How to Apply Press- On Nails in 3 Easy Steps

Updated: Jan 13


Pandemic or no pandemic, a girl should always look her best. It's no secret that 2020 had us running backward, it forced us to pivot in ways that we would never imagine. In the middle of it all we forgot to take care of the aesthetic side of things. The once elegant, sophisticated woman ended up neglecting her appearance, not because she wanted to but because many places that offered beauty services were ordered closed, the Nail salon was one of them.

In an attempt to find additional sources of income many players in the industry realized this and so the once tacky looking, poorly shaped," I don't care to wear" glue-ons have become the sleek, elegant" Talk of the town" Press-on Nails. Press-on nails are here to save the day guys, they are an affordable alternative to spending hours at the nail salon. It only takes 10 - 15mins to apply, then boom! you have yourself a perfect well-designed nail set. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it? However, the only downside, is that most press-on nail kits come with an application manual, right? but sometimes they are rather too basic for the first-time user. In this post, I will share some tips on how to apply, remove and make your press-on nails last longer.

Hi, I’m Ilgrid Indira Tibby but you can call me Indy. I am a Certified Makeup artist and Nail technician based in Jamaica. I am the creator of this Blog and Black Brush Beauty is my brainchild. Here I share from time to time easy makeup and nails tips, tricks, and tutorials. Whether you are practicing in the industry or just a beauty enthusiast, I am elated you are here with me. Please feel free to indulge in a glass of wine and enjoy.

So, Lovies grab a glass of wine, coffee, or tea and stay awhile;

Important tip: Do not and I repeat do not apply press-ons to a damaged nail plate. Do not apply to bloodshot, hollow, infected, or thin nails)

Step 1. Prep Nails

  • Remove old nail polish. if there is any, by using a nail polish remover. You can also use an E-file (fine-grit sanding band );

  • File the edge of your nail

  • Use an emery board or Nail file with the fine-grit sanding band to remove shine from your nail plate.

  • Push back the cuticle using an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher (be gentle). Pushing back the cuticle removes any new growth from the nail plate.

  • Add the cuticle softener to the cuticle to soften any dead skin.

  • Allow this to stay for a minute then use a cuticle nipper or an orangewood stick to remove the dead skin.

  • Wash hands thoroughly, ensure that your fingers are dried properly. Use a paper towel to dry your hands, this prevents lint and other debris to get into the nail plate.

  • After pat drying, you can also use a lint-free nail wipe to wipe around the cuticle.

Most press-on kits come with limited lint-free wipes so I recommend getting your own. Purchase them here lint-free nails wipes.

Step 2. Apply Press-on

  • Choose the correct size for each nail

  • Put a small amount of glue on the nail plate and ensure it is not too close to the cuticle. (I recommend applying press-on from the Pinky upwards, leave the thumb for last).

  • Ensure that the press-on sits comfortably beside the cuticle, and from sidewall to sidewall.

  • Hold it down for 30-35 seconds,

  • I recommend applying the press-on to your dominant hand first.

Step 3. Cuticle oil

  • Add cuticle oil to each finger, if you don't have cuticle oil, I recommend using olive oil.

Why add cuticle oil?

Even outside of the nail salon cuticle oil is the gold standard. This is an important step, adding cuticle oil increases circulation around your nails and keeps your nails growing. With the Press-on being so close to the cuticle, it protects your nail from trauma and ultimately keeps them looking healthy. Using cuticle oil also makes your gel polish, acrylic, and in this case press-ons last longer.

Note: Dry cuticle is prone to damage, infection, hangnail, and makes them look unhealthy.

I wrote some more on this topic in a blog post on the cuticle, its surrounding structures and elabnorated on it important role in protecting the natural nail form infection and trauma. Learn more in this article: What's the Difference Between the Cuticle and Eponychium?

Below is a good cuticle oil I use on my clients,

If you ever consider giving the nail salon a break, to give press-on nails a try, there are certain products you need to have at home, and trust me they do come in handy.

These are some of my favourite products and accessories: Clic each to purchase.

How to make your press-on nails last longer?

  • Ensure that you get the right size nails

  • Follow instructions properly

  • Ensure that your nails are prepared properly

  • Make sure there are no air bubbles under the press-on (between the nail plate and Press-on)

  • Avoid contact with water for at least 2 hours after applying your press-ons (for those who don't mind using a glove to wash the dishes or clean the house, you can). I recommend installing your press-ons before bed to avoid getting them wet.

  • Use cuticle oil (important)

How to remove your press-on nails?

To avoid damaging your nail plate, you have to ensure that press-ons are removed safely. If not removed properly, the nail bed can become exposed, leading to other implications such as nail infection. If you use glue to apply your nails, use a bowl with acetone to soak your nails until they fall off. Then use your orangewood stick to clean off any remaining residue. Use your buffer or emery board to smoothen the nail plate, gently wash and wipe then massage cuticle oil into each finger. If you use the temporary adhesive tape, it is easy to remove, soak them in warm water then just simply pull them off.

So Lovies, thank you for staying with me once again, I really hope you find this article informative, and thanks for your unwavering support. Right now it's all about press-ons, yeah! they are cool, hip, and great but please make sure you know how to apply them, just slapping them on may break your nails, literally! Now you are all set and it's easier to apply your press-ons, go right ahead, if your nail tech is not in town you can grab a set at the drugstore or just order one of my creations at WWW.BLACKBRUSHBEAUTY.COM.

If you are considering trying our luxury press-on nails , read this article where I wrote about the packaging and showed some of my most sort after designs. There is even a video of my design process, read more here: Luxury Custom Press-on Nails. Indulge Yourself With Black Brush Beauty's Instant Luxury Nails.

I can tell you that press-on nails work for me, as you know most of us nail techs rarely find time to do our own nails so a collection of press-ons will do you well. It is always great having you here, stay fabulous!


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