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How To Make Press-On Nails Last

Press-on nails have always been a blessing in disguise whenever you are running late and don’t have time to get a manicure.

They take out the waiting part from an otherwise long procedure that can go wrong if not done correctly. But how do you make press-on nails last?

That is the question we aim to answer but first, let’s focus on what press-on nails are.

What are press-on nails?

Press-on nails are made from acrylic, gel, and ABS plastic and are then painted on to look the way you want them to. This opens a lot of options when it comes to nail design as you can have exactly what you want, painted on the nails.

If you have ever gotten a hell tip extension at the salon, press-on nails are very similar to that but better at the same time as they cover the entire nail bed and hence protect all of it from external elements.

Applying press-on nails is an easy task as you just need the press-on nail and some glue to adhere it to your nail. Making them last longer is today’s goal and we will walk you through everything you need to know to make it happen!

press on nails

How to make press-on nails last longer:

Press-on nails usually last from one to two weeks but you can do a few things right to make sure they last at least as long as two weeks. And if you are lucky, they may be just fine to go another round at the end of the 2 week period. At this point, you can store them in a safe place, re-paint them when you need them again, and put them back on with glue.

But before we get there, let’s try and make them last the longest!

Natural Oil:

Natural oil is the enemy of long-lasting press-on nails.

Having even the tiniest amount of natural oil or residual nail polish from a previous manicure session can make the glue not stick properly. You will need to remove all of it before you start putting on press-on nails.

To do this, you will need rubbing alcohol. Soak some cotton in rubbing alcohol and rub your nails properly and thoroughly from the cuticle to the edges. This will make sure you have no residual polish or oil left on the nail bed.

Avoid Water:

Water is very bad for press-on nails especially when you have just applied them. Make sure you don’t go anywhere near water for at least 2 hours after you have applied the nails.

The water will loosen the glue and they will simply fall off. No one likes to get embarrassed by their nails falling off in the middle of a party.

We suggest you play it smart and get your press-on nails done at night right before bed. This will give them enough time to set in while you replenish your energy.


Your cuticles are important as they are essentially the roots of your nail. The nails come out from there and they need to be taken care of. Take some cuticle oil in your hands and massage the cuticles as it will help improve the health of your nails.

You don’t want brittle nails and massaging your cuticles will help with making them stronger.

Glue Quality:

The quality of the glue matters a lot. Many types of glue that come with the kit of press-on nails are usually a little too thin and hence take a long time to harden. And even when they do harden, they don’t hold the nail properly.

Make sure you get glue separately with your nails from a brand you trust. This is crucial for your nails to last longer. Always keep a nice high-quality glue in your daily carry since you never know when a nail may decide to pop off.

Good glue to press-on nails is like oxygen to lungs!

Top Coat:

Making a top coat before applying your press-on nails gives your nail a shiny and professional finish, protects your natural nail, and also gives your press-on nails a nice bed to sit on.

The topcoat also tend to harden the nail surface, making them more durable and also allowing the glue to catch the nail strongly.

Short Press-on Nails:

Although long press-on nails are usually preferred purely due to aesthetic reasons however shorter nails are better.

They are better because you don’t have the risk of breaking them by running into something or accidentally sleeping on your hand.

Unfortunately, you will not find short press-on nails on the market easily but you can always cut them down to your desired length.

These are all the ways you can use to make your nails last longer and if you are lucky, you may be able to go beyond 2 weeks.

Of course, nail quality matters a lot as well and you will need to get the best press-on nails to help your chances at a longer time period with them.

removing nails

Benefits of press-on nails:

Now with that out of the way, let’s focus on other aspects of press-on nails.

Press-on nails have a lot of benefits over acrylic and other types of nails. That’s why they’re becoming more and more popular!

To start, they are highly affordable which means no more breaking your bank for a set of nails anymore. They can be anywhere between $9 from a drugstore to $30 if you get them from a nice manufacturer.

This still majorly undercuts the acrylic manicure you will get at a salon that can easily run you hundreds of dollars.

Press-on nails are super easy to apply. With good technique, you can do it in a short period of time and still get ready in time for your night out!

Also, there is absolutely no dry time which means no curing under UV lamps or waiting for them to dry before you can use your hands again.

Removal is also easier for press-on nails as compared to acrylic nails. With acrylic nails, you have to dip them in acetone for 10 to 15 minutes which could be a potentially corrosive chemical for your skin.

Removing press-on nails is less damaging to your nails and they come off in little time.

Press-on nails offer a wide variety from matte to shimmer to chrome to ombre. This freedom of choice in nail art combined with the low price makes it easy for you to flaunt your favorite designs to your friends while enjoying your day to the best.

They last a long time and if they are stable by the end of 2 weeks, you can reuse them!

Do press-on nails damage your real nails?

Press-on nails will not damage your real nails if you follow the application procedure correctly. But that comes with an asterisk since removing the nail improperly can lead to damage.

An example of this will be leaving your nails in acetone for a long time which can result in drying and brittleness of the nails. If you rip your press-on nails off in a hurry, you can damage the bed of your real nails and that would take a long time to heal.

The good news is that all of this is easily avoidable. You just need to be patient and follow the correct procedure. Soak your nails in soapy water for 10 minutes or until your nails start to come off.

Now use a moisturizer or cuticle oil to rebalance your moisture levels around the cuticle. This step is important for the health of the nail. A strong nail will make the process of removing press-on nails easy.

Another good recommendation is to use a base coat before applying press-on nails. This will create a layer over your nail bed that will protect your nails while you take the fake ones off and also give the press-on nails a nice surface area to sit on.

airbrush nails

How to make your press-on nails look natural and reuse them?

For a more natural look on your press-on nails, the best thing you can do is to trim them short to natural length and leave them as is if they have natural nail color. If not, you can paint them with lighter tones to give a more natural appeal.

Press-on nails will look natural if they are sized correctly. Make sure the nails you use are not too wide or too small for your finger.

Take your time to find the best fit and if you don’t, you can always file them to the desired length. This combined with having your cuticles pushed back will give you a more natural and professional look.

Applying a thin layer of topcoat without overdoing it can make your nails look fresh and, you guessed it, natural!

If your nails have not worn off by the end of the 2 week period, you can take them off patiently without breaking them, and store them in a dry container for your next use.

If the paint is not as new anymore, you can always repaint them and have the luxury of doing them exactly the way you want.


This is all you need to know when it comes to making your press-on nails last longer and how you can take care of them.

This guide will take you through all the thicks and thin of maintaining your nails along with your looks and potentially having them last upwards of 2 weeks.

Now, that is a long time before thinking about getting new ones. And you may not even have to do that depending on the condition of your nails after that time period.

If your nails are intact, you can carefully take them off and restore them for future use.

Press-on nails are the future and everyone is choosing them over much more expensive acrylic nails. This is the new trend and you deserve to be a part of it!

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