The 4 Best Glues For Press-On Nails

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by Masha Vapnitchnaia
Originally Published: 

A set of press-on nails in bright colors or painted with crisp geometric designs is faster and significantly less expensive than going to a salon, but to make the most of your fake tips, you’ll need to use the best glues for press-on nails, which have loyal fans that swear by the product’s strong adhesion and it’s quick dry time. In fact, you might even be ready to swap out your press-on set for a new one before you lose so much as a pinky nail tip.

Using The Best Glues For Press-On Nails At Home

First, you’ll want to consider prepping your nails. To get long-lasting results, make sure to prep your nail beds by wiping away any oily residue with alcohol before applying nail glue. Glues for press-on nails usually have brush-on or squeeze tube applicators — and you can choose whichever format you prefer.

Since these formulas have a strong hold, once you’re ready to change out your nails, you’ll typically need to soak your hands in acetone nail polish remover for a few minutes to loosen the glue. (Alternatively, some glues can be removed with warm water and dish soap to better preserve the press-on nail, but that might not work for stronger glues.) Afterward, try peeling the nails off using an orangewood stick — but be gentle! If any glue is left behind, you can use an acetone-soaked cotton ball to remove the sticky residue.

Shop The Best Glues For Press-On Nails

In a hurry? Here are the best glues for press-on nails that you can find on Amazon:

  1. The Overall Best Glue For Press-On Nails: Nailene Ultra Quick Nail Glue
  2. A Vegan Nail Glue With A Squeeze Applicator: Beauty Secrets Drip & Clog Proof Nail Glue
  3. A Strong Nail Glue That’s Also Perfect For Nail Art Embellishments: NYK1 Nail Bond Acrylic Nail Glue
  4. A Set Of 100 Acrylic Nails & A Quick-Drying Nail Glue: Kiss Nails 100 Full Cover Nails

Make the most out of your press-ons by pairing them with one of the best glues for press-on nails below— including some that have garnered tens of thousands of Amazon reviews.


The Overall Best Glue For Press-On Nails

This Nailene nail glue has earned high marks from reviewers for its easy, dripless application and quick, five-second drying time. If you change your press-ons often, you’ll also love the low price point. The nail glue has garnered more than 54,000 Amazon reviews with many fans calling it “incredible,” and one even likening its super strong bond to a popular household product: “Krazy glue has nothing on this,” they wrote.

One reviewer wrote: “This is the hands-down best nail glue I have ever used! I am a frequent wearer of press-on nails and this is the only nail glue I have found that stays on for up to two weeks. The only downside that it is [hard] to get off once you want to remove the nails. I usually have to soak my nails in acetone until the glue becomes tacky enough to peel off. I will never use another brand since this one is just that good!”

Applicator type: Brush | Dry time: 5 seconds

Also available on: Walmart, $14


A Vegan Nail Glue With A Squeeze Applicator

If you’ve ever had a negative reaction to nail adhesives, give this Beauty Secrets nail glue a try. This vegan formula is free of sulfates, parabens, alcohol, phthalates, soy, and petrolatum. The precise squeeze applicator won’t drip, and it’s virtually clog-proof, so your glue won’t dry out. While the manufacturer doesn't provide details on how long you need to give it to dry, several Amazon reviewers have reported it takes longer than normal — but once the glue hardens, the results can last for weeks.

One reviewer wrote: “Easy to use and great quality glue [...] This is the best nail glue I have ever used! A must have for long lasting adhesion!”

Applicator type: Squeeze | Dry time: Unspecified

Also available on: Sally Beauty, $4


A Strong Nail Glue That’s Also Perfect For Nail Art Embellishments

The liquid in this NYK1 nail glue sets in just five seconds and the fine, precision brush applicator and thin bonding agent also make it a great choice for keeping in your nail art kit (you can use it to bond rhinestones or glitter to the surface). Plus, the manufacturer claims that there are anti-fungal properties in the formula to help keep bacteria from breeding in the layer between your natural and press-on nail. And if you’re still on the fence, know that upwards of 43,000 Amazon customers have weighed in on this glue.

One reviewer wrote: “So impressed with this nail glue! I used it for a full set of long press-on nails and rhinestones and it adhered everything so incredibly well! I am pretty rough with my hands and even went to the beach and played in the sand and water and they NEVER popped off! Nor did they ever become loose. They feel almost as strong as acrylics would. The first day I used the glue, I did have two pop off but that was user error. I would say following the directions for the glue is a must for the best results. Will definitely buy this again!”

Applicator type: Brush | Dry time: 5 seconds


A Set Of 100 Acrylic Nails & A Quick-Drying Nail Glue

This set of 100 acrylic nails includes 10 sizes and comes with a KISS nail glue that sets in four seconds. Since the clear, oval nail tips come unpainted, you can customize them as much or as little as you want. The surface of these tips can hold nail polish longer that natural nails and can be filed down to better fit your nail beds.

One reviewer wrote: “I love the shape of the nail and the variety of sizes. Very good value for the price. The glue that comes with is actually very good in my opinion! It came with the KISS maximum strength and so far, it’s been the best glue that I have used. The nails are kind of sheer but that makes them easy to file and flexible for comfortability. They didn’t stay on as long as I hoped [...] they did start to come off after about 4 days but I believe if I would have left my nail beds better, they would have stayed longer so I really suggest doing that. Overall a wonderful value.”

Applicator type: Squeeze | Dry time: 4 seconds

Also available on: Bed Bath & Beyond, $6

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