Achieving a good manicure during quarantine has been a challenge for most. And I would be lying if I said I haven’t had daydreams of mani pedi’s during this time. But before we all entirely lose it due to DIY disasters, meet the quarantine manicure: press-on nails.
Until mere weeks ago, an actual manicure, even just a resemblance of showable/go-into-public nails, seemed like a very distant dream. Thanks to a plethora of DIY nail nightmares and the illusion of Pinterest’s ‘before and after’ pics, I literally had to swear off any and all DIY mani’s since I was in middle school. But when multiple, credible, sources promised that press-on nails were back, and on a mission to correct their wronged rep to boot, I had no other choice than to cave. But before you call 2005 and tell them you want GG back, give me two minutes to share with you the many reasons on why press-on nails are awesome, AND why even celebs agree.
“THIS [press-on nails] ‘TEMPORARY’ ALTERNATIVE [to salon manicures] MAY IN FACT BE MORE OF A PERMANENT THING.”
Meet The Quarantine Manicure: Press-On Nails.
Nothing makes Monday’s less manic than a fresh mani/pedi. While I have yet to find an alternate to flooring it straight to the salon for a pedi, I have found options for a stand in mani that not only take a few DIY short minutes to apply (on average) but land you with results that are just as flawless as ‘professional’ mani’s. Press-on nails, or what one could also refer to as ‘pop-ons’ according to the latest trending tweets, are the new thing.
Whether you are crunched for time, stranded on a deserted island, or in quarantine, press-on nails are the perfect option for a freshly polished manicure, instantly. Whether taking my word for it or reading celeb manicurist Tom Bachik’s POV gets you on team press-on, you too will soon realize that this ‘temporary’ alternative may in fact be more of a permanent thing.
To start, let me confirm that the days of french pre-painted, thick and heavy press-on nails that land you in tears and years of nail rehab, are long gone. Thank God.
Meet: 2020 press-on nails. Not only do they cost way less than just one visit to your fav nail place, but the glue used in these sets are typically way less harsh for your nails than the usual UV gel-dry-required appliances, etc. used at salons, plus they are DIY (easy DIY at that) and, with all of that considered, they extend the option to rock any range of nail art on the reg(ular) without camping out for endless hours at the nail salon, dropping endless $$$ for the look and/or mourning the health (and pain) of your real nails! Need detailed directions on how to apply presa-on nails? Check out Harper Bazaars detailed demo here
You’re probably wondering where the whole ‘celeb cred’ comes in, right?
Let me ask you a question: have you ever looked at J.Lo’s IG? If not, you should. For fellow IG’ers who marvel at her prefection, and for the newbies who are on your way to check her out, there is one thing you will absolutely notice as a constant throughout her feed: flawless nails.
See what I mean!?
But ‘how?’ we all wonder. Two words: Press-on’s, that’s how. I know, shocking, and in the most refreshing way. Okay, but how can we nail it like J.Lo? Oh, wait for it because you actually can.
Tom Bachik, J.Lo’s personal manicurist and manicurist to the stars, shines light on his top tips on how you too can make your tips (laugh out loud) sharper than ever: first, and most importantly, noting that customization is key. “The first thing to do is to properly size each tip,” says Bachik. “Some of the nicer press-on sets come with more options. That way you can get a better fit on your nails.” Bachik has also worked with Selena Gomez, Heidi Klum, and Beyoncé, and goes on to say that by simply filing the (press-on) nails to a better fit starting around the cuticle, you too can be flawless.* “If your cuticles aren’t as square as the tip, you can go in and file down the corners of the press-ons.”* Bachik also refers to the application of the nails and suggests using a double sided adhesive (if you aren’t using the glue) while sharing that for J.Lo’s press-on mani’s he uses a gel adhesive, preventing nail gaps or pop-off’s. He also simply states that you remove the press-ons the exact same way you remove gel polish.
Fun Fact: Bachik also tells all on how to DIY a simple manicure sans press-ons, at home, here
So, we added-to-cart about 15 different press-on brands and narrowed our list down to these 4 as our top favorites. Not only do these offer the best, instantly flawless nails and check off the top priority boxes for the perfect press-on set but they ALL give you the chance to let your inner star, and mani, shine!
GG’s Fav Press-On Brands
Marmalade Nails www.marmaladenails.com
Price range: $15-$30
Shapes: various including badas* coffin and pointy stiletto.
Lasted: 12 days
Time to apply: <10 mins.
Package includes: orange stick, glue, a mini nail file, 24 nails in 12 sizes, and a super-handy removal tool.
- By far the best options for nail art like glitter, chrome, ombre, bedazzles (Swarovski, nonetheless) and more.
- You can filter your search for extra customizations, such as the inclusion of several sized nails, to ensure the perfect fit, or by the art method of choice if nail art is your thing. BTW, if you do happen to fall into this nail art loving category, check out the Ice Queen set.
Best Close To GG’s First Favorite Press-On Nails Brand
Static Nails www.staticnails.com *most sold out but there is an option to pre-order on most*
Shapes: various (round, almond, coffin, stiletto, etc.)
Package includes: files, glue, nails, instructions
Lasted: 10 days
Time to apply: <20 mins
- includes multiple sizes of each nail per each of your corresponding natural nail to ensure a near perfect fit
Best Press-On Nails Found At A Drugstore:
Kiss Nails www.kissusa.com
Shapes: various KISS Glue-on Nails
Lasted: 10 days
Time to apply: <10 mins.
Package includes: adhesives, nail glue, an orange stick, and a file.
- can be purchased at CVS
- the actual nails are thinner than Marmalade but not by much
- use glue unless you want to use adhesive (which is great for applying in emergency sitch’s like when you forgot to get a mani the day before your huge interview, while in line at the drive-thru Starbucks on your way to said interview) if you want the pop-on mani to last longer than a max of 24 hrs.
Best (basically) Custom Press-On Nails:
The Nailest www.thenailest.com
Price range: $10-$18 (for ready to ship)
Shapes: various and custom sized (thanks to the size chart on their site)
Lasted: 2 weeks!
Time to apply: <10 mins (and they fit seamlessly)
Package includes: (a gorge black jewelry box that comes with) a file/buffer, an orange stick, a wipe, and adhesives.
*Tom Bachik quotes found here
**all photos provided from the men