sparkly pink nails on pink towel

Press-on nails seem like a dream. You get the length of acrylics without draining your bank account. They come in any design and color you can imagine. Why hasn’t everybody already made the switch to press-on nails?

Well, they can also be a nightmare. Keeping them on can be a major challenge. Some of us have found this out the hard way with inopportune, embarrassing moments of our pretty set flying off. Or maybe you haven’t had it happen, but each time you’re tempted to buy press-ons, your brain floods with horrific hypotheticals. Imagine you’re making a salad for someone, and they crunch into a candy-colored plastic nail instead of a pecan. Or you’re on a date, they hold your hand and wipe your index nail clean off. Fear not, though. These instances are only likely to happen if you don’t apply them correctly. You can make these nails last for 2-3 weeks with the right tips and tricks.

Apply before bed

Girl doing skincare in bed

Prostock-studio/ Shutterstock

The press-on adhesive glue can take about 5-6 seconds to dry. However, a common mistake is thinking that this means they are fully ready to take on the world with the many activities your day entails. According to Sunday Beauty, it takes about 2 hours for your glue to fully dry. Until then, you’ll want to avoid contact with water and anything that could budge it out of place. This can be pretty difficult during waking hours. But if you are asleep for eight hours, you can keep them safe and sound until they are 100% dry.

Clean up your cuticles

hands using cuticle pusher

We all have this little layer of thin, rough skin that forms at the bottom of our nail bed. That pesky little fold is called the "cuticle." For the press-on to fit firmly and evenly into the nail, you’ll want to get rid of this lifted ridge. After applying a cuticle remover to soften the skin, you can use a cuticle pusher to clear your nail. However, our cuticles play an important role in our nail health. So, you’ll want to do a careful job, only removing the extraneous dead skin.

hand wiping nails with cotton