Celebs like Cardi B, La La Anthony and Lizzo have taken the embellished nail trend to new lengths. However, an elaborate full set can take a couple hours and a pretty penny to create, even if you could easily book the services of a talented nail artist right now.
If you haven’t tried press-on nails in a few years, then you’re in for a treat. Press-ons are even more convenient now that fewer of us are going to nail salons due to the pandemic. And the perks are pretty convincing: They don’t chip, lose their shine or require any commitment or upkeep. “Press-on nails are [ideal] for those who love to switch up their nail style at any given moment … [it’s similar to owning] multiple wig units — a different look for each week or day even,” says Antonia Babers, licensed nail technician and owner of Gathered Nails By Toni B. in Atlanta, Georgia. Another factor to consider? As we get older, our nails become more prone to splitting and peeling — the medical term is onychoschizia, which can sometimes be exacerbated by gel manicures and acrylic nails.
Still on the fence? Similar to wigs, press-on nails are enjoying a style moment. They’re much closer in appearance to salon manicures than the ones you may have rocked in high school. And there’s an exquisite variety of sizes, lengths, shapes and styles to choose from. Many online shops offer custom sets, so selecting your size is probably the most time-consuming part. Then the real fun begins. Here is a selection of premium press-on nails you’ll want to show off for every occasion.
Best for everyday wear
This set is comfortably short and comes in a versatile neutral shade that flatters our skin tones. It’s also durable enough to stand up to frequent handwashing. Fawn Square, Static Nails, $14 (staticnails.com)
Best for date night
These wine-colored nails are sexy but won’t scratch your bae when you’re cuddled up. Best of all, they’ll give you a salon gel-manicure look without the damage or hassle. Kiss Gel Fantasy False Nails — Red, Kiss, $9.29 (target.com)
Best for a video meeting
Professional and pretty in pink, these nails will become your go-to when you’re pressed for time. Pop them on moments before a video call for a polished look that won’t break the bank. No glue is required, making removal easy. KISS imPRESS Nails Products So So Stellar False Nail, Kiss, $11.16 (amazon.com)
Best for a Zoom happy hour
If you don’t fancy 10-digit bling, an accent nail is a perfect. This set comes with two of them, adorned in Swarovski crystals. While parties are a pandemic no-go, you can bring the party to your fingertips thanks to the showstopping copper and blue hues reflected by the crystals as they catch the glow from your circle light. Brushed Gold Stiletto Accents, Marmalade Nails, $29.00 (marmaladenails.com)
Best anytime statement
If you’re looking for nail art that will compliment a week’s worth of outfits, an animal print is the way to go. This tiger print gets attention, yet can be worn as a neutral, making it foolproof. Untamed Tiger Nailz, Rave Nailz, $25 (ravenailz.com)
Best twist on a classic
Nail trends come and go, but the French manicure has proven to be timeless. These V-line, coffin-shaped nails are the edgy, modern upgrade you deserve. Instant Luxury Acrylic Press-on Nails – V Line, The Nailest, $22.99 (thenailest.com)
Best luxury look
Pay homage to your favorite designer brands like Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton with monogrammed nails. The O’GG, Queen Custom Claws, $50 (queencustomclaws.com)