The 8 Best Press-On Nail Kits For an At-Home Manicure This Valentine’s Day

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Manicures are a must for special occasions. Just like a good blowout, a fresh set of nails leaves you feeling polished, pulled together, and ready for whatever the week brings. Instead of spending time and money at the nail salon this Valentine’s Day, DIY your manicure with the best press-on nails.

Press-on nail kits have had a makeover in the past five years: Uncomfortable claws are out, realistic-looking, durable faux nails are in. Scroll through our options, and you’ll see that latest press-on nails are available in varying lengths, shapes, and styles (both solid-colored and complete with nail art designs). The new league of press-on nail kits includes various sized tips to suit any nail size, and easy-to-use adhesive that makes application simple.

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“One of the benefits of press-on nails is cost — a set from the salon costs a minimum of $40, and press-on nails can be as inexpensive as $9,” says celebrity nail artist and Nails of LA founder Brittney Boyce. Press-on nails also have the benefit of giving your nails a uniform look; if you’ve chipped a nail, you can easily conceal inconsistencies in length with good faux tips. They’re also just as effective as no-bite nail polish for those who have a habit of chewing their nails — the durable tips will protect your natural nails and allow them to regrow. And contrary to what you may think, press-on nails don’t damage your nails, as long as you remove them properly without prying them off, according to Boyce.

Just like hand lotion, luxury hand soaps, and winter nail colors, press-on kits are an easy way to upgrade your at-home manicure kit this season. We put these press-on nails through rigorous testing to ensure they’re worthy of your hands, and these eight options passed with flying colors. Read on for the top press-on nail kits of 2023, plus pointers on application, removal, and making them last — one secret is alcohol — and we don’t mean the champagne you’ll sip on February 14th.

The Best Press-On Nails For Valentine’s Day 2023

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OPI xPress/On Short Solid Color Press-On Nails

Best Gel Press-On Nails

  • Number of nails: 30
  • Adhesive type: Glue
  • Tools included: Nail glue, cuticle stick, dual nail file and buffer, and prep pads

OPI is a renowned nail polish brand — even if you’re not a manicure person, you’ve seen their colors on the fingertips of legends like Beyoncé and Kerry Washington. The OPI xPress/On Press-On Nails are a genius addition to the line, allowing you to achieve a pretty manicure at home with iconic OPI colors, like Funny Bunny, Bubble Bath, and Lincoln Park After Dark. The faux nails feel like gel polish rather than plastic, which is a rare find.

Editor’s testing and review notes: “Finding a good fit for my pointer, middle, and ring fingers is always difficult, as a faux nail that’s slightly too big or too small throws off the look and wear time of my manicure. OPI’s press-on kits have loads of mid-sized tips to ensure a perfect match for those tricky-to-fit fingertips.”

Courtesy of Ulta

OPI xPress/On Short Solid Color Press-On Nails $13 Buy Now AT ULTA

Static Nails Almond Reusable Pop-On Manicure

Best Reusable Press-On Nails

  • Number of nails: 24
  • Adhesive type: Glue
  • Tools included: Nail glue and dual-sided buffer

If you’ve ever searched for press-on nails, odds are you’ve come across Static Nails. They’re one of the few brands that makes reusable press-ons you can actually wear more than once, thanks to the ultra-durable tips. You can browse over 200 styles in varying lengths and shapes, from extra-short square to medium coffin and long almond. You’ll be hard pressed to choose just one set to try.

Editor’s testing and review notes: “I always keep a set of solid-colored, short round Static Nails on standby — the high-shine tips look flawless and realistic. The brand also has a great, non-damaging nail glue you brush on just like polish, and I use it with any glue-on faux nails I apply.”

Static Nails Reusable Pop On Manicure

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Static Nails Almond Reusable Pop-On Manicure $22 Buy Now AT NORDSTROM

Static Nails Almond Reusable Pop-On Manicure $22 Buy Now AT ULTA

Chillhouse Chill Tips

Best Press-On Nails with Designs

  • Number of nails: 24
  • Adhesive type: Glue
  • Tools included: Nail glue, cuticle stick, and dual-sided buffer and file

If you’re eager to mix up your nails with cool designs (but hate how long it takes at the salon) order up some Chillhouse Chill Tips. The edgy brand has spa locations in New York and Paris, but you can get one of their signature nail art manicures at home with their press-on nails. Chillhouse launches new tips seasonally, so you can always look forward to new colorways and designs.

Editor’s testing and review notes: “Chillhouse Chill Tips are my favorite to pop on for the weekend, or when I’m heading on vacation. The funky designs uplift my mood every time I glance at my fingertips. The tips are medium length, but you can easily file them down if you prefer a shorter manicure.”

Chillhouse Press On Nails

Courtesy of Chillhouse

Chillhouse Chill Tips $16 Buy Now AT SHOPBOP

Chillhouse Chill Tips $16 Buy Now AT SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

Chillhouse Chill Tips $16 Buy Now AT REVOLVE

Kiss Impress Nails Short Solid Color Press-On Nails

Best Press-On Nails on Amazon

  • Number of nails: 30
  • Adhesive type: Sticker
  • Tools included: Nail file, cuticle stick, and prep pad

These Kiss Impress press-on nails outperform their competition at the drugstore. The sticker-style adhesive means you don’t have to fuss with nail glue, so they’re a great option for press-on beginners. All of the colors available are classics — think along the lines of burgundy, navy, cream, and pale pink. The shape and size is easy to file down from a square to a round or almond shape.

Editor’s testing and review notes: “I apply these Kiss Impress nails multiple times throughout the year; they’re my favorite when I need fresh nails, fast. The tips feel like thick gel polish, and best of all, they leave no residue after you remove them.”

Kiss Impress Nails

Courtesy of Amazon

Kiss Impress Nails Short Solid Color Press-On Nails $7 Buy Now AT AMAZON

Nails of LA Press-On Extensions

Best Short Press-On Nails

  • Number of nails: 24
  • Adhesive type: Double-sided adhesive stickers or nail glue
  • Tools included: Nail glue, adhesive stickers, cuticle stick, and file and buffer duo

Boyce designed these Nails of LA Press-On Extensions using years of expertise as a celebrity nail artist to ensure the durable tips feel comfortable on your fingertips. The tips work with adhesive stickers or nail glue (you’ll get both in your kit), so you can choose the adhesive that you’re most comfortable using. All of the tips feature minimalistic nail art designs that range from geometric to abstract, and each one adds a little je ne sais quoi to your look.

Editor’s testing and review notes: “The Nails of LA press-ons are a serious win because of the adhesive options — I love that I can apply the pretty designs with glue stickers or traditional nail glue. The length is excellent for daily wear; I can easily put in contacts without poking my eye.”

Nails of LA Press-On Extensions

Courtesy of Nails of LA

Nails of LA Press-On Extensions $16 Buy Now AT NAILS OF LA

Olive & June Press-On Nails The Instant Mani

Best Press-On Nails for Wide Nail Beds

  • Number of nails: 42
  • Adhesive type: Glue
  • Tools included: Wooden cuticle pusher, 2-in-1 file and buffer, and prep pad

Olive & June pioneered a foolproof system for at-home manicures, complete with a custom silicone brush handle attachment that gives you more control when you’re painting your nails with your non-dominant hand. So we weren’t surprised when Olive & June’s press-on nails debuted with a kit that makes applying press-on nails easy; the set has a massive range of nail sizes that makes it easy to find your exact fit. Keep tabs on their seasonal limited-edition designs, which always sell out.

Editor’s testing and review notes: “You’ll be spoiled for choice with Olive & June’s press-on nail kits — you can shop solid and patterned designs, and any set you choose comes with the smallest and largest of press-on nail sizes. The tips have a nice curve to them that hugs either side of your nail bed for longer-lasting wear time.”

Olive and June Press On Manicure

Courtesy of Olive & June

Olive & June Press-On Nails The Instant Mani $10 Buy Now AT OLIVE & JUNE

Olive & June Press-On Nails The Instant Mani $12 Buy Now AT TARGET

ManiMe Gel Nail Strips

Best Custom Press-On Nails

  • Number of nails: 18
  • Adhesive type: Sticker
  • Tools included: Nail file, wood stick, and prep pad

Unlike traditional press-on nails, ManiMe’s polish comes in adhesive gel strip stickers, not full-on faux tips. Apply them straight onto your nails for a splash of color without a change in the length or look of your natural nail. The result rivals what you’d walk out of the salon with after a gel manicure. And if you have narrow or wide nail beds, you can order a custom-made set that fits like a glove: ManiMe has technology that runs a 3D scan of your nails via images you take on your smartphone.

Editor’s testing and review notes: “When my nails are healthy and even in length, I love to smooth on ManiMe’s nail strips. They cover my nail beds just like traditional polish, but without the dry time. I get compliments on my manicure every time I use them — little do my friends know that I did it myself.”

ManiMe

Courtesy of ManiMe

ManiMe Gel Nail Strips $10 Buy Now AT AMAZON

Glamnetic Press-On Nails

Best Long Press-On Nails

  • Number of nails: 30
  • Adhesive type: Glue
  • Tools included: Nail glue, double-sided file, cuticle stick, and prep pad

Glamnetic is the go-to if you’re longing for length — even the shortest styles will give you a good free edge. The immigrant-owned brand launched with faux lashes in 2019, and has since become an established player in the press-on nail space. Although Glamnetic offers solid colored press-on nail kits, they’re known for their funky nail art: You can shop checkered and french sets, or go with a kit that combines different designs in a similar color palette for a bespoke effect.

Editor’s testing and review notes: “While testing long press-on nails, I noticed one common issue: They’re far more likely to break than shorter options. That’s not the case with Glamnetic. They’re the only lengthy press-ons I could wear for more than a week without dealing with chipping. The nails are thinner and lighter than other press-ons, but they stayed secure until I removed them.”

Glamnetic Press On Nails

Courtesy of Glamnetic

Glamnetic Press-On Nails $20 Buy Now AT ULTA

How To Apply Press On Nails

“Prep is everything, no matter what kind of manicure you’re doing” says Boyce. “If you don’t buff and cleanse the nail properly, the polish or glue won’t be able to bond properly.” Here’s how to apply them for a long-lasting result:

  1. Cleanse your hands by removing any existing polish from your fingertips, then washing your hands thoroughly.
  2. File and shape your natural nails, then lightly buff them to remove any visible shine.
  3. Fit your faux nails by finding the press-on nail that’s the closest match to your natural nail. “If you’re between sizes, choose the bigger option, then lightly file down the sides of the faux nail so they fit your nail bed without touching your skin,” says Boyce.
  4. Wipe down the natural nail with rubbing alcohol, and wait for it to fully evaporate. This key step ensures that the adhesive will set properly for a longer-lasting manicure. Without it, the natural oils on your nail will interfere with the glue’s ability to bond.
  5. Apply the press-on nails: If using adhesive stickers, remove the sticker backing and firmly press the faux nail onto your natural nail for 10 to 15 seconds. If using glue, dot a small drop onto the base of your natural nail and the base of the faux nail. Carefully place the faux nail onto your fingertip, holding it in place for 30 seconds. Use a cuticle stick to remove any excess glue from the side walls of your nail.
  6. Repeat steps four and five on each nail.

How To Remove Press On Nails

Resist the urge to peel or pull them off — this tugs off layers of your natural nail, causing damage. You can remove your press-on nails two different ways: One option is to soak your nails in a bowl of warm water with a spoonful of coconut oil for about 20 minutes. You can also buff the faux nails and soak them in acetone for about five minutes, which is Boyce’s preferred method. After soaking your nails with coconut oil and water or acetone, Boyce says to gently rock them back and forth until the press-on nails have loosened; then they’ll gently fall off without damaging your natural nails.

How To Make Press-On Nails Last

Wondering how long press-on nails last? With proper application, your press-on manicure can last for up to two to three weeks. These practices will help keep them in tip-top shape.

  • Avoid water for 30 minutes after application: “If you get water on the nail glue before it dries, any excess glue on your cuticle or the side walls of your nail will dry down white instead of clear,” Boyce explains. To preserve your manicure after it’s set, wear rubber gloves when you’re doing dishes.
  • Grab a scalp massager: These handheld silicone brushes lather up shampoo without applying pressure to your fingertips. They also prevent your nails from snagging on your hair when you rake conditioner through it — this lessens the likelihood of your nails coming loose or falling off after wash day.
  • Apply cuticle oil: Emollient nail products are essential for any manicure, according to Boyce. “Without oils and creams, the natural nail becomes brittle and dry, preventing a long-lasting manicure,” she explains. Focus on the sides and base of your nails when you massage it on.

How We Chose the Best Press-On Nail Kits

To choose the best press-on nail kits, we considered a multitude of factors, including the wear time, durability, feel, and ease of application and removal. We noted the faux nail size options, ensuring that each kit on our list is inclusive for the largest and smallest of nail beds. While testing the best press-on nails, we exposed the nails to water, soap, cuticle oil, body lotion, lots of clacking on a keyboard, folding laundry, opening packages, and so much more. The press-on nails that chipped, broke, or popped off were nixed from our list. We also interviewed a nail expert who has experience creating her own press-on nail brand, and used her expertise to inform our selections.

Meet the Expert

Brittney Boyce is the definition of a multi-hyphenate as a celebrity nail artist to Hollywood’s biggest stars, founder of cutting-edge nail brand, Nails of LA, content creator, and more. Boyce began her career as a nail extension specialist in high-end nail salons across LA. Rapidly establishing a reputation, Boyce became highly sought-after for editorial, fashion and beauty campaigns. Now, Boyce works with top celebrities including Megan Fox, Machine Gun Kelly, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Travis Barker, and Olivia Rodrigo. Her nail looks are viral sensations including the $30,000 diamond manicure on Machine Gun Kelly for the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, benefiting local Cleveland charities. Beyond her skills as a manicurist, Boyce has lent her talent to beauty brands to support marketing, product development, content and more. In 2020, Brittney launched NailsofLA – the ultramodern adhesive nail designs brand.

Meet the Author

Claire Sullivan is the Senior Beauty and Lifestyle Commerce Editor for WWD and Footwear News. She’s spent over five years researching, reporting on, and writing about the beauty industry for publications like Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle, and Byrdie. She became a press-on nail nut during the pandemic, testing dozens of sets from different brands. To compile the best press-on nail kits, she factored in durability, ease of application, wear time, and whether or not the sets damage your natural nails.

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