Press-on nails are back, baby! And it’s all thanks to the trending Y2K movement. Think: butterfly clip-ons, flared jeans, and high ponytails. But unlike in the 2000s, when press-on manicures were limited to short French manicure styles, today’s press-on options are limitless and come in a plethora of IG-worthy designs.
Whether you’re looking for a show-stopping set for a glamorous occasion, can’t slot in time for a trip to the salon, or just need a cute but quick pick-me-up set or a classic nude set for the office, the likes of Glamnetic Press-Ons, Static Nails, and Mari by Marsai Martin got you.
Oh, and did we mention that today’s false nails are super easy to apply, look just as fabulous as your $$$ acrylics and gel manicures, and don’t cause harm to your natural nails? Yap. They’re the isht.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect replacement nails for your nail-damaging acrylics, here are the ten best press-on nails that won’t embarrass you on your date or cause havoc to your nail beds.
How To Apply Press-On Nails
Before we reveal our favorites, here are some top tips on press-on nails application:
- Wash your hands and dry them completely
- Prep them by pushing back your cuticles and wiping each nail with alcohol to clean off any oils sitting on the surface
- To find the best press-ons for your nails, pick slightly smaller nails over larger options for a flattering finish
- For the application, the secret is being conservative with the amount of glue used. A pea-sized amount is enough for each nail unless otherwise instructed (some press-on nails options actually skip the glue and come with stickers or adhesive tabs)
- When the glue/adhesive is on, place every nail down your cuticle first, then firmly press down on the rest of your nail for a seamless, natural finish
- If desired, touch up or reshape the nails using a file or clipper. Experts advise shaping from each side and meeting at the center. Also, round shapes flatter short nails, while square or almond shapes are better on long nails
- Seal with a high-quality top coat and enjoy your hassle-free, chip-proof mani, darlings
How Long Do Press-On Nails Last?
If you regularly take care of them with cuticle serums and general TLC, press-on nails can last up to two weeks – some can even go for 20+ days.
Top Tip: To make them last longer, always install them when your nails are clean – clean them with alcohol, push cuticles back, add an adhesive, and stick them on gently.
How To Take Press-On Nails Off
To avoid any nail damage, always ensure you remove press-on nails by:
- Soaking the nails in warm, soapy water for about 10-15 minutes. If they’re reusable, don’t use acetone. It’ll destroy them
- If you’re looking to reuse them, take a wood cuticle pusher (and metal cuticle pusher if they’re for one-time use) and gently lift them up from around your nailbed and cuticles
- If they’re not budging, soak the press-ons for a bit longer and continue that process until they come off
- Finish off with a cuticle oil and a toxins-free nail strengthener
Best Press-On Nail Brands
Ok, now that you have the full press-on nails rundown, let’s get to the fun part. Here are all the best press-on nails that money can buy:
Best Overall – Olive & June Checkerboard French Press-Ons ($10)
If you’re into the checkerboard vibe, this whimsical set from Olive & June makes it effortless to transition the look from your games set to your beauty arsenal. And with 7+ days of long-term wear, you can’t afford not to add to cart.
Kit Essentials: 42 (yap. 42) nails in 21 different sizes, prep pad, nail strengthener, nail glue, cuticle pusher, buffer, and 2-in-1 file.
The Most Reusable – Static Nails Reusable Pop-On Manicure, Venomous Round ($14)
Craving a Bordeaux mani without the hassle or mess? These reusable (can be reused up to six times), no fuss, Venomous Round nails from Static Nails are a classy take on the rich hue and feature a bold tortoiseshell short round shape that won’t get in the way of sending “I hope this finds you well” emails.
Plus, with almost 20 days of wear, you’ll be jetting off to the rich vineyards of Stellenbosch with a glass of Bordeaux in no time.
Kit Essentials: 24 nails in 12 sizes, glue, buffer, and nail file.
Best Zero-Damage – ManiMe Glazed Barbecore Era ($20)
We don’t know about you, but we’re already planning our IG feeds looking at these long-lasting press-on nails. The Margot Robbie, summer and glazed doughnut vibes-inspired design is perfect for making a statement and suits any setting effortlessly – concert with the mans, date night with the girls, or just Netflix and chillin’ at home.
Plus, they last up to 10 days? What more could you ask for?
Kit Essentials: 1 mani sheet with 15 stick-on gels + nail file
Best Holographic – Glamnetic Stardust Press-On Nails ($10.50)
Press-on nails that channel the SUPERNOVA energy? We’re sold, especially since the lustrous, clear holographic pointed almond set with embedded glitter is waterproof and reusable.
If your BFF’s wedding or a brand brunch is coming up and you need a quick pick-me-up, these Glamnetic press-on nails are it.
Kit Essentials: 24 nails of varying sizes, nail glue, nail file, cuticle stick, and alcohol prep pad.
Best Splurge – Pressed By Tiny Space Hunni ($65)
Ok. These best press-on acrylic nails are pure art. And since the intergalactic vibe is cool now, these are obvs the nails you need to have in your arsenal.
Yes, they might break the bank, but this “space hunni” set works as the perfect conversation starter and allows you to choose the exact length and shape you want, making these long press-on nails totally customizable.
Kit Essentials: 10 fly s$$ nails and nail glue
Best Budget – Dashing Diva Magic Press Best In Snow ($9)
Trying to save some coins? Dashing Diva is a perfect pick. They’re not only pocket-friendly but also incredibly-divalicious (good) – as long as you install them right. And while they might not last for 14 days (they go for seven days), they’re undoubtedly one of the best every day – yet still fun – easy press-on nails on the market.
Kit Essentials: 30 short, square, glossy finish black & white press-on gel nails featuring blue & iridescent glitter and star of David icons, prep pad, pressure sensitive adhesive, nail file, and wooden manicure stick.
Best Gel Option – Chillhouse Chill Tips Purple Reign ($9.60)
Chillhouse has always been the hub of non-toxic manicures, calming massages, and anxiety-relieving matcha drinks in NYC. But if you can’t afford a ticket to the Big Apple this season, you can enjoy the New York wonder through their snazzy gel press-on nails.
Their designs are decked with every art form, including fierce animal prints, Y2K color blocks, and seasonal florals. Our favorite? The Purple Reign. The groovy yet modern design proves purple will always reign supreme and offers you three weeks- yes, three whole weeks – worth of wear.
Kit Essentials: 24 nails, a 2-in1 file and buffer, a cuticle stick, and nail glue
Best Design – ETN (EthereallyTouchedNails) Accra ($26.99)
With super-trendy and envy-triggering designs, ETN glue-on nails were designed for the bold, audacious, and fashion-forward woman. They are also easy to apply and are made with hard gel and gel polish for sturdy, 14-day durability, meaning you can reuse them as often as you’d like with proper maintenance.
But just a head’s up, unlike other press-on brands, you’ll have to purchase nail glue separately.
Kit Essentials: French nails with Ankara print accents and gold charms
Best Minimalistic – Mari By Marsai Martin Ms. Minimalist ($20)
How. Effing. Cool. Are. These. Press-Ons? And with a Marsai Martin seal of approval, you just have to try ‘em.
They are the perfect pick for all the ‘Little Miss,’ loves a luxurious matte finish but with a sexy twist. Plus, if you find yourself cringing at the idea of holiday-themed nails, these press-ons are just designed for you.
Kit Essentials: 24 luxe press-on nails in various sizes, prep pad, nail file, orange wood stick, durable adhesive tabs, aaaand non-toxic nail glue
Best On Amazon – Kiss Everlasting French Nail ($7)
If you’re into the French mani look but aren’t too hyped about leaning into the #TBT vibes, these press-ons are your best bet. Equipped with the Flexi-fit technology for ultra-comfort, the Kiss Everlasting French press-ons give you a patented rich, white tip that doesn’t fold and can last up to seven days when applied right!
Kit Essentials: 28 French tip nails, pink gel glue, a mini file, and a manicure stick