The 10 Best Nail Glues of 2022

Beauty Secrets Drip & Clog Proof Nail Glue has a strong hold and mess free application.

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Three of the best nail glues on a colorful background

Amazon

There’s one thing we all have in common when it comes to manicures: We want them to last — especially when it comes to finicky press-ones or decals. One way to ensure they last for weeks is by using the best nail glue. “Nail glue works by creating a bond between the press-on nail and your natural nail,” explains Olive & June's Mani Trend Expert and VP of Content & Creative, Olivia Van Iderstine. “As the glue dries, it creates a super strong hold so that your press-on mani really lasts.”

Beyond finding an adhesive that lasts, it’s important to remember that nail glue formulas differ based on your mani needs. For example, repairing a split nail, applying a press-on, or decorating your nails with decals can all benefit from using a specific adhesive. “Always look for a nail glue that is produced for the cosmetic industry as the standards are more strict for products that would be used on the nail or near skin,” urges Lia Smith, the Education Manager for OPI North America. In other words, skip the super glue for your manicure!

To ensure your nails stay strong and healthy, we scoured the internet to find the best nail adhesives to get the job done. Beauty Secrets Drip & Clog Proof Nail Glue came out on top for its mess free application and strong hold that celebrity manicurists and novices alike can’t get enough of. 

Whether you want to keep your press-ons in place, feel like adding some bling, or just need to fix a cracked nail, check out the 10 best nail glues of 2022, according to experts.

Best Overall: Beauty Secrets Drip & Clog Proof Nail Glue

Beauty Secrets Drip and Clog Proof Nail Glue

Amazon

What We Love: It’s easy to use and bonds quickly.

What We Don’t Love: Because it dries in seconds, you have to be speedy when applying press-ons.

A go-to for celebrity manicurist and founder of Julie K Nail Academy, Julie Kandalec, this nail glue has been in her heavy rotation for years — and not just because of its strength. “It comes with a plastic pin cap to prevent clogs and prevent it from getting glued shut,” she says. (This is an often overlooked feature for nail glues.) You can also thank its clever applicator for stopping drips and spills, making it easy to use. Plus, it bonds quickly and comes in a generous-sized bottle. Not just for press-ons, the versatile nail glue is also great for mending nails. The vegan formula is also free of sulfates, gluten, parabens, alcohol, soy, phthalates, petrolatum and silicones.

Price at time of publish: $8

Size: 2 oz. | Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate, Polymethyl methacrylate, BHT

Best Budget: Nailene Ultra Quick Nail Glue

4.6
Nailene Ultra Quick Nail Glue

Amazon

What We Love: Despite the low price, it’s impressively durable.

What We Don’t Love: It takes longer to bond than other products on this list.

No matter what kind of nails you prefer — press-ons, acrylics or your natural nails — this budget pick will go the distance with its impressive staying power. The precision tip applicator helps release a consistent amount of adhesive to simplify application, so glue won’t go everywhere. After application, simply press and hold the nail for five seconds to lock in the long-wearing glue. The formula also does double duty to repair broken nails. Be sure to give the glue extra time to bond and set (about 30 seconds), because it takes longer than other picks on this list.

Price at time of publish: $5

Size: 0.10 oz. | Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate, Polymethyl methacrylate

Best Splurge: NYK1 Super Strong Nail Glue

NYK1 Super Strong Nail Glue

Amazon

What We Love: The powerful formula has serious staying power. 

What We Don’t Love: The application brush is a bit large.

Accurately named, this nail glue is truly super strong, delivering major longevity for your manicure. (Once adhered, your manicure can last upwards of two weeks!) Compatible with all types of nails, it’s especially excellent at bonding press-ons.  The brush applicator makes it easier to put the adhesive on your nails, but keep in mind the formula dries very fast, so you’ll need to work quickly; and if you have smaller nail beds you may end up having to clean up a bit as the brush is pretty thick.

Price at time of publish: $13

Size: 0.63 oz. | Active Ingredients: Cyanoacrylate

Best Quick Drying: IBD 5 Second Brush-On Nail Glue

IBD 5 Second Brush-On Nail Glue

Amazon

What We Love: The glue sets very quickly (in five seconds!). 

What We Don’t Love: The bottle can dry out quicker than expected.

True to its name, Kandalec appreciates this glue's speediness. “It sets really fast — truly in five seconds,” she says. Impressively versatile, it works on full cover nails, strengthening powder, tips, wraps, and repairs. A brush-on applicator makes it easy to use, and the results are long-lasting. That said, make sure to tightly screw the applicator back into the bottle, otherwise the glue will dry out overnight. 

Price at time of publish: $10

Size: 0.17 oz. | Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate

Best Brush-On: INFILILA Professional Nail Glue

INFILILA Professional Nail Glue

Amazon

What We Love: The built-in brush is easy to handle. 

What We Don’t Love: Some users found it only lasts a few days.

For those who are a little nervous about applying nail glue, this one’s brush-on design makes it a cinch. Brushes tend to be better than applicator tips for beginners because it’s easier to control the amount dispensed. Since it’s essentially like polishing your nails, it’s an application method most people have experience with. The one downside is that a bottle doesn’t last very long — it is typically only effective for seven to 14 manicures, but the adhesive will stay intact on your nails for 14 to 30 days.

Price at time of publish: $8

Size: 0.23 oz. | Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate

Best Long-Lasting: Makartt Quick Nail Glue

Makartt Quick Nail Glue

Amazon

What We Love: Since it doesn’t set too fast, you have time to get it just right.

What We Don’t Love: It can leave a yellow tint, so it’s not ideal for clear polish or some designs.

Many nail glues consider their speedy drying time a selling point, but for those who aren’t as nimble with their nails or are applying time-consuming nail art like gems and crystals, a little more time can be a good thing. This pick takes about 10 seconds to dry, which is perfect for newbies or those tweaking their designs. Once it’s set, it is set and will give prime staying power to your manicure. The brush-on application equals a smooth, even application, too.

Price at time of publish: $10

Size: 0.23 oz. | Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate

Best for Press-Ons: Olive & June Brush-On Nail Glue

Olive & June Brush-On Nail Glue

Olive & June

What We Love: The non-toxic formula won’t damage nails. 

What We Don’t Love: Specifically designed for press-ons, it’s not as versatile as other nail glues.

“You should look for a nail glue that really lasts and is made with ingredients you feel good about,” Van Iderstine says. “Olive & June Press-On Nail Glue is designed to make your press-on mani last 10+ days, but it also is made with non-toxic ingredients and removes really easily. I've worn press-ons for over two weeks with no nails popping off [when using this].” If you’re looking for an adhesive that is handy for adhering nail gems, you may want to go with something else because this is specifically designed for press-ons.

Price at time of publish: $8

Size: 0.25 oz | Active Ingredients: Alkyl 2-cyanoacrylate, Polymethyl methacrylate

Best Kit: OPI xPress/On Short Solid Color Press On Nails

OPI xPress/On Short Solid Color Press On Nails

Ulta Beauty

What We Love: Everything you need for a full press-on mani is included. 

What We Don’t Love: The nail glue comes in a very small container.

Consider this kit a one-stop-shop for a press-on manicure — everything you need is included. “Each set includes 30 professional-quality nails, super hold glue, a cuticle tool, and a file,” Smith says. “The nail glue offers 14-days of gel-like manicure wear.” Since the nail glue is made for these press-ons, it takes out all the guesswork from shopping. And despite it coming in a small container, a little bit goes a long way so you’ll be able to use it for multiple manicures.

Price at time of publish: $13

Size: 0.07 oz. | Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate, Polymethyl methacrylate

Best for Broken Nails: Kiss PowerFlex Nail Glue Max Speed Super Strength

Kiss PowerFlex Nail Glue Max Speed Super Strength

Ulta Beauty

What We Love: It’s great for mending broken and split nails.

What We Don’t Love: It doesn’t last as long as other nail glues.

Nothing can ruin a manicure like a broken or split nail. Luckily, this nail glue comes to the rescue by securely repairing it, thanks to its precision applicator and impressive hold. Only a tiny bit of glue is needed to get the job done, so this tube will last you a while. That said, you'll want to keep it on hand because you may need to touch up every few days.

Price at time of publish: $3

Size: 0.10 oz. | Active Ingredients: Ethyl, Cyanoacrylate, Triacetin, Polymethyl, and Methacrylate

Best for Nail Art: KDS Nail Tip Glue

KDS Nail Tip Glue

Amazon

What We Love: The precision applicator is ideal for applying nail art.

What We Don’t Love: The formula is slightly runny.

Of course this nail glue can be used to apply press-ons and acrylics, but where it really shines is applying nail art. The glue dries totally clear, so you don’t have to worry about it leaving yellow stains on gems or your design; plus, its precision applicator is great for getting into small spaces like where your nail meets the cuticle. The pen format makes it easy to wield and grip, too, just be sure not to use too much as the formula is a bit runny.

Price at time of publish: $6

Size: 0.08 oz. | Active Ingredients: Cyanoacrylate

What to Keep in Mind

Nail Needs

Before purchasing a nail glue you should think about what you’ll be using it for: Do you want to keep press-ons in place, fix a snagged nail, or adhere gems and stickers? For the former, you’ll want an extra strong hold adhesive that will ensure your press-ons don’t fall off for a week or two, and Olive & June Brush-On Nail Glue is ideal for this. If you somehow snagged a nail, try Kiss PowerFlex Nail Glue Max Speed Super Strength, which is designed to bond natural nails. As for jewels and stickers, we recommend KDS Nail Glue for Professional Fake Nail Art & Design because the applicator is precise enough to maneuver small add-ons. 

Application Method

Nail adhesives either come in a small squeeze bottle or with a brush — creating two very different application methods — even though their strength is very similar. If you’re a beginner when it comes to nail glue, a brush (like the one that comes with Infilila Professional Brush On Nail Glue) gives you more control because the application is similar to nail polish. Squeeze bottles can get messy, but if you use one like our best overall pick, Beauty Secrets Drip & Clog Proof Nail Glue, that is drip and clog proof, you’ll have a seamless application every time. 

Your Questions, Answered

What is nail glue?

“Nail glue is in the cyanoacrylates family,” which is a family of adhesives that work quickly, says Smith. “Some will start to cure (dry) as a result of pressure (for example, pushing down a nail tip onto a natural nail), while others will cure by the use of a chemical activator.” 

How do you get nail glue off of skin?

“Nail glue can be immediately removed using pure acetone — we recommend you swipe it away before it dries for best results,” Van Iderstine says. “You can also remove nail glue by soaking hands in warm soapy water and brushing it away with a nail brush.”

How do you remove press-ons?

“The fastest way to remove artificial nails and nail glue is to soak them off in a glass or ceramic bowl of acetone-based polish remover,” Smith says. If you want to reuse your press-on nails, Smith recommends this option: “Soaking the nails in warm, soapy water with a little cuticle oil takes longer, but with patience, it works. Prying them or picking them will produce damage. The secret is patience — the nails may go on fast but proper removal is slow. Once you carefully take off the press-ons use nail polish remover to remove any remaining glue on the natural nails.” 

Is nail glue bad for nails?

If you’re wondering whether nail glue is bad for your nails, the answer is no — but it depends on how you use it. “Nail glue by itself is not bad for your nails,” Smith says. “The issue is how it is used or treated when it’s on your nails.” Some things to keep in mind:

Don’t overuse nail glue. “As an example, if you have a broken nail, piling glue on top of glue isn’t more effective and can actually help the nail to re-break or encourage picking,” Smith says. “Instead, use glue sparingly and effectively. If you need to reapply, remove the old and start again.” 

When using press-ons, apply a small amount to the press-on and apply pressure for at least 10 seconds. Remember the glue will expand and dry with pressure. 

Why Shop With Us

Celia Shatzman is a freelance writer for multiple publications including InStyle and Forbes, and has nearly two decades of beauty writing experience. To find the best nail glues she consulted with three industry experts: Olivia Van Iderstine, Olive & June's Mani Trend Expert and VP of Content & Creative; Lia Smith, the Education Manager for OPI North America; and celebrity nail artist Julie Kandalec. Shatzman also included her own expertise as she’s rarely without nail art and has a passion for manicures. 

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