I’ve always been a “girly-girl”. Prior to motherhood, you could have defined me as a “high maintenance girly girl”. I had the heels matching the purses, the makeup, the chic outfits, the nails & hair done. I also had time. Since i’ve been in the mother-hood, time has gone out the window, taking the heels and high maintenance with it. Since being knee deep in a pandemic, pretty much anything and everything involving my appearance has taken a backseat. Cute work clothes have been downgraded to athleisure wear. The makeup hasn’t seen the light of day and my hair has been in a messy bun so long, I am pretty sure its trained to stay that way and doesn’t need the ponytail holder to keep it in place.
One thing that hasn’t taken a backseat, through motherhood or the pandemic, is my nails. For some reason, I HAVE to have my nails done. I went for a long while being ok with not having long nails, as long as they were polished, but right before the pandemic hit, I found myself back in the nail salon getting my acrylics put back on. Then all hell broke loose and nail salons were forced to close, leaving me with ratchet nails and the internet. I spent forever on Pinterest trying to figure out how to do my acrylics myself. Every video I saw looked way too damn complicated. Repeatedly I kept coming across different posts for press ons. I never considered press-on nails, I mean weren’t those so 80s/90s? Or for kids trying to be grown?!? I decided I had nothing to lose since I would be home-bound and my nails were just for me to see.
I am here to tell you, now that nail salons are back open, I ain’t going back! PRESS ON NAILS ARE LIFE. They are made for Hot Mess Mommas like you and me! They’re quick to apply, saving us hours sitting in a nail salon. They’re cheap, giving us more money to waste at Target. They’re easy, I’ve literally done my nails in my car waiting on Q to get out of school. They’re fun, you’d be surprised how many shapes, lengths, colors, and designs are on the market! I spent my pandemic doing scientific research on press-on nails and decided to save you the trouble of trying them all. When I say I did my research, I mean I tried brands from amazon, to buying in on Instagram ads, to buying cheapos to test the theory that all nails are the same and its just the glue that matters(not true, btw).
Here are my top 3 choices:
- Kiss Nails– ($8) Kiss is the first brand I tried since they were the most popular on Amazon and they were a brand I was familiar with. Kiss offers both press and glue on, though I recommend the glue for longer wear time. Pros: Cheap, found in stores you already shop at(Target, Walmart, Amazon), the BEST glue. Cons: Lack of variety, nails broke easier than other brands. I highly recommend their glue …esp the brush on glue for a mess free application. Wear: I averaged 10-14 days. In that span I would have to glue back on a nail once or twice. I would have to completely replace a nail at least twice.
- Static Nails– ($15)I came across these on Insta. Their ad drew me in and I gave them a go. I really like Static nails and they were my top pick until recently. Static claims their glue is different than typical nail glues and doesn’t damage your nails. I don’t know if I believe that claim as I didn’t find any of the glues damaging my nails. Static nails are durable. I have yet to have one split or crack. They have a decent variety and varying lengths. Pros: Variety, great quality nail, variety of sizes to fit all sized nails, rewards program Cons: Cost a bit more than store brands, low inventory (It took me 3 months to get my hands on their brush on glue!), glue hold time isn’t as long as some others. Wear: I averaged 14 days. During that time I would have to re-glue probably 4-5 times and maybe do a complete replace once.
- Serendipity Nails– ($15) Another Insta find! These have recently become my most favorite glue on nails! I was super skeptical about these as they took FOREVER to arrive (3ish weeks, I think) and once they arrived, the packaging wasn’t eye catching and appeared to have come directly from china as the postage was in Chinese and parts of the package were in Chinese. I assumed they were going to be over-priced Wish.com products. I was wrong! These nails are AWESOME and have the best wear time. Hello 3 weeks! Pros: Variety, quality nails, great fit. Cons: Shipping time, their glue isn’t the best, Did I mention shipping time? Wear: 14-21 days wear time. I never had to completely replace a nail but I did have a couple of re-glues.
The ultimate winning combination I found is using the Serendipity Nails with the Kiss Brush On Nail Glue. With this combo, I literally had one re-glue once in 3 weeks! Oh, and Serendipity is giving you 15% off your purchase if you use the code HOTMESSMOMMA at checkout!!!!
I keep mentioning re-glue and I think that is to be expected. I mean, your $45 acrylic nails break too, so expecting these not to break/pop off isn’t realistic. I keep a tube of nail glue in my purse and take the 15 seconds to re-glue and move on. Really not that big of a deal and all of the kits come with extra nails in case of pop-offs/breaks so you’ll be able to repair quickly! Plus a quick re-glue is faster than a trip to the salon for a fix. And even after a re-glue/replace, you’ve still got less time invested than if you went to the salon and had the done.
The biggest key, I found, to these glue on nails, is the prep work. Think about the nail salon process, they do all that prepping for a reason and you shouldn’t skip that here either. Before I apply my nails, which I typically do right after a shower so that my cuticles are ripe and ready., I get my handy cuticle tool out and clean up my cuticles then I swipe a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover over my nails and let it air dry for a few seconds. Then, I follow the included steps and apply my nails. I highly recommend brush on glue….much less mess! My pro-tip is to avoid water for as long as you can after application. Hence, my application AFTER my shower. Then I go to bed so I know they have atleast 6ish hours to “set”.
There you go! Official Press-On nail research! Like I said, I tried a lot of brands, including Dollar Tree (cute, but literally a 2-3 day wear time at best), and while others were decent, these are my top 3. I think the key to making glue on nails work for you is a) realistic expectations-you’ll break a nail and you’ll have one pop off but remember the costs and time savings are worth these headaches and they happen with expensive salon nails too b) prep- you get in what you put out. If you just slap these on and go do the dishes, you’re going to be doing more replacing and gluing than if you prep your nails and do your application after your chores.
Let me know what your nails look like! Are you a naked nail kinda momma? Acrylic nails your thing? Ready to try glue on nails?