied and removed correctly. Moreover, they’re perfect to keep up with nail trends. The tortoiseshell design you see everywhere now is a bit hard to achieve, so if you want to skip the stressful free-hand artistry but you still want to show off a trendy manicure, all you need to do is buy a pair of quality, reusable press-ons by a nail artist.

If, on the other hand, you love doing your own nail art, just get yourself a clear set of fake nails and let your creativity take you wherever you wish. In this case, fake nails have the advantage of not being attached to your body, which means that you’ll be able to put them at whichever angle you need without the discomfort of awkward hand poses. Just prop them on a fakie stand, layer a few thin coats of base coat, and proceed to paint on them anything your heart desires.

The main downside that comes with fake nails is that they’re not as long-lasting as your other manicure options. They are comparable to regular nail polish because they also last about 5 to 7 days, but they’ll hardly stay on longer than that. A useful tip to make sure you get the most out of your press-on nails is to lightly file down your nail plate before applying the fake nail: this will increase its grip on your natural nail, allowing your manicure to last up to a week. Avoiding contact with water (yes, that includes handwashing) for a couple of hours while the glue and nail settle is also a good measure to make sure your nails stick for as long as possible instead of popping off at the most inconvenient times (like on a first date…). Most importantly, even if your fakies already come with adhesive or sticky tabs, use some glue to secure a stronger, longer-lasting hold.


Once you notice your fakies are lifting or they are simply approaching their end, make sure you take them off gently to prevent damage to your nails and to preserve the press-ons, which in most cases you’ll be able to use again. To do so, you can rely on a few different methods. If you want to use the press-on nail again (or you just want to be kind to your fingers and cuticles), you can soak your nails in a bowl filled with soapy water until the glue keeping the fakies attached softens. Once you have done so, just look for a spot where the press-on has started to detach and gently start lifting the nail with a cuticle pusher. If the nail has not lifted yet, don’t pry: taking it off forcefully will only damage your natural nail.

The soapy water takes about 15 minutes, so if you want to opt for a faster (but potentially more harmful) method you can soak your nails in acetone-based polish remover. It will take apart the glue more effectively than the previous technique, but it will also be more aggressive on your nails and it will likely also damage your fake nail, not allowing you to use it again like soapy water would.

Some glues can also be softened using some drops of cuticle oil and letting it act for a few moments, and since this is by far the most delicate method, we suggest trying it first and only giving a try to the other two if this one fails. Remember to use the method which works best with your current nail health to minimize the impact of press-on nails on you