Everybody loves a comeback, which is why Y2K beauty is officially having a renaissance period. Trends from the good ol’ days of the early 2000s like tinsel hair, claw clips, and press-on nails have made a triumphant return to the beauty space, especially the latter. Though we were mostly limited to short French, floral, or extremely square nails in the past, now there are tons of options to choose from.
“Press-ons are quick, easy, and hassle-free,” says New York City-based nail artist Gracie J. “If going to the salon is not for you, these are definitely a great option.” Not only are these faux nails nearly identical to expensive gel manicures at the salon, but they also come in a plethora of shapes, sizes, and thicknesses to experiment with. Plus, it’s worth mentioning that the glue quality has gotten better, too, which means today’s fake nails last much longer than the press-on nails of yesteryear.
Take note: While super convenient, press-ons are not necessarily damage-free. During removal, you can risk peeling off a few nail cells. When those patches — which are called keratin granulations, according to New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dana Stern, M.D. — come off, they can leave you with an “uneven, discolored, and peeling nail,” she explains.
However, there are preventative steps you can take to keep your nails intact. In order to minimize damage, Dr. Stern suggests applying a coat of clear nail polish before application. “Polish can absolutely be protective, and it is generally the removal process that leads to the dehydration and potential damage,” she says. Prior to removing your press-on nails, she recommends applying warm soapy water or cuticle oil to weaken the adhesive. She also says to avoid acetone-based nail polish removers, which can dehydrate and weaken your nails.
Whether you want to go short and neutral-hued or long and bold with a vibrant set of claws, we’ve got you covered with the latest and greatest in press-on nails.