The best stick on nails
At T&C, we pride ourselves on our concern for quality. As a result, our editors know the secrets to finding the best products on the market, whether it’s a lipstick that doesn’t stop, the perfect pair of golden hoops, the most comfortable mules and elegant, chic and functional bar items, or the technological devices that will enhance your daily life. With T&C Tried & True, our editors will give you insight into parts they just can’t make a living from.
I am not a pharmacy beauty person. I have a small arsenal of luxury products that I am extremely dedicated to and have skipped the cosmetics aisle since my Bonne Bell days. Yet here I recommend the epitome of drugstore glamor: press nails.
How did we get here? Deep in the pandemic, I met a friend who had a crisp manicure.
“Where did you go?!” I asked, very aware of my own bare fingernails that hadn’t seen the interior of a salon in over a year. She told me they were pressed nails, nothing fancy, just a pack of Impress which costs around $ 9 at Walgreens and other drugstores (each pack has 30 nails which is good for at least two manicures). I rushed to get mine and within 15 minutes I had a manicure to rival my pre-pandemic fingernails and felt a responsibility to spread the gospel everywhere.
These are not the plastic claws of yesteryear. Today’s snaps are slim and come in sophisticated nudes and classic reds along with fun patterns like marble, stripes, and sequins. They solve the problem of having a pale streaked polish (personal pet peeve) and allow you to experience wild impressions for a unique event. Basically, the nails can be cut and filed, which gives them a completely natural look. To apply, prepare your nails as you would any manicure (washing your hands, lowering the cuticles, etc.), cleaning the nail with the supplied wipe or rubbing alcohol, then peel and stick. Finally, cut and file to your desired length and you’re done in minutes, no drying or adjustment needed. I am not joking. Removal usually involves soaking the nails in hot soapy water or oil and then gently removing them. There is little to no damage to your natural nail.
Mine usually last two weeks, even through regular nail-destroying activities like washing dishes and opening cans. I lost a nail or two, but I can put a new one in a minute, flat. On a recent two week trip, I threw the bag in my carry-on and kept my fingernails in pristine condition – look TSA, no liquids! My sister, a flight attendant and new mom, applied hers at the last minute in the crew room (attention she just dropped them off, no nail clippers in public, please ).
My two favorite brands are Impress, for its easy availability and collaboration with OPI – with proven colors like Lincoln Park After Dark, Cajun Shrimp, and Bubble Bath – and Dashing Diva, which has a slightly better fit and a greater variety of designs. . Since I cut and file all of mine to be short and oval, I ignore the length and shape of the presses (unless they have decorative tips) and just reshape them on my nail. I also experimented with a little nail art, which I wouldn’t normally bother to play with in a salon. Invitation to a last minute party? Well deserved vacation? Open a pack of press-ons, because if we ever deserved a summer of perfect nails, this is it.
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