We Tested the Most Popular Press-On Nail Brands—Here Are 6 That Delivered Salon-Worthy Tips in Sheer Minutes

Photo: Getty Images / Delmaine Donson
With the Well+Good SHOP, our editors put their years of know-how to work in order to pick products (from skin care to self care and beyond) they’re betting you’ll love. While our editors independently select these products, making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission. Happy shopping! Explore the SHOP

There's no confidence booster quite like manicured fingertips. Un-chipped nail polish, clean cuticles, and a cute design are all I need to Beyoncé my way into a room with my head up high. But as much as I love acrylics, my wallet can't bear the bills every time my nails grow out. Where I live, a full set with gel polish usually costs between $60-$80 per visit, making frequent manicures an expensive habit. Tips and gel can also be harsh on real nails, and are known to cause thinning and brittleness over time.

Luckily, a new generation of press-on nails have arrived to give me freshly manicured hands at a moment's notice, without the expensive bill or damage to my nails, to boot. These press-on nails aren't just cheaper (costs vary but can range between $10-$22), but they look just as good as the real thing and are super easy to apply with either a tube of nail glue (which is often included) or built-in adhesive.

Experts In This Article

For the past few weeks, I've worn a "handful" (lol) of different popular press-on nails from brands like Chillhouse, Sally Hansen, and more. Below are the six sets that delivered salon-quality results in sheer minutes.

four press-on nail kits
Photo: Author

How to use press-on nails

"Press-on nails can be applied with either glue for longer-term application or with double-sided sticky tabs or tape for shorter use," says Julie Kandalec, a NYC-based celebrity manicurist and educator. Before application, she recommends laying out all of the different sizes and placing the nails over your nail bed to see if it fits—if they're either too big or too small, that's an indication they won't last long.

Once this step is done, "gently place the nail onto the nail plate, use your glue or double stick tape, and apply the nail." In my experience, it helps to hold down the nail for a few seconds to allow the glue to dry or adhesive to stick.

How to make press-on nails last

According to Sonya Meesh, celebrity and editorial nail artist based in New York and Los Angeles, nail prep is key when it comes to ensuring your press-ons last. "Making sure that your nails are free of oils and debris ensures a secure grip between your nail, the glue, and the press on," they said. Some beginner kits come with an alcohol prep pad and a lint remover, but just in case your kit does not come with it, alcohol on a cotton pad works, too.

best press-on nails
Photo: Author

What to look for when buying press-on nails

Meesh tells us that "press-on nails made with gel are the best as they're the strongest and can withstand a lot of wear and tear if you work with your hands, workout a lot, or trying, but plastic works, too!" If you're new to press-on nails, look for kits that already come with glue, a nail file, and prep pads; however, all of these materials can be bought separately.

Are press-on nails better for your nails than acrylics?

"It's really about how you treat them. If you treat your nails well and maintain them (i.e keeping them clean, trimming them down, keeping cuticles and hands moisturized) the press ons will work for you, not against you," says Meesh. Additionally, they recommend resisting the urge to rip or pick them as that could rip your actual nail.

We know there's a bunch of options to choose from, so we put several press-on nail kits to the test to determine which ones are actually worth the money. Here are six press-on kits that deliver salon quality nails in mere minutes.


box of nails on left and hand with the tips on the right
Chillhouse, Checked Out — $16.00

Nails included: 24

Design fans—You can now get a coveted Chillhouse manicure in the comfort of your own home, thanks to the brand’s press-on nails, which can be purchased on the brand’s website and retailers like Target and Urban Outfitters.

I tried the brand’s “Checked Out” set, which features a baby-blue checkered print and rounded nails in a Goldilocks length: not too short, not too long, but just right. I stuck these nails on during a trip to Dallas, and they were super easy to glue on (which was included, btw) and apply. One caveat to note is that these press-on nails need plenty of glue. After using a pea-sized amount on my nails, I noticed that they began to fall off after a few days. More glue ought to do the trick.

Shop more Chillhouse press-on nails here.


  • Easy to apply
  • Cute design
  • Versatile length


  • Nail file and prep pad not included
  • Requires more glue to keep nails on


box of nails on left and hand with the tips on the right
Paintlab, Glossy Glazed — $15.00

Nails included: 24

After testing Paintlab’s Glossy Glazed nails, I can attest to how long-lasting these nails are. Made with non-toxic and cruelty-free materials, they’re a force to be reckoned with and lasted perfectly for one full week, even after workouts and days of typing at the computer.

That said, application is a bit tricky. Due to the curved nature of each nail, I found them slightly difficult to press on without the nail popping off (it might take two tries to get them to stick). Once they’re on, however, they’re on for a long time. And unlike Chillhouse’s kits, each set comes with all of the essentials needed for an at-home manicure, including 24 press-on nails, a prep pad, nail file, non-toxic nail glue, and a wooden cuticle stick. A salon manicure minus the salon price.

Shop more Paintlab press-on nails here.


  • Long-lasting
  • Nail file and prep pad included
  • Non-toxic and cruelty-free


  • More difficult to apply

Sally Hansen

box of nails on left and hand with the tips on the right
Sally Hansen, Perfect Manicure Press-On Nail Kit — $10.00

Nails included: 24

Sally Hansen makes press-ons in all different colors, shapes, and styles, all of which are easy to apply. The set I tested was colorful, almond shaped, and so simple to glue down (Note: they take about 20-30 seconds to really stick). The only downside is each nail was a little flimsier than other sets I’ve tried. But at $10 per set, they’re easier on the wallet than traditional acrylics and gel tips.

Shop more Sally Hansen nails here.


  • Comes in a variety of shapes, colors, and designs
  • Sticks on easily
  • Nail file and prep pad included


  • Flimsy

Olive and June

box of nails on left and hand with the tips on the right
Olive and June, Medium Press-On Nails — $10.00

Nails included: 42

Fun fact: I wore these on an interview with Joe Jonas. I couldn’t sit down with Jonas IRL without having a fresh set of nails (he complimented them, btw), and these Olive and June medium press-on nails helped me in a pinch.

Besides the color and design, I love that each set comes with a whopping 42 nails in 21 sizes, enough to ensure a custom fit on all nails. The set also includes a bottle of non-toxic glue, a prep pad, and nail file. While the purple holographic design is sold out, enjoy dozens of other patterns and colors, from gold glitter to rainbow swirls. Plus, they’re Joe Jonas-approved!


Shop more Olive and June nails here.



  • Includes 42 nails
  • Stylish
  • Sticks on easily


  • Color dulls after a week of wear


best press-on nails
Photo: Author
Impress, Press-On Manicure — $8.00

Nails included: 30

These no-frills nails are by far the easiest nails to apply. Featuring a patented adhesive, these nails stick on within seconds of removing the plastic and require no drying time, which is perfect for people who are on the go. Heading to a business meeting? No problem. A party in 30 minutes? Also, no problem.

The nails I tried were coffin-shaped. As someone who loves longer nails but has to type on the computer for a living, I didn’t find these to be bothersome at all. What’s more, they come at an affordable price point. For just $8, it’s a manicure you can’t beat.

Shop more Impress nails here.


  • Extremely easy to apply
  • Good quality
  • Affordable
  • Doesn’t leave stains on nails
  • No drying time


  • Might not last as long as glue-on nails


best press-on nails
Photo: Author
Glamnetic, Press-On Nails — $20.00

Nails included: 30

This nail kit delivers exactly what you’d expect: Glam nails. From sorbet-colored tips to smiley faces, Glamnetic nails are bound to spark a conversation no matter where you are. What’s great about the kit is that it comes with everything you need to channel your inner manicurist. You get a pack of glue, nail file, and prep pad to commence sticking.

One thing to note is that the natural curvature of these nails make them harder to stick, so once you apply the glue, you may need to hold down the nail longer for the glue to adhere to your nail. Other than that, they’re chic, easy to use, and will have nails looking fresh in minutes.

Shop more Glamnetic nails here.


  • Nail file and prep pad included
  • Available in a variety of colors, shapes, and patterns
  • Quality nails


  • Requires more drying time
  • Expensive

But wait, there's more!
Want to be the first to hear about the latest (and greatest) SHOP product drops, custom collections, discounts, and more? Sign up to have the intel delivered straight to your inbox.
Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

Loading More Posts...