Press on nails are a type of artificial nail, which can be stuck on top of your natural nails. They come in a wonderful variety of shapes and colors, and they are often cheaper than other artificial nail types.

The great thing about press on nails is the DIY application. You don’t need to spend tens or even hundreds of dollars on professional care when you can simply stick them on yourself.

The downside is that they don’t last very long. However, this is only true if you don’t follow the press on nail care routine we have created below.

With our tips, your nails will last for weeks instead of days.

Pick A High-Quality Brand

High-quality brands will be made with strong plastics which are durable, comfortable, and soft enough to mold to your shape.

Cheap brands might seem like a good choice, but in reality, they won’t fit your natural nail shape. Instead they create a “standard” size, which only some people can actually use. This means they will be either too big or too small, which will force the material to cut into your skin or create gaps.

Either way, these errors in shaping will make the nails fall off quicker.

Sizes Exist, Pick The Right One

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all policy for nails, and if you find a brand that states this they mean that they only have one size – medium. 

You need to make sure your nail size fits your natural shape too, this could mean picking rounded, square or pointed shapes to match your body type. 

Pick The Right Shape And Length For your Lifestyle

To ensure your press on nails last for as long as possible, you should consider how your normal day-to-day activities could wear them down.

If you are typing all day, then you want nails that are short enough to remain unobstructed by your typing flow. If you spend most of the day talking to clients or customers then you can have them as long as you please.

Prepare Your Cuticles Before Applying

To make sure the nails make a firm connection to your natural base layer, your hands need to be moisturized and your cuticles should be out of the way.

Apply cuticle oil and hand moisture an hour before pressing on the nails.

Prepare The Nail Surface

Once your hands and cuticles are moisturized, you can start focusing on the nail prep. There are 4 things you need to do – dehydrate your natural nails, buff them, apply a base coat and dry them.

Once all 4 have been completed you can apply your press on nails.

You can buy oils and apply them with cotton pads to dehydrate your nails, then use a small buffing kit to remove any debris.

Once ready, apply a base coat that will give your nails the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy while covered. Lastly, allow them to dry.

This extra step gives the press on nails a stronger base to connect to while allowing your natural nails to remain healthy.

Correct Pressing Method

When you use press on the nails, you need to ensure the correct method to allow the adhesive to connect to your natural nails. 

Just use one or two drops of glue, place the nail in the correct location on your nail, and then press down at a downward angle from cuticle to tip. Hold this position for 1 minute.

Apply The Top Coat

Applying a clear top coat will stop any debris from getting under the nail now that it has been connected. Only a thin layer is needed, but if you avoid this step the nail is more likely to chip or start to lift.

Avoid Water

Finally, to ensure the nail lasts for as long as possible, you should avoid submerging it underwater. This is because most press on nails can be removed by soaking your hand in warm water – allowing for easy removal along with easy application.

Submerging your nails underwater, even for a short amount of time, can activate the removal process.

We suggest using washing-up gloves for situations where water is unavoidable, as they will protect your nails during the process. 

The best way to make sure your press on nails last for as long as possible is to buy good quality nails, make sure they fit your size, prepare your nails before application and avoid water.

The before, during, and after care all add to the long life of your nails.