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Your Guide To The Best Press On Nails

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

So what are press on nails??

Press on nails are exactly as the name suggests! They are false nails that you simply press on... Well, kind of!

First off... Not all press on nails are created equally! This is super important

You can buy machine made nails or you can buy hand painted nails...

Machine made nails are bulk manufactured in factories and are not custom designed or made to fit you. They will usually be extremely flimsy or brittle and will come in a box with 24 nails and usually a small tube of glue or glue tabs. This glue will be useless as will the tabs!! The nails will also almost never last more than a few days at best but as with everything, some will be better than others...

These nails are good if you are on a tight budget but still want pretty nails.

Then, you have the hand painted nails, these are also not created equally.

Some hand painted nail sets will be made using nail varnish (you know, the varnish that wipes off with normal nail polish remover and lasts a couple of days?) some are made with gel polish and some are made with acrylic..

Some are strengthened, some aren't, Some are etched and filed, some aren't.

Some sellers force you to buy an application kit with every order (usually worded as "FREE APPLICATION KIT WITH EVERY ORDER") some let you buy what you need when you need it...

Below: Black & Slime Green Press On Nails From Tipstastic Nails

It is very hard to find good press on nail artists. Many sellers create nail sets using cheap non professional gel polish and cheap nail tips. Many also don't reinforce the nails nor do they etch or buff the nails. Some even claim they have hand painted nail sets when in fact they are machine made!

This leaves new press on nail users extremely underwhelmed and believing all press on nails are rubbish and just don't last. I am here to tell you this is not true.

A lot of the times a new press on nail customer won't know how to prep natural nails properly and this can make such a massive difference (I have created a seperate blog post on how to apply press on nails for the longest wear)

For press on nails that are going to last you need to make sure the set you are purchasing is:

1. Handpainted

2. Professional gel polish is used (Not cheap substandard polish or varnish)

3. Avoid acrylic if possible as acrylic makes the nails too rigid which in turn can make them snap

4. Each nail should be etched underneath for it to better adhere to your natural nail

5. Each nail should be filed on top for best adhesion of the gel polish and to avoid lifting

6. Primed! So many makers believe primer is not important, it is!

7. Base coat used. As above many makers skip this step..

8. Hard gel or builder gel is used as an encapsulation layer to add the much needed strength but keep the flexibility and not be made too stiff and rigid

9. Cuticle and free edge covered. This will avoid any chipping or breakdown of the nails

10. Avoid any seller who tells you it is ok to reshape or cut your nail sets! Once you reshape, the nail will need rebalancing and the free edge will no longer be sealed and the whole nail will become weak, the same is true even for cutting to a shorter length

But, why press on nails anyway?

I have written another blog post on why you should choose press on nails!

To quickly sum this up:

Press on nails save you money & save you time.

They can be applied and removed yourself.

If you can't wear nails for work, now you can!

If you are allergic to gel or acrylic, you can enjoy nails again!

Only want nails for a night out or a holiday, now you can with ease!

Press on nails are far less damaging for your natural nails

They last just as long as a set done in a salon and they can be reused


I hope this guide has helped you understand more about press on nails!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me for any advice :)


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