How to Remove a Press-on Manicure Without Damaging Your Nails

October 04, 2021
Genesis Rivas
By: Genesis Rivas | by L'Oréal

I’ve recently become a press-on manicure stan. As someone who admittedly lets her unmanicured nails see the light of a day, I find that press-on nails look very natural and are a lifesaver when I need a fresh manicure ASAP. Whenever I'm done wearing my press-ons, though, I’m always faced with the same question: how do I take them off without damaging my nails? To help me figure it out, I chatted with celebrity nail artist Gina Edwards. Keep reading to learn the right way to remove all types of press-on nails.

STEP 1: Use a Good Glue

The first step in correctly removing your press-on nails actually happens before the removal process begins, explains Edwards. To ensure a seamless removal, you want to make sure you’re using a good glue that won’t cause damage to your nails. For instance, the Kiss Brush-On Nail Glue is made for easy application and removal. Plus, it’s formulated with aloe vera to help keep your nails moisturized and protected. 

STEP 2: Soak Your Nails

“The best way to remove press-ons is to soak them in a small ceramic or glass bowl filled with acetone-based nail polish remover,” says Edwards. Soak until the glue breaks down and the nails become loose enough to effortlessly pull them off or until they fall off on their own. This method works for press-on nails that you have to glue on yourself and the ones that have the adhesive already on them. To speed up the process, Edwards says you can also use an artificial nail remover kit, like the Dashing Diva Soak Off Gel Remover Kit. Whatever you choose, remember to be patient. If you yank off your press-ons before they’re ready, it could strip layers off your natural nails and damage them. 

STEP 3: Use a Soft Buffer 

If you’re soaking your nails and notice that they’re still not easily coming off, Edwards recommends using a soft nail buffer to carefully remove them. “Never, ever pull up the false nails or file harshly,” she says.

STEP 4: Cuticle Oil

It’s likely that after all that glue and acetone, your nails are in need of a little TLC, so be sure to follow up with cuticle oil. We like the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil or the Olive & June Cuticle Serum, which comes in a travel-friendly pen, and hydrates, soothes and cares for your nails without feeling too greasy.

Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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