The press-on nail process generally goes one of two ways: They either look really, really good or they never actually make it on every one of your fingers before you rip ’em off. No matter which side you fall on, there’s no denying that nail designs can be super cute. Fueled by our laziness, the need to save money and the need for a fun DIY project, we’re determined to make our press-on nails look good — like professional mani good. To help us get it right, we reached out to Gina Edwards, celebrity manicurist and lead manicurist for Kiss Nails.
“A successful press-on application requires a few meticulous steps for the perfect manicured look,” Edwards explains. Check out her step-by-step guide, below:
How to Apply Press-On Nails
STEP 1: File and shape your nails.
STEP 2: Wash and cleanse your nails. In sets like the imPRESS Press-on Manicure in Lighten Up or the Dashing Diva Magic Press - Press On in Jaded kit, there is an alcohol wipe you must use in order to have the best adhesion. The most common mistakes made when applying press-on nails are not properly cleaning the nail surface. Natural oils from skin and nails can cause the nails to lift up and come off too soon.
STEP 3: If you are using glue, like the one that comes in the KISS Gel Fantasy Gel Nail Kit Long Length, use a dab at the base of your nail and by the tip. The glue will then meet each other to create a seal with no air pockets.
STEP 4: As you apply the full-cover nail, work at a 45-degree angle aligning at the cuticle and press down toward the tip of your nail.
As an added tip, it's best to shape artificial and full-cover nails with a file before you apply them so that it doesn’t move the nail too much after application. It’s also easiest to start with your pinky finger and work your way in, leaving your thumbs for last. As a rule, steer clear of doing dishes or heavy cleaning for 24 hours. Nail application takes time for the product to settle and mold to your natural nail.
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