Booking an appointment at your local nail salon in this post-COVID-19 world isn’t something that everyone’s ready to do quite yet. In lieu of professional manicures, we’ve gotten creative: perfecting our at-home nail painting, DIY gels, and—a method again rising in popularity—turning to press-on nails, which just might be the healthiest way to adorn tips.
“Today’s press-on options are generally made with real polish or gel polish, and they look like an actual manicure rather than a sticker,” says Dana Stern, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, who specializes in nail health. The perks of press-on nails, according to Dr. Stern, are that they’re easy to apply, speedy, and you’ll experience less chipping than other manicure types. “They’re potentially less damaging to the nail than soak-off gels, too.”
Depending on the specific press-ons that you get, Dr. Stern says that they tend to be made with an acrylic-based adhesive that’s embedded on the underside of the sticker, which means that additional glue isn’t needed. “The advantage here is that the acrylate is only coming into contact with the nail and not the surrounding skin,” she says, nodding to the material’s potential to irritate the skin. That said, if you’re going with an option that uses glue, look for those that are labeled as non-toxic for the safest bet against irritants.
The manicure-removing process is where the most nail damage can occur, regardless of the type of mani that you have. If your press-ons are peel-off and you’re having difficulty removing them, Dr. Stern suggests using acetone. If they require a soak in acetone, she notes that your nails can get dehydrated, so be sure to nourish them afterwards with cuticle oil and calcium-based polish. Generally, though, press-ons are very low risk and give you a quick, gorgeous manicure, oftentimes with Insta-worthy nail art. Keep scrolling for the best press-on options to shop for yourself.
Best press-on nails 2020
1. Chillhouse, $16
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The wait is OVER! Fam, our most exciting creation yet has landed. Meet CHILL TIPS, nail-art manicures now available at your fingertips wherever, whenever. Long-lasting, reusable press-ons in three of our most iconic designs 👏🏽 Shop now exclusively on chillhouse.com and in our NYC flagship ✌🏽
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New to the press-on nail game is New York City salon Chillhouse, known for its super-cute nail art designs, which you can now stick on your nails from home. Choose from a variety of designs, from polka dots to modern waves, and press them on with the brand’s non-toxic glue—very nail-friendly.
2. Dashing Diva Magic Press-On, $9
Dashing Diva offers a huge assortment of press-on mani options, ranging from short to medium to long lengths, with solid colors or intricately designed tips. These don’t use any glue, so they stick right on and then peel off when you’re done.
3. Nailed By Ren, $27
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Pick from trendy stiletto or coffin-shaped press-ons with all sorts of vibrant designs with Nailed By Ren’s manicures. These are hand-painted and are applied with glue, and they last a long time.
4. Precious Kreation, $35
This Los Angeles-based nail designer offers customized press-on gel manicures. They’re made-to-order, so you’ll be sure to get a luxe nail art creation that fits your nail bed perfectly.
5. Kiss Products Press-On Nails, $11
Kiss has endless press-on manicure options. Pick solid colors, French tips, or rhinestone-encrusted manicure designs for the easiest, professional-level DIY nail look you can get.
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