Dressing up your nails is like a power-up for your body’s busiest workers a.k.a. your hands. It has the same effect as swiping on red lipstick or wearing a good pair of heels.
However, not everyone has the steadiest fingers to do their nails themselves. Chipping your nails just when they’re freshly painted also doesn’t result in the most satisfying feeling. Good thing press-on nails exist to give us the most gorgeous ‘tips minus the extra work. But how exactly do they work and how can you apply them like a pro?
Advantages of press-on nails
Aside from the pros mentioned above, press-on nails are a breeze to apply and come in a variety of designs that look like they’re done in a professional nail salon. You can go for standard one-colour sets, mattes, bejewelled pieces, and so on.
Longevity is also a plus since these can last up to three weeks to over a couple of months depending on your press-on nails and adhesive quality. You can even reuse some press-on nails if you’re careful using them.
If a press-on falls off, you can just easily put it back on in under 10 seconds as long as you have your nail adhesive on hand.
Ready to level up your mani using press-on nails? Here’s how to do it.
How to put on press on nails like a pro
1. Prepare your press-on nails and find the match for each of your fingers
Press-on nails don’t come in exact packs of 10s. They usually come with excess nail options to ensure that you’ll find the right fit for your nail shape and size. Match the press-ons with your actual nails and ensure that each of your choices doesn’t have any gaps or excess sides between the nail, your cuticle, and your skin. The press-on nail has to lay flat over your actual nail for the most natural effect once you apply it.
Once you’re done, set it aside and proceed to nail prep.
2. Clean your bare nails first
Just like in any standard manicure, your nails have to be clean and bare before you start applying your press-ons. Remove any trace of existing polish if any. Push back your cuticles to remove excess skin on the nailbeds. Trim your nails just short enough that they don’t stick out when you apply your press-ons. Finally, using a cotton pad, rub each nail with alcohol to remove any oils or dirt on the nail surface. This will make the glue or nail adhesive tape stick better.
3. Apply your press-on nails one at a time
After you’re done with prep, you’ll realise that the actual application of the press-ons is simply quick and easy.
First, apply nail glue all over your natural nail. Next, align the fake nail to your nailbed and press it on top of your natural nail for 15 to 20 seconds. Once the nail feels secure, repeat the process on the rest of your nails.
If you don’t want your press-ons to last too long because you’re using them only for an event or you like to switch your nails up constantly, apply the glue thinly or opt for nail adhesive tapes instead for easier removal.
4. Shape the nails accordingly
Depending on the thickness or durability of your press-ons, some can be cut using a nail trimmer to get the desired length and shape. However, a safer route is to use a wooden nail file for shaping. Make sure to trim the nails starting from the sides to create a more natural fingertip curve shape.
Satisfied? It’s time to flaunt your new mani!
How to remove press-on nails
Unlike gel manicures or acrylic nails, removing press-on nails is quite effortless and can easily be done at home. However, one thing to note is to never ever forcibly try to remove your press-on nails unless they pop off on their own. Trying to remove them while the glue or adhesive’s hold is still solid might damage your nails.
If you used nail adhesive tapes, all you need to do is soak your fingertips in a bowl filled with warm water and a small amount of liquid dishwashing soap between 10 and 15 minutes to allow the adhesive to loosen up. After removing your fingers from the soak, you can either lift off the press-ons easily or use a wooden cuticle stick to slide them off your nails.
If you used nail glue, the process is quite similar. Use a mix of warm water and acetone in a glass or ceramic bowl. The bowl’s material is necessary to avoid any chemical reactions from the acetone. Soak your nails for 10 to 15 minutes to loosen up the glue and gently remove the fake nails after.
After removing all the press-ons and drying your natural nails, buff away any traces of adhesive or glue using a nail file. Don’t forget to put on some nail oil or a hand cream to nourish your nails and skin and keep your ‘tips strong and ready for your next manicure.
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