I have a confession to make: I’m a nail biter. It’s an awful habit, I know, but I bite my nails all the time. On my journey to quit, I’ve tried every version of faux nails out there — acrylics, gel, tips, you name it. But after spending countless hours at the salon only to wind up damaging nail after nail, I was ready to give up on my quest for presentable hands. I mean, it felt like I would never find an easy solution that would make my slow-growing, bitten-down nails look better without leaving them weak and brittle. Then one day, after a mindless trip to CVS, I finally found a clear winner: press-on nails!
As a college student, I just can’t justify the cost and time devoted to nail salons when there’s a whole aisle of press-on nails just waiting at my local drugstore. They’re cheaper, easier, faster to apply, and even look incredibly natural. And did I mention chip-free? I’ve recently been seeing more and more press-on brands popping up everywhere, from Amazon vendors to luxury custom retailers, making them even easier to get your hands on. If my words aren’t convincing enough, here are the 20 best press-on nails out there — and some are even reusable. You’ll be convinced to hop on the DIY-mani train in no time.
01. A Classic Nude
Have an interview coming up? KISS has you covered with this medium-length, nude nail kit. This mature manicure is perfect for any occasion, and even includes 28 varying-sizes (perfect for those with small nail beds), nail glue, an adorable mini file, and a wooden stick for cuticle care for just about $6.
02. Reusable Coffin Claws
Save some money with Static’s award-winning, reusable pop-on sets. With a variety of colors, shapes, designs, and lengths, Static never fails to leave your nails photo-ready. This gorgeous Sunset Somewhere Coffin set ($18) is perfect for anyone craving a pop of color without the commitment. The set comes with 24 nails, non-damaging glue, a file, and a buffer.
03. Gallery-Worthy Designs
This long-lasting press-on nail kit features a fun, wavy design that would definitely cost extra at the salon, but comes to just $16 for the at-home manicure. Marmalade makes application easy, supplying each set with 24 nails, a file, and nail glue. And if you ever want to take this incredible design off, the set also includes Marmalade’s Nail Removal Tool.
04. Mix N’ Match Mani
Can’t choose between cow print or flames? Paint Lab’s Wild Ones Nail Kit is your perfect match. With five unique designs and four fun colors, each nail is sure to leave you in awe. Even better, this mix and match look is only $15.
05. A Mess-Free DIY
For a perfect combination of glitter and length, apply Color Street’s Czech Me Out pink glitter nail stickers ($12) onto KISS’s transparent, full-cover nail kit ($5) boasting 100 press-ons and maximum-speed nail glue. These nails and stickers allow for a glittery shine without the annoyance of finding glitter on your hands for the next month.
06. A Matching Moment
Pop Sockets’ Rose Gold Mirror press-ons ($15) ensure your nails will always match your outfit, with a design curated to match their Rose Gold Mirror Pop Socket. Leave your nail glue behind, as these nails come with their own gel adhesive pre-attached, as well as two prep pads, a nail file, and a mani stick.
07. Customizable Luxury Claws
Looking to splurge on a fresh set? Try out the Crown and Polished Milk Bath LV Nails ($58). Not only are these luxury press-ons beautifully hand painted, but the size, shape, and length of your mani is completely customizable.
08. A Twist on the French Tip
If you’re a French tip lover but want to switch it up, Chillhouse’s Study Hall press-on nails ($16) are calling your name. These claws spice up the classic nude and white French tip combo with a funky blend of red, blue, and orange tips. The set includes 24 nails, a dual-sided buffer and file, a cuticle stick, and non-toxic glue.
09. Hand-Painted Heaven
Nailed by Ren’s Carina Extra Long Coffin Press-Ons ($53) are sure to blow you away. The insane hand-painted design, glued-on rhinestones, and incredible length are a nail art-lovers dream manicure. This hard gel set comes with 10 nails at a size of your choice.
10. A Celebrity Stiletto
Are you just as obsessed with Kylie Jenner’s stiletto nails as I am? Well now your hands can twin! The Nailest sells these glossy stiletto press-ons ($15) that look identical to queen Kylie’s, and each set purchased includes two full sets of 24 different-sized nails.
11. Extra Length for an Affordable Price
MISUD’s extra long coffin press-ons feature an impressive length and adorable pink leopard design for just $7. The kit comes with 24 nails and glue, and if you need a fresh set in a pinch, MISUD has your back with Amazon’s free prime delivery.
12. A Play on Negative Space
These KXAMELIE press-ons ($9) offer a perfect short length and unique design. The glossy nude and blue set includes 24 nails featuring a negative space French tip for a tasteful hint of color.
13. Custom-Fit Claws
ManiMe nail stickers are amazing for anyone who struggles to find press-ons that flawlessly fit their nails. Not only is the Alpine Mani Kit ($15) a gorgeous deep green color, but you can complete a 3D scan of your nails to ensure that they fit perfectly.
14. Nearly-Natural Nails
Small nail beds? No problem. This classic red set of imPRESS press-ons ($7) embraces the natural-look, with a super slim fit and short length designed to look and feel like your real nails.
15. An Accent Nail
Dashing Diva’s Magic Press Set in Mercury Retrograde ($9) allows you to choose your accent nail design. With 30 press-ons with varying designs of color, glitter, and rhinestones, the power is in your hands to design a stunning set. Along with the nails, the set contains a prep pad, nail file, and wooden manicure stick.
16. Made-to-Order Mani
This luxury press-on gel set with a Star Confetti design ($62) is amazing on its own, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Color Camp makes customization easy, allowing you to select which nails feature the design, and which nails feature a mauve and/or pink base color. The custom-fit, 10-piece nail set also includes a try-on kit, non-damaging nail glue, file, buffer, wooden stick, and an alcohol prep wipe.
17. An Almond Shaped French
You can never go wrong with a classic French tip. Glamnetic’s Ma Damn set ($13) comes with 24 nails in 12 different sizes, nail glue, a nail file, a cuticle stick, and an alcohol prep pad. The on-trend short almond shape and timeless white French design makes these press-ons perfect for everyday wear.
18. Star Studded Neutrals
ICYMI, Olive and June’s Instant Mani kits are now available at Target, meaning you can pick out your newest claws during your next tar-jay run! This Almond Halfmoon set ($10) is great if you’re looking for something lowkey. The tiny star design by the cuticle adds just a little something to an otherwise neutral manicure.
19. Statement Stiletto-Shaped Flames
Clutch Nails’ Mentally I’m Here press-ons ($10) aren’t for the faint of heart. The extra-long, neon green, checkerboard and flame covered set will have all eyes on you — in the absolute best way!
20. A Nostalgic ‘70s Set
This groovy 1970s-inspired set is what dreams are made of. Mix and match yin yang, swirled, and checker designed tips in orange, pink, and green shades to create a mani to your exact linking. Even better, this Shrine press on set ($12) is available at your local Urban Outfitters so you can easily pick up a matching ‘fit, too.
Obviously there are a ton of other press-on options out there that didn’t make this list, but the bottom line is that any of these faux nails are a quick and easy way to give yourself a perfect manicure. So get out there and start glueing!
Featured photo by @naomixlee.