It's not lost on me that, since then, everyone has started wearing press-on nails again. I’m not taking credit. I was merely doing my job. But when I say I know what the best press-on nails are, I literally wrote the essay on it.
I have been a diehard press-on nail girl going on nearly fifteen years now. It all started when I scrambled to grab a pair before going to Warped Tour. Nowadays, my nail polish drawer has more boxes of press on nails and nail glue than actual nail polish. Bless the DIY nail art girlies and the at-home gel kits, but that will never be me. When in a rush, I can do a simple polish (thank you ORLY, Essie, and JINSoon), but other than that, I lack both the patience and the temperament to do anything more. The art that comes out of these fingers is through my words, not with a paintbrush. So, of course, when I get compliments on my nails now, I am quick to remind people that they are all false.
Right now, it's clear that press-ons are rivaling regular manicures, so I couldn't resist sharing some of the very best to have graced my hands recently...
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Whatever KISS is doing over there, it's doing it well. These have been my go-to for years, whether it’s the Fantasy line, the Bare but Better, or even the limited edition collabs. They first won my heart all the way back in high school, when I was applying French manicures in theatre class while my classmates looked on in… is bemusement the correct word? That’s the word I’ll use.
The KISS nails (not the Impress press-ons, I’m talking about the ones that require glue to apply) are durable, long-lasting and not wildly expensive. I’d put money on you walking into any pharmacy in America and finding a set of KISS nails hanging on the wall. I go home to the suburbs and see sets of KISS nails I thought only existed on the Internet (or in my dreams) in CVS and Target. That, to me, is why they’re deep in my heart, forever and ever. Amen.
Let me start with my only issue with Static Nails: they’re not everywhere. I love Static Nails if you just need nails on without thought — no stress, no problem. Its packaging shows you what you’re getting, and usually, it’s a simple gel manicure-style nail. But that doesn’t mean they’re boring or not on trend — Static has been doing chrome nails long before Hailey Bieber made the glazed donut manicure a thing. A great length, a great price, I just wish they were something I could pick up easily.
Glamnetic, in my opinion, is cornering the nail design market when it comes to press-ons. They’re so cute, easy to apply, and the brand seems to be paying attention to the market and what’s happening in nails. I've not reused them, (only in the case of one popping off and having to reapply very quickly). But they stay in my back-up arsenal because I get so many compliments on them.
I will knock points on size variations, though. As a person with tiny nail beds, I often feel like I’m swimming in a graveyard of Nails That Were Too Long For This World. Due to the design, you have to commit to the nail length, unless you’re really good with a pair of nail trimmers. I am not. But all-in-all, these are a great choice for the adventurous but low-maintenance person.
Chillhouse Chill Tips
Of course Chillhouse needs to have its own line of press-ons. I’ve always loved this nail salon, and boasted its love in the streets (my colleague Carly Danner and I wore the Chill Tips while hosting this summer’s Refinery29 YouTube Live Shopping). I can attest to the durability of these nails, which promise fourteen days of wear. It's like they’ve placed something magic in the nail glue. Though on me, there's always one pesky little nail that doesn't stay put. That’s just the way life goes. Again, I have to knock points because the designs require true commitment and there is little in the way of variation in terms of length or trimming. That said, Chillhouse is my go-to recommendation for beginners to the press-on nail game.
No, I’m not being influenced my boss because she has her own collaboration with Nails of LA. I genuinely love these press-on nails and even gifted them to friends and family at Christmas. The reason why they’re not included in the full round-up is that I just wish there were more variations of them.
Trés She is truly for the trendsetter: the coffin-shape, full-length gal. That is unlikely to ever be me, but I do love that its styles offer enough room for shaping and restyling. However, these I consider a luxury in the press-on nail game, so consider the price versus the commitment and the return on investment. But man, are they gorgeous.
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