The best press-on nails for a 'to die for' DIY manicure
We swear they've gone from cheap to chic
By Delaney Loane
Digital Beauty Editor / November 02 2021
You'd be hard pressed to find a beauty lover who doesn't love having a killer manicure. Of course, what constitutes 'killer' status is different for everyone: Some love Kardashian-esque claws, some are nuts for nail art and some just want a short, chic shell pink set.
What we don't all love, however, is the time and money we often have to give up to get aforementioned incredible manicure. And that's why we're grateful for press-ons; not only are they a dynamite way to get in on your favourite nail art fads sans commitment (they usually last for about a week), but they've also come a long way lately, expanding to include an array of different styles and shapes.
Applying them is super simple too; most sets will come with both stickers (that generally keep them in place for a few days) and nail glue (which offers a heavier duty hold). Each pack will have a range of sizes, too, so you just find the perfect fit for each nail and then press them into place. Genius, right?
So, whether you're separated from your beloved salon or don't have the dexterity to master your desired designs (or hell, even a coat of bubble-free blush polish), here are the press-ons that get our seal of salon-level approval...
Mannequin Hands Raindrops II Press-On Set
Silly season is upon us. And while we love hauling ass to our manicurist’s on a bi-weekly basis, when it comes to having party-ready nails in a pinch, we’re all about press-ons. Channel the fresh vibes of summer with trendy 3D nails decorated with “organic nature-inspired shapes and raindrops,” which, according to Victoria Houllis of Mannequin Hands fame, we’ll be seeing everywhere in 2022. This glitter raindrop set perfectly toes the line between fun and modern – a very necessary nighttime accessory if you ask us.
$75 at Mannequin Hands
Shrine Pastel Daisies False Nails
Anyone know a salon where you could get lilac tips and floral nail art for less than $15? Exactly; there's really no such thing. Unless it's your home salon, that is. This set of daisy-decorated nails will definitely leave you looking like you spent a lot more time and money on your mani than you did; deception at its finest.
$13.25 at Beauty Bay
Très She Hot Girl Instant Acrylics
Down to go full Kylie Jenner with coffin-shaped claws? These super long flaming neon nails look like something straight out of her book. Sure, they're prettier than they are practical, but hey for a design like this, we'll be more than willing to adjust our touch-typing strategy.
$29.90 at Très She
Vanity Table Smile Nails
Long nails certainly aren't everyone's bag. Luckily, a shorter, squoval-shaped style will definitely be easier to deal with day-to-day, and this cheerful but chic mix of lemon sorbet block-coloured nails and smiley face-adorned glittery guys will make for an interesting but not OTT mix.
$20.14 at Vanity Table
Sosu by Suzanne Jackson Glitteratti False Nails
Glitter polish? Fun. Getting glitter polish off? Not fun. And so here's our advice: Leave your actual nails safe and sparkle-free, and throw on a set of glitzy falsies instead. These half-and-half options strike the ideal balance between sheer (with a nude shade up top) and sparkly (with flashy gold glitter bases).
$15 at Beauty Bay
Marmalade 1969 Nails
Showing off a modern (and somewhat literal) flip on the classic coloured French mani, these blush, violet and nude nails are long enough to flatter your fingers, but not so long you'll be sent to struggle street all for aesthetics. Bonus points for the rounded tips, too; far less dangerous.
$21.76 at Marmalade
Dashing Diva Rainbow French Magic Press Nails
We're giant fans of a rainbow French manicure any day, and with this set of foolproof candy pink, sky blue, lemon yellow and bright coral French-tipped talons (as well as several sizes) to choose from, you can stick to one shade at a time or mix and match for a multicolour look.
$16.99 at Dashing Diva
Helios Nail Systems Pale Pink Gloss Polished Faux Nails
Pale pink is a salon staple for damn good reason, but these easy-to-apply press-ons give you even better reason to skip the salon altogether and DIY instead. So if you're convinced that faux nails only come in outrageous shades, prints and shapes, allow these subtle bargain-status falsies to prove you wrong.
$15 at Kmart
NailArt Clear Artificial Nails
If you're into the idea of press-ons but can't find a shade or pattern you like, take DIY to a whole new level by grabbing a clear set instead. With a giant 100 pack like this one, you can trim and file to suit your personal shape and length preferences, and then just paint on any colour from your collection as you would your normal nails.
$4 at Kmart