We know you're probably thinking press-on nails are for little girls who aren't allowed to wear acrylics yet. But that's definitely not the case. Actually, some of the most coveted nails in Hollywood are created using temporary tips. Jennifer Lopez is constantly proving how glamorous press-on nails can be. Remember those diamond encrusted nails from the Golden Globes? Press-ons. And have you ever noticed her fun concert nail art? All done on press-ons.
We can see why Lopez loves the temporary tips. They definitely save you time since they can be decorated before being applied. It's also an easy way to test out fun designs. If you aren't a professional artist, brands like Static Nails and Iikonn make tips that are already decked out with pretty art. Press-on nails are also a versatile option for when you just don't want to commit to long acrylics. When Lopez is kicking butt on Shades of Blue, have you ever noticed her nails? Probably not because they are very short and natural. "But when she gets on stage it's like—boom—J.Lo time," Lopez's manicurist Tom Bachik tells InStyle. So whenever you see her rocking long gorgeous nails, you can bet that they are press-on creations by Bachik.
But how does Bachik make the faux nails look so natural? Customization is key. "The first thing to do is to properly size each tip," says Bachik. "Some of the nicer press-on sets come with more options. That way you can get a better fit on your nails." The celebrity manicurist, who has also worked with Selena Gomez, Heidi Klum, and Beyoncé, files the sides to get a perfect fit around the cuticle. "If your cuticles aren’t as square as the tip, you can go in and file down the corners of the press-ons," Bachik adds. And don't be afraid to file down the length. Every nail bed is different so you might need to shorten the tips for an even look.
Now, the next tricky part is getting press-ons to, well, stay on. If you've ever worn them before, you probably understand the struggle. But Lopez manages to rock out on stage all night with her temporary tips. The secret is in the adhesive. There are so many different types on the market, but there's one that you should really stay away from if you want to avoid one popping off. "You don’t want to use the thin nail glue," Bachik advises. You know the ones that are as slippery as water. The shape of your real nail has natural irregularities, but the tip that you'll be applying has a perfect shape. "So if you use a thin nail glue, it doesn’t always give you the contact between the two surfaces."
Bachik suggests using double-sided adhesive strips or his favorite drugstore options from L'Oréal and Kiss for special events or a night out. "But if you are going to do a press-on nail everyday, it would be what we call a full coverage," Bachik says. "I’d use a stronger adhesive that stays put." To keep Lopez's tips in place, Bachik works with a gel adhesive. That way there are no gaps, and the press-ons won't budge during all of the singer's dance routines. And the removal is the same as taking off of your gel polish.
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If you're ready to unleash your inner J.Lo, check out the best press-on nails and tools below.