We don’t know about you, but as beauty lovers planning our vacations, a manicure is just as important as choosing the outfits we’re going to wear. No one wants a chipped manicure, especially on vacation, but if you don’t have the time or money to get a professional gel manicure, pressed nails are a quick and affordable option.
And if you’re not sure they fit your personality, the holidays are the perfect time to try them, when you’re guaranteed not to run into someone you know and you’re less likely to interrupt. while doing the dishes.
With press-ons, you don’t have to wait for your nails to dry or worry about smudges, and you don’t even have to be a nail artist to have a French manicure or an elaborate design – it just put them on and you’re good to go. If you don’t have time to do your nails before you travel, just pack your press-ons and apply them while you’re on the plane or at your hotel. It only takes a few minutes (once you have determined your sizes).
As for wear time, the presses can last anywhere from a few days to over a week depending on how you prep your nails in advance and apply the presses. Working with a clean, oil-free nail surface is ideal (a swipe with an alcohol prep pad should do the trick), as is choosing appropriate sizes for false nails (not too big or too small). If you’re new to press-ons, note that while long nails can look and feel super glamorous, if you’re not used to having them, you may find everyday activities like putting on shoes or contacts a bit more difficult than usual. As a general rule, shorter presses that are closer to the length of your natural nail tend to stick longer because more of the press is attached to something solid.
We recommend having extra glue or adhesive tabs and nails on hand (throw them in your purse!) if needed. If possible, try to avoid washing your hands immediately before or after applying the pressures – once water gets between the pressures and your natural nail, the bond is weakened. While a swim in the pool or a shower shouldn’t cause your press-ons to fall off, if you can avoid soaking your nails in water for an extended period of time, you will extend the wear time of your press-ons.
Whether you’re looking for a simple solid color, a negative space design, or something covered in rhinestones, there’s a squeeze set for you. To help you start your search, we’ve rounded up some great options below.
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CCT Olive & June Round Degraded Short Presses
Promising the “most realistic fake nails you’ve ever seen”, each pack of Olive & June press-ons includes 42 nails in 21 sizes to ensure the best fit. They’re made from 94% post-consumer recycled material and come with everything you need for application, including an alcohol prep pad, 2-in-1 file and pad, a wooden cuticle pushers and non-damaging glue. The gradient design features a crisp white that fades into a sheer pink – subtle and chic.
Long June olive & almond twist press
We get some serious main character energy from these long almond shaped nails with a funky twist on a classic French manicure. Don’t be surprised if wearing them makes you talk with your hands more than usual. Twisted French presses pair well with a poolside croissant or piña colada.
Glamnetic Rainbow Buff Snap Nails
These medium sized almond press-ons have a neutral pink base with a colorful swirl pattern. This nail art combines two trends — Skittle manicures and negative space nail art — and costs a fraction of what you’d pay at the salon for a similar look. Each pack includes 30 reusable snap nails that last up to three weeks.
Glamnetic wavy blues snap nails
Another medium almond design from Glamnetic, this negative space manicure is semi-sheer and features swirls in different shades of blue that remind us of the ocean. This set is perfect for a beach vacation, plus it’s waterproof, so they’ll stay put during dips in hot tubs and the ocean.
Rainbow Kiss Rings Fancy Gel Nails
Unicorns might not be real, but these snap nails look like they came straight from an enchanted forest. Each pack of 28 long coffin nails contains a mix of light purple, iridescent and chunky glitter nails for a customizable look. It looks like a gel manicure, but does not require an LED light.
Majestic Kiss My Crown Nail Kit
Go all out with this jeweled snap manicure featuring a shimmering gold base and three-dimensional rhinestones. They can be worn up to three times and come with snap tabs and nail glue. If you plan to reuse these nails, the brand recommends using the stick-on tabs for the first two uses and the nail glue for the final wear.
Static Nails Velvet Pink Reusable Round Pop-On Manicure
For a softer, more subtle look, check out these velvety pink press-ons. Each set comes with 24 nails in 12 sizes, non-damaging glue, stamper and instructions. The company claims the nails are reusable and can last up to 18 days. You can even reshape or paint them to personalize them.
Static Nails Inverted French Square Reusable Pop-On Manicure
You don’t have to be a talented manicurist to get this trendy design on your nails; Simply stick on these reverse french square nails and you are good to go. They may cost more than the average bottle of nail polish, but if you don’t have a steady hand and practice a lot with freehand nail art, it’s a simple shortcut.
Kiss ImPress Color in Frosting
For a classic white holiday manicure, this glueless set from Kiss ImPress is a no-brainer. If you’ve ever painted with white nail polish, you’ll know it’s notoriously difficult to achieve even, streak-free coats. These nails are ready to wear, and no painting skills or drying times are required for the perfect manicure.
Embrace ImPress Color in Reddy or Not
You can’t go wrong with a classic red manicure, and unlike red nail polish, these press-ons won’t stain your cuticles and fingers when it’s time to remove them. Application only takes a few minutes and you don’t even have to worry about nail glue – just peel back the tabs to reveal the adhesive on the back of each nail and press down.