I'm very happy with how they look, the low cost and the speed with how long it takes me do a full manicure. I get lots of compliments on my cheap-o nails and several readers have asked for tips so I am happy to share.
There are several brands of glue on nails.
Dollar Tree has sets of 12 nails for $1. The 12 nails are in 6 sizes. This works great for me because the smallest 5 fit my fingers perfectly. But everyone's hands are different and they aren't going to fit everyone the same.
Dollar Tree nails are the lowest cost of any artificial nails that I know of. Dollar Tree nail products are called Sassy Chic brand.
At my Dollar Tree, these nails are popular and don't stay stocked very long so I always check for them and if I see some I like, I buy them right then.
I try to buy 2 or more sets when I like the design so I have some spares for repairs too.
Dollar Tree nails have to be attached with glue - my thought about glue will be below
Impress nails are my other favorite. They can be bought at Walmart, CVS, Amazon - they are a national brand and sell for $5.97-$8 a set.
Impress have 24 to 30 nails in each set so it takes a little longer to select the right sizes for each finger.
The bigger sets allow some spares for repairs too.
Impress nails have an adhesive attached to the back. There is a sticker back so you just pull off the backing to reveal the adhesive and attach it to your nail.
I have also tried Kiss brand nails and I mostly like them the same as Impress.
I tried a brand that I don't remember which brand, that had a seperate double sided adhesive pad that went on the fingernail and then the nail was attached to that. It may of worked great but it was too many steps for me so I just attached those nails with glue.
there are several to choose from.
Super Glue is the first adhesive I tried. Super Glue does hold the nail on very securely. To remove them was the hard part. I had to soak my finger tips is Acetone nail polish remover until the artifical nail softened enough to scrape off. This took me at least 15 minutes of soaking. I don't want to use so many chemicals so I don't do Super Glue and I don't recommend it (but other people do. )
Dollar Tree sells Sassy Chic nail glue, also $1. It holds just fine but when the nail is removed, the glue turns to a thick goo on my nails that also requires Acetone soaking so I don't use it anymore either.
Kiss, Nailene and 5 Second brands of glue are all brands I like and recommended. They come in brush on and with a squeeze drop applicator. Both are fine, I just prefer the brush on applicator.
These brands are in the $5 a bottle range and can be purchased at drugstores, beauty stores, Amazon.
The first few times I used glue on nails, it took at least 30 minutes because I wasn't sure how to match them, etc.
Now, I can do a full manicure in less than 5. In fact yesterday, I put on a new set in the car while my husband drove us to church.
First, remove any polish on your nails and clip the nails short.
Then file the ends. Some nail users say to also lightly file your nail surface to rough them up a bit to give the glue something to hold on to. My natural nails are so thin, I don't dare file my surface.
Take care of your cuticles however you like.
Then clean your nails with alcohol or remover or the moistened pad that comes with some nail sets.
Natural nails need to clean and oil free for the adhesive to hold.
Now, look at the nails you purchased and match up the artificial nail to each finger. I lay them all out on the table top, in the order of my fingers.
Then adhere them, either with the peel off back or with whatever glue you choose.
Once you put on a nail, hold it in place with your other hand with gentle firm pressure for at least 5 - 10 seconds. Then move on to the next one. I start with my pinkies and do both thumbs last.
A manicure usually lasts me 5-7 days. Some bloggers say theirs last 2-3 weeks.
The biggest enemy of a glue on manicure are water and not letting the manicure set for at least an hour. This is especially true for the nails like Impress with the adhesive sticker back.
When I do a manicure, I prefer to do it at the end of the day, AFTER I'm through cleaning and after a shower and hair washing. Once the nails are on, I sit and do nothing to put any stress on the nails and I also give them all more squeezes and then I usually go to bed.
I do take showers and wash my hair again but not right after putting on a fresh nail set.
I still do a lot of housework but if I am doing something messy, I usually wear gloves.
Sometimes a nail pops off for no reason. I usually know when it happens and I can just brush on some glue and reattach it. It the nail is lost or damaged, I just glue on a spare one from the same set.
Sometimes a nail breaks. If possible, I go ahead and remove the broken nail. But sometimes, I just glue an identical nail right on top of it. I did this last week when I ended up with a notch missing from one nail. That repair lasted until I did a new manicure.
To make repairs convenient, I keep the spare nails from my current set and a bottle of brush on glue in a sandwich bag in my purse. I also keep a spare bottle of nail glue in the kitchen.
After about 5-7 days, the nail glue starts to dry or get brittle or something, anyway it just starts to turn loose. When I can tell the nails are getting loose, I use the end of an orange stick to GENTLY go under an edge that is loose. The artifical nail will usually pop off easily. Don't force a removal, I never have but I'm sure if it was forced, you could pull off your natural nail with the artificial nail.
If they don't come off easily, I soak my tips in remover. It usually just takes a minute or two for the glue to loosen enough to release the nail.
When all the artifical nails are removed, occasionally I need to use some polish remover to finish removing the glue but usually I can just lightly buff with a nail buffer to finish cleaning my nail.
I had solar artifical nails put on at a salon for over a year. They were very strong and looked pretty but they were expensive, $40-$50 every 2-3 weeks as I live in an expensive college town. I was also concerned about the lamp used to set the polish. Several times I had a mild sunburn after salon manicures.
Time wise- it took at least an hour, maybe longer.
And the worst was all the drama at the salon -
I am very happy with glue on artifical nails. They are cute, easily fit in our budget, don't require a big time investment and use a minimal amount of chemicals.
Glue on nails do require more tending to than salon nails but I'm OK with that.
What my nails look like right now - Impress nails from CVS
I really enjoy having fun nails from time to time.
If you are interested in press on nails, I hope I answered any questions.
These are just my opinions and thoughts- I have not been paid or sponsored by any nail company.