Last Updated on August 12, 2022
Whether you are trying to save money or can’t get an appointment before an event, sometimes going to the salon to get a manicure is not possible.
At-home acrylics or dip nails can be a great alternative for some, but they tend to be expensive, complex, and time-consuming. Press-on nails are a good choice for both beginners and those short on time and money.
They have come a long way since the eighties and come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. They are so inexpensive and easy to apply the hardest part will be choosing whether you want to go with an oval shape in a nude shade or a long stiletto shape in a bright color.
The only problem is that press-on nails are not known for being very long-lasting. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can make your press-on manicure last almost as long as a more expensive one at the salon.
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How Long Do Press-On Nails Usually Last?
If you use glue to apply your nails, they should last about a week. If you use sticky nail tabs, they will last a few days. These time frames are for typical use but they can vary.
If you spend a lot of time using your hands or a lot of time with your hands in water, no manicure will last a very long time including press-on nails. However, for someone who works in an office and the majority of the time their hands are used for typing, manicures tend to last longer and so will your press-on nails.
Regardless of your job, there are tips you can use to make sure your press-on nails last as long as possible.
Tips to Make Fake Nails Last Longer
1. Prep Your Nails Thoroughly
To get the longest wear, you should take a few steps before applying your nails.
- First, clip and file the nail so that no length extends beyond the fingertip and shows from under the artificial nail.
- Then push back your cuticle so no excess is on the nail to interfere with the glue.
- Next, file the surface of the nail a little bit. This will rough up the nail’s smooth surface, giving the nail glue something to hold on to.
- Then wash your hands in warm soapy water. This will wash off any cream used to push back your cuticles and most of the oils from your skin.
- Finally, wipe each nail with either rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to make sure they have no oil on them. Oil can make the adhesive bond less thoroughly to your nail and shorten the length of time the press-on nails will last.
2. Choose The Right Fit
Making sure that the press-on nails fit your nails well makes a big difference. If your artificial nail is too small, the edges will be prone to lifting and popping off.
Most press-on nails have numbers on the tip that will help make it easier to choose sizes. A nail that is too big can easily be filed to fit the nail better. Make sure that the edge of the artificial nail is even with the sides of your natural nail.
Also, make sure to size them before prepping and gluing them on.
3. Glue Them Properly
Once the nails are sized and prepped, it is time to glue. While sticky nail tabs work well for one day and allow for easily switching nail colors and lengths, they don’t offer much longevity.
Nail glue is better for achieving a perfect press-on manicure for up to two weeks.
The best way is to use nail glue with a brush. It allows for very precise placement and when the artificial nail adheres to every part of the natural nail, your press-on nails will last longer.
It is also helpful to put a bit of glue on both the press-on nail as well as the natural nail. Just be sure to leave a little space on the edges for the glue to spread when you push the nail down to adhere without spilling out and sticking to your skin.
When you glue, hold the nail on for 30 seconds to allow the glue to adhere strongly to the nail.
4. Pick The Right Length For Your Lifestyle
Longer nail length means more surface to bump into things and get caught on things that could potentially cause the nail to break or pop off before you want them to. For the longest wear, shorter is better.
That doesn’t mean you can’t choose a longer nail, just that you need to be more careful with your hands while you wear them. If you have a job with a lot of manual labor, you might want to choose a shorter nail length.
5. Avoid Water
Water can weaken the bonds of your nail glue, so try to limit the amount of time your hands spend in water.
This means opting for using hand sanitizer for quick clean-ups when you can to avoid washing your hands, waiting a little longer in between shampoos, and wearing gloves if you have to do the dishes.
Though wearing rubber or latex gloves will help protect your nails when washing the dishes, wearing gloves for a long time will make your hands sweat and create moisture in the gloves that will cause the same problems that putting them in water does.
6. Avoid Oil
Just like water, oil can weaken the bond of the glue, so avoid heavy creams and cuticle oils while wearing press-on nails.
This is the time to use lighter moisturizers or lotions and keep them away from the nails. This will help keep the glue from weakening too soon.
Can You Re-Use Press On Nails?
If the nails are applied properly and removed properly, you can reuse them. If you use sticky tabs to apply your nails, then they can always be reused since a quick soak in warm, soapy water will remove them in a few minutes with no damage. If you use nail glue to apply your press-on nails, they can be reused as long as you are careful with removal.
Though soaking your hands in acetone is the method most frequently used to remove artificial nails, it will prevent you from being able to use them again. So be sure to stay away from pure acetone or nail polish remover with acetone in it.
The things you avoided to keep the nails on longer will be the very things you turn to when it is time to remove them. Soak hands in warm, soapy water with a little bit of oil in it. This will take some time, about 15 to 20 minutes, but it will weaken the glue allowing you to gently remove the press-on nails.
Once the nails are off, make sure there is no glue left on the artificial nail. You can use a nail file or rubbing alcohol to remove it. If left on, it can prevent the nails from adhering properly when glued on again. Also, wiping them with alcohol cleans them so they are ready for use again.
Press-on nails are a great way to save money and change up your nail look quickly. With so many lengths and shapes from short oval to long stiletto, you can have different nails from one week to the next.
When you apply them using the tips above and treat them gently while wearing them, your press-on manicure can last up to two weeks. And, by removing them carefully, you can reuse them again making even the highest quality and most expensive press-on nails worth the investment.